University cafeteria officially named after killer cannibal

The Alfred Packer Grill is a popular student cafeteria at the University of Colorado Boulder. You can enjoy a variety of food there, including several kinds of meat. What non-natives may not realize at first is that Alfred Packer was an admitted cannibal murderer.

In 1873, Packer and more than a dozen men he didn't know left Salt Lake City to hunt for gold in Breckenridge in the Colorado Territory. Packer claimed to be an experienced guide but he was fibbing. The group became quite lost.

Things went from bad to worse when a fierce snowstorm trapped them in the mountains. Packer got hungry so—yep—he killed and ate several of his traveling companions. When he finally staggered into civilization in Colorado, looking surprisingly well-fed, he spun a tale of abandonment and near-starvation. Suspicious locals couldn't reconcile his healthy appearance with his story of dire survival.

Confronted after making conspicuous purchases despite starting the trip penniless, Packer eventually admitted to killing the last survivor for money. The subsequent discovery of the bodies near town suggested he'd murdered the group for their supplies. Packer received a record-breaking 40-year prison sentence for his crimes.

In 1968, University of Colorado Boulder students were invited to name their brand new cafeteria. Brilliantly, they voted for it to be called the Alferd G. Packer Memorial Grill, and, shockingly, the administration allowed it. The original slogan? "Have a friend for lunch."

Bonus bit: In 1993, University of Colorado Boulder students Trey Parker and Matt Stone, co-creators of South Park, made a black comedy about Packer titled "Cannibal! The Musical"

More: "Why is CU's Dining Hall Named After a Cannibal?"

• Intellectual history of cannibalism

(via r/TIL)