Legend of Alfred Packer

“In the Littleton Colorado cemetery, is buried Alfred Packer, who is a cannibal. Um, as the legend goes.  And they say that, um, above his grave is about a foot of, um, cement.  All the way across his grave, because people would dig him up and take a piece of him.  Not sure why, apparently it was a big problem cause there’s a nice big piece of concrete there. Um, my um, my friend was telling me this when I was, like, I don’t know, twelve or something.  And um, yeah, she was Cuban. She actually had a friend that um, that lived across the, uh, the street from the cemetery. And she actually, um, found, like saw somebody digging up a grave. And um, she called in a tip and the person actually ended up getting arrested, so they got like this huge like, reward for it.”

“Littleton Colorado roughly is where Columbine happened. Columbine was actually in a neighboring city that doesn’t have a name so they called it Littleton. But um, yeah I guess, like, from that experience, um when I heard this was like, probably around that time, or a little bit later, a couple years later.  But um, Littleton just has this kind of, I don’t know, cloud over it.  Sort of thing where, like, Columbine is just always kind of, not always and not so much now, but especially right when it had happened  it was always kind of just, in the back of people’s minds.  Like, if anybody was from out of town its like ‘oh where are you from’ it’s like you almost don’t want to say it because, you know, you’re gonna talk about Columbine. And so, perhaps, um, you know talking about you know a cannibal and like thinking of digging up a cannibal is kind of like a way to get, you know, talk about this school massacre that like nobody can really talk about.”

I agree with L.M. that this legend became a way for the residents of Littleton, Colorado to communicate their anger and sadness after the Columbine massacre in 1999.  In the legend, Alfred Packer’s grave had to be sealed off because so many people stole parts of his dead body.  In the western world especially,  cannibalism is seen as a horrendous act.   It is understandable that people might try to find some sort of retribution or revenge out of taking bits of a man who used to cannibalize people.  Columbine was a massacre, a horrendous event seen on the same level as cannibalism.  In real life, the events at columbine were shocking; there were signs that something bad might happen, but nobody took much notice.  After the massacre, nobody knew what to do or who to blame.  By speaking and continueing to spread the legend about Alfred Packer, the occupants of Littleton manage to get their revenge from the cannibal by slowly taking him apart.  They get a retribution they did not get in real life.