During the fierce winter of 1710, 14 Englishmen were shipwrecked on Boon Island, a sparse 100-yard long stretch of rock off the coast of Maine. Facing starvation, Captain John Dean gave the order to butcher and eat a member of the crew who had died. John Dean first emerged an unlikely hero, but soon thereafter an alternative version of events began to circulate. As Adam Nightingale explains here, the First Mate painted Dean as a murderous fraudster, tyrant, and an enthusiastic consumer of human flesh, accusations that would be settled in the court of public opinion.
The Shipwreck Cannibals
Author: Adam Nightingale.