When I was a student at the University of Colorado, I often ate at the Alfred E. (now corrected to G.) Packer cafeteria. At the time, most undergraduates thought they WERE eating human flesh.
In case the name is not familiar:
On July 17, 1989, James Starrs started an exhumation in an attempt to determine whether Packer was a liar and a murdering cannibal, or an honest, desperate man who had to eat to live.
Five small boulders marked the prospectors' graves. The exhumation by shovel and brush revealed five separate and distinct burials, "all cheek by jowl with one another," Starrs wrote.
Packer, in rambling, sometimes disjointed accounts, had contended his fellow prospectors had died by starvation and accident except George Noon, who had been shot by Shannon Wilson Bell. In other statements, Packer said he had been forced to shoot Bell.
The bones showed the men died violently, trying to defend themselves, and were defleshed by knife except for the skulls and pubic regions. The four skulls that were found bore marks of having been struck with a blunt object, such as the blade of a hatchet.
Defensive wounds were found on all but one skeleton - that of Israel Swan, who was the oldest and probably the weakest and could have been killed in his sleep.
Frank Miller and James Humphrey were "bludgeoned and butted into eternity by an ax," Starrs found.
Noon, only 18 or so, fought the hardest. His left humerus, or upper arm bone, was severed.
Bell was probably not shot. His bones show that he was acting to ward off blows from an assailant with a hatchet. His left humerus was almost cut through. He also was struck by a hatchet on his face and on top of the head.
"Packer's recital can most fairly be described as a cock-and-bull story," Starrs ascertained from his exhumation.
Starrs, with typical humor, said he also corrected one long-standing error regarding the student dining hall at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which was for years called the Alfred E. Packer cafeteria - "perhaps because of the quality of the food dished out there."
Starrs' research found that Packer's middle initial was G., not E. The school dutifully made the change.