Albert Fish, where does one begin. Out of all the odd things about this man, the one that stands out the most is his age. He started killing in his 60’s. Most serial killers start in their 20’s or early 30’s but there’s a first time for everything. It’s said that he killed at least 15 children but molested many, many more. His victims mainly came from the low income areas. Now on with our program.
Albert Fish was born as Hamilton Fish in Washington, D.C., to Randall Fish of Kennebec, Maine and his wife Ellen of Ireland. Albert Fish later stated that his family had an extensive history of mental illness. Albert claimed much later that his mother unable to care for him, put him into an orphanage where he was ruthlessly whipped and beaten. He said that he was the only child who looked forward to the beatings. By 1890, Albert had arrived in New York City as a house painter. In 1898, he was married to Anna and they had six children together. She would later leave him for another man, leaving Albert to care for their children on his own.
On May 28, 1928, then aged fifty-eight, Fish visited the Budd family in Manhattan, New York City. He was responding to a work wanted ad placed by 18-year-old Edward Budd. At the Budd’s apartment, Fish found Edward perfect, but then met his younger sister, ten-year-old Grace. He explained to Mrs. Budd that his niece was having a birthday party in upper Manhattan. Mrs. Budd felt uncertain about letting her young daughter go to the party with this man she just met but she allowed it. Little did her parents know that would be the last time they would see their daughter alive. Over the course of the next six years, the New York City police conducted a massive manhunt for the little girl and her kidnapper.
Then in 1934 a letter arrived to Grace’s mother. It described in disgusting detail what had happened to her daughter. The writer stated that he never took her to a party, but instead to an empty house where he killed her and then ate her flesh. Somehow the police were able to track the letter to it’s writer. A trap was then laid and Fish was arrested. While in custody he explained that his original target wasn’t Grace but her older brother. Once he saw little Grace though, he quickly changed his mind and made up the birthday party story on the spot.
Doctors examining him for his trial, claimed that he was a sadomasochist, indulging in self-mutilation, driving needles into his body, mostly around his genitals. He said he tried sticking a needle in his scrotum but it was too painful, and there were needles in his pelvis that were permanently embedded. He would stuff cotton balls soaked with lighter fluid into his rectum and set fire to them. He is said to have consumed not only the flesh of his victims but also their urine, blood, and excrement. He attributed these tendencies to the abuse he suffered in childhood. He also claimed God sent him on “missions” to kill. His murders often involved slow torture. He would tie children up and whip them with a belt cut in half with nails sticking through to tenderize the flesh for cooking. Fish called his weapons “implements of hell.”
On January 16, 1936, Albert Fish became the oldest man to be electrocuted at Sing Sing.