Albert Fish was born on May 19th, 1870. His childhood was one of orphanages and abuse. He was, in my opinion among the sickest killers of the 20th century. Fish has been called "The Real Hannible Lector" and with good reason. He frequently raped, murdered, and ate children, due to what he called "his Blood Lust." One of his many victims include Gracy Budd, who was given permission by her parents to acompany a new friend (Fish) to a party. Fish took little Gracie into the country where he striped of his clothes, strangled her and ate her body parts. six years later Gracies parents recieved a letter (See Below) from Fish informing them of what he had done.


When asked about his childhood, while imprisoned, Fish had this to say:
"I was born May 19, 1870, in Washington, D.C. We lived on B Street, N.E., between Second and Third. My father was Captain Randall Fish, 32nd-degree Mason, and he is buried in the Grand Lodge grounds of the Congressional cemetery. He was a Potomac River boat captain, running from D.C. to Marshall Hall, Virginia.
My father dropped dead October 15, 1875, in the old Pennsylvania Station where President Garfield was shot, and I was placed in St. John's Orphanage in Washington. I was there till I was nearly nine, and that's where I got started wrong. We were unmercifully whipped. I saw boys doing many things they should not have done. I sang in the choir from 1880 to 1884 -- soprano, at St. John's. I came to New York. I was a good painter -- interiors or anything.
I got an apartment and brought my mother up from Washington. We lived at 76 West 101st Street, and that's where I met my wife. After our six children were born, she left me. She took all the furniture and didn't even leave a mattress for the children to sleep on.
"I'm still worried about my children," he sniffled. His six children were all between the ages of 21 to 35. "You'd think they'd come to visit their old dad in jail, but they haven't."

The Letter from Albert Fish to The Parents of Gracie Budd recieved 6 years after her dissipearance:

Warning: The following is disturbing and unsettling. Those with a faint heart should not read on.
"My dear Mrs. Budd,
In 1894 a friend of mine shipped as a deck hand on the Steamer Tacoma, Capt. John Davis. They sailed from San Francisco for Hong Kong China. On arriving there he and two others went ashore and got drunk. When they returned the boat was gone.
At that time there was famine in China. Meat of any kind was from $1 to 3 Dollars a pound. So great was the suffering among the very poor that all children under 12 were sold for food in order to keep others from starving. A boy or girl under 14 was not safe in the street. You could go in any shop and ask for steak -- chops -- or stew meat. Part of the naked body of a boy or girl would be brought out and just what you wanted cut from it. A boy or girls behind which is the sweetest part of the body and sold as veal cutlet brought the highest price.
John staid there so long he acquired a taste for human flesh. On his return to N.Y. he stole two boys one 7 one 11. Took them to his home stripped them naked tied them in a closet. Then burned everything they had on. Several times every day and night he spanked them -- tortured them -- to make their meat good and tender.
First he killed the 11 year old boy, because he had the fattest ass and of course the most meat on it. Every part of his body was Cooked and eaten except the head -- bones and guts. He was Roasted in the oven (all of his ass), boiled, broiled, fried and stewed. The little boy was next, went the same way. At that time, I was living at 409 E 100 st., near -- right side. He told me so often how good Human flesh was I made up my mind to taste it.
On Sunday June the 3 --1928 I called on you at 406 W 15 St. Brought you pot cheese -- strawberries. We had lunch. Grace sat in my lap and kissed me. I made up my mind to eat her.
On the pretense of taking her to a party. You said Yes she could go. I took her to an empty house in Westchester I had already picked out. When we got there, I told her to remain outside. She picked wildflowers. I went upstairs and stripped all my clothes off. I knew if I did not I would get her blood on them.
When all was ready I went to the window and Called her. Then I hid in a closet until she was in the room. When she saw me all naked she began to cry and tried to run down the stairs. I grabbed her and she said she would tell her mamma.
First I stripped her naked. How she did kick -- bite and scratch. I choked her to death, then cut her in small pieces so I could take my meat to my rooms. Cook and eat it. How sweet and tender her little ass was roasted in the oven. It took me 9 days to eat her entire body. I did not fuck her tho I could of had I wished. She died a virgin."

Another victim...

