Reign of terror: Winter 1874
Crimes: Al Packer killed the other 5 members of his prospecting party - Swan, Miller, Humphrey, Noon and Bell, when they got stranded in the Rocky Mountains for the winter. He then proceeded to eat them to keep himself alive.
Method: According to forensic evidence, Packer bludgeoned his victims to death, using a hacksaw and a rifle butt.
Sentence: At first Packer was sentenced to death by a Democrat judge. But after a retrial by a Republican judge (the victims were Democrats) Packer served only 15 years.
Interesting facts: At the time of the trial Packer claimed that he had not killed the men, but that Bell, another prospecter, had, and that Packer had shot Bell in self-defence. In 1989, Professor James Starrs unearthed the remains of the dead men. This study showed that none of the bodies had been shot, but that they had put up a struggle before they were killed. Due to lack of evidence of physical characteristics, it is still uncertain which of the two men really did kill the others.