Saturday, January 14, 2006

Donner Party

Potentially sad news for fans of the Donner Party, or of cannibalism (you know you're out there). New research appears to have shown the the Donners did not actualize cannibalize each other. Apparently, there were two camps of people stranded in the mountains that winter, and one of the groups did engage in at least some cannibalism. The Donners, though, were stranded six miles away from that group.

There are some quotes in the story from Donner descendants, who are eager to clear their family name. I don't blame them, but at the same time, they really shouldn't be that ashamed anyway. The extreme circumstances were an extenuating factor for any cannibalism, assuming of course that the human dinner died of natural causes first. This kind of case used to be common in shipwrecks back in the sailing days, and some English courts even excused the survivors who had drawn lots and killed the unlucky one to stay alive.


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