Another of Fish's victims encluded a young boy by the name of Billy Gaffney. In his confession Fish stated what he had done to Gaffney. The following is an excerpt from that confession:
"I brought him to the Riker Ave. dumps. There is a house that stands alone, not far from where I took him....I took the boy there. Stripped him naked and tied his hands and feet and gagged him with a piece of dirty rag I picked out of the dump. Then I burned his clothes. Threw his shoes in the dump. Then I walked back and took the trolley to 59 St. at 2 A.M. and walked from there home.
Next day about 2 P.M., I took tools, a good heavy cat-of-nine tails. Home made. Short handle. Cut one of my belts in half, slit these halves in six strips about 8 inches long. I whipped his bare behind till the blood ran from his legs. I cut off his ears -- nose --slit his mouth from ear to ear. Gouged out his eyes. He was dead then. I stuck the knife in his belly and held my mouth to his body and drank his blood.
I picked up four old potato sacks and gathered a pile of stones. Then I cut him up. I had a grip with me. I put his nose, ears and a few slices of his belly in the grip. Then I cut him through the middle of his body. Just below the belly button. Then through his legs about 2 inches below his behind. I put this in my grip with a lot of paper. I cut off the head -- feet -- arms-- hands and the legs below the knee. This I put in sacks weighed with stones, tied the ends and threw them into the pools of slimy water you will see all along the road going to North Beach.
I came home with my meat. I had the front of his body I liked best. His monkey and pee wees and a nice little fat behind to roast in the oven and eat. I made a stew out of his ears -- nose -- pieces of his face and belly. I put onions, carrots, turnips, celery, salt and pepper. It was good.
Then I split the cheeks of his behind open, cut off his monkey and pee wees and washed them first. I put strips of bacon on each cheek of his behind and put them in the oven. Then I picked 4 onions and when the meat had roasted about 1/4 hour, I poured about a pint of water over it for gravy and put in the onions. At frequent intervals I basted his behind with a wooden spoon. So the meat would be nice and juicy.
In about 2 hours, it was nice and brown, cooked through. I never ate any roast turkey that tasted half as good as his sweet fat little behind did. I ate every bit of the meat in about four days. His little monkey was a sweet as a nut, but his pee-wees I could not chew. Threw them in the toilet."

About Fish: Psycho Analysis:

Dr. Fredric Wertham interviewed Fish for a psycho analysis before one of his many trials. Fish told Wertham: "I always had a desire to inflict pain on others and to have others inflict pain on me. I always seemed to enjoy everything that hurt." Fish was known to insert needles in the area between his rectum and scrotem and sometimes not be able to remove them. Wertham said this on the subject: "He told of doing it to other people too, especially children. At first, he said, he had only stuck these needles in and pulled them out again. Then he had stuck others in so far that he was unable to get them out, and they stayed there." Apon x-ray it was determined that fish had atleast 28 needles stuck in his pelvic regon. He once told Wertham of his experience killing Billy Gaffney: "His state of mind while he described these things in minute detail was a peculiar mixture. He spoke in a matter-of-fact way, like a housewife describing her favorite methods of cooking....But at times his voice and facial expression indicated a kind of satisfaction and ecstatic thrill. I said to myself: However you define the medical and legal borders of sanity, this certainly is beyond that border." Fish's children once stated that they had seen him: "hitting himself on his nude body with a nail-studded paddle until he was covered with blood. They also saw him stand alone on a hill with his hands raised, shouting: 'I am Christ.'"
Dr. Wertham declaired fish insane stating: "I characterized his personality as introverted and extremely infantilistic...I outlined his abnormal mental make-up, and his mental disease, which I diagnosed as paranoid psychosis....Because Fish suffered from delusions and particularly was so mixed up about the questions of punishment, sin, atonement, religion, torture, self-punishment, he had a perverted, a distorted -- if you want, an insane -- knowledge of right and wrong. His test was that if it had been wrong he would have been stopped, as Abraham was stopped, by an angel." Durring his trial his lawyer tried to make him out to be a good father and show that there were two sides to every psycho: "In spite of all these brutal, criminal and vicious proclivities, there is another side to this defendant. He has been a very fine father. He never once in his life laid a hand on one of his children. He says grace at every meal in his house. In 1917, when the youngest one of his six children was three, his wife left him. And from that time down until shortly before the Grace Budd murder in 1928 he was a mother and father to those children."

In conclusion:

Fish is not a name you think of when you think of serial killers. Perhaps you should. I know that after my research, I do. What Fish did haunts my thoughts and will continue to do so for a long time. Fish made Bundy and Gacy look like wanna-be's and he did it first. Albert was tried and found guilty of murder. He was sentanced to death in the electric chair, which he looked forward to, due to his love of pain. He had to be exicuted twice because the number of pins and needles in his body caused the first chair to short out.

For the Crime Library's version of this story, click HERE

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