Shipwreck Cannibalism and the Curious Case of Richard Parker


R v Dudley and Stephens (1884) is a leading English criminal case which established a precedent, throughout the common law world, that necessity is not a defence to a charge of murder. It concerned survival cannibalism following a shipwreck and its purported justification on the basis of a Custom of the Sea. It marked the culmination of a long history of attempts by the law, in the face of public opinion sympathetic to castaways, to outlaw the custom and it became something of a cause célèbre in Victorian Britain.

Dudley and Stephens were shipwrecked along with two other men. As times grew increasingly desparate adrift on the life raft, the men decided to murder and devour the weakest link, 17-year-old cabin boy Richard Parker. After a highly publicized trial (which began on September 11th) they were convicted of murder and sentenced to death with a recommendation for clemency; the sentence was commuted to six months in prison. It’s a commonly discussed case in legal school, and one of the strangest ‘coincidences’ out there.

As it turns out, 46 years before the shipwreck cannibalism, Edgar Allen Poe wrote his only complete novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838), involving shipwreck cannibalism, as the four castaways draw straws and the loser is none other than one Richard Parker. The exact situation and the exact name… Richard Parker is also the name of the Bengal tiger in Life of Pi. A book whose name takes on a whole new light considering the synchronistic cycles of history repeating, especially when the shipwrecked  characters are adrift for 227 days (the approximation of pi being 22/7, as ‘Twenty-Two Divided By Seven’ =314). Life of Pi =78. Richard Parker =780.

  • Richard Parker =130/85. Pythagoras =130/58. Shipwreck =58. Freemasonry =58. Shipwrecked =58/121. Piscine Molitor Pi Patel =121 (protagonist in Life of Pi).
  • RICHARD =43. Murdered =43. Cannibalism =43. PARKER =33/69. False Flag =33/69. Pi =69. Parker =236 (Jewish). R V Dudley and Stephens =236. Martel =236 (author of Life of Pi). Yann Martel =42. Parker =42. Freemason =42.
  • Edgar Allan Poe =666.  The real-life ship was called the “Mignonette” =122. Survival Cannibalism =221.

The Mignonette set sail from England to Australia on 5-19-1884. The yacht capsized on July 5th, 47 days into their voyage. The men were adrift for 3 weeks 3 days, a nice 33 connected to Parker =33 who was sacrificed like Christ at age 33. The men ate of his flesh and drank of his blood, as per the Christian ritual. In Jesus Name =130. Elixir of Life =130. Richard Parker =130.


4 thoughts on “Shipwreck Cannibalism and the Curious Case of Richard Parker

  1. Love the strange connects you find. I had never heard of that news case, though I knew about the Poe and Life of Pi name being the same, never knew there was a real life trial involving that name too. And it began on 9-11! I have a 9-11 theory, kind of an evolution thing. ..

    Man wants to be God, God is complete like 10. Man only has the ability to become almost God, or 9, but Man doesn’t want to stop there. So many destroys 10(or gives that illusion), then picks up the pieces and rebuilds 11. Making himself bigger then God in the eyes of all we lower digits, though its really just a masking atop of the natural way of the world.

    As I havr said, no one wants to share the power of the almighty.


  2. The trial starts 9/11( or written 11/9 in England) and involves cannibalism and a 17 year old boy.
    Poe was born 1-19 and died 10-7…very interesting. Perhaps They just enjoy putting these grotesque cannibalism stories out there. In my day, I remember the Andes plane crash and cannibalism novel/movie. They talk about Donner Pass in The Shining movie as they drive to the Overlook Hotel.


  3. The name of their ship, ‘Mignonette,’ is like filet mignon, which translates to filet of beef in English.


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