So this one is kind of a little gross today ya’ll.
Basically what happened was 4 dudes got shipwrecked, one fell into a coma, so two of the other guys killed him and ate him. ewwwwwww. The two survivors were sentenced to death but their sentence was commuted to just six-months in prison. This all happened in 1884.
The article says that the yacht sank within 5 minutes of being struck, and the crew was only able to grab “a few tins of turnips and no fresh water” as they bailed out into a very poorly made lifeboat. The article also goes into detail about their efforts to stay alive while at sea – living off of only two of the tins of turnips for the first 12 days and a turtle they caught, failing to catch rain water so resorting to drinking their own urine (double ewww! I am going to need to hug a unicorn after this).
After 15 days, Parker (the one who was killed) was sick, and then a few days later was in a coma. Dudley (the captain) is claimed to have brought up the idea of drawing straws to determine who would have to die, trying to convince the other two that Parker was the best choice since he was already in a coma. They decided to kill Parker before his “natural death” as it “would better preserve his blood to drink”. (Unicorns and rainbows and cupcakes! Thinking about unicorns and rainbows and cupcakes…) It was later mentioned that as they were killing him, Parker said: “why me?”. Apparently, just five short days later on July 29th, the remaining three men “sighted a sail”, but the article says they were picked up and returned to land on September 6th.
Dudley and Stanely (the one who helped to kill Parker) made candid statements to authorities thinking they were covered by the “custom of the sea” which would have allowed them to kill Parker without being charged with murder. The article even says that Parker’s brother even came to the jail and shook hands with them.
I don’t even know what to say. Aside from feeling physically ill from reading that (my poor innocent eyes and brain), I feel like I don’t really have the right frame of mind to even evaluate what I just read.
Sure, they were on a really small life boat which was poorly made, in the middle of nowhere, and didn’t know if they were going to make it or not. Parker was obviously conscious enough to question their choice to kill him while they were actually killing him. And what about the 3rd guy? The article said there is no evidence to show he was either for or against the act.
But what about the other tins of turnip?! While the article didn’t say exactly how many tins they were able to secure before jumping ship, it does say “a few”, which is more than two, and only two were consumed before they killed young Parker.
I’m not sure if I can find what Dudley did defensible or not, but I think I can safely say I would never have done such a thing. But then again, I have never been in that situation where I don’t know if I will live or die so who knows? I need to stop thinking about this. I can’t even edit this post, so if things are confusing or there are grammar errors, I’m sorry.
January 23 Shipwrecked Read the story of Richard Parker and Tom Dudley. Is what
Dudley did defensible? What would you have done?