Albert Fish

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I’m presently taking a course on serial killers. And one of the fun folks I’ve had to read about is a fella by the name of Albert Fish.

Here are some interesting facts about him:

Born Hamilton Fish in Washington, DC, to a family with a history of mental illness, Fish grew up in an orphanage where he was ruthlessly whipped and beaten. During 1898, he was married to a woman nine years his junior and fathered six children before his wife ran off with another man.

Fish was a painter, who drifted across the United States, molesting and torturing children in nearly every state. Most of his victims came from poor, black families who were not likely to be able to do much about his actions, owing to the racism so prevalent in the country during that time. Reputed to be a sado-masochist, Fish reportedly indulged in self-mutilation, driving needles into his body, mostly around his genitals; stuffing cotton balls soaked with lighter fluid into his rectum and setting fire to them; and consuming not only the flesh of his victims, but urine, blood, and excrement. He attributed these tendencies and his cruel, murderous history to his abusive childhood. He also claimed that God had sent him on a mission.

Eventually, Fish was tried and convicted for the murder of 10-year-old Grace Budd, whom he choked to death and ate. He was executed on January 16, 1936, in the electric chair at Sing Sing. He spoke of the prospect of electrocution as the “supreme thrill”, and even helped the executioners fasten the straps that held his body in place.

Here’s some more:

On 28 May 1928 a man calling himself Frank Howard made acquantices with the Budd family. One day Mr Howard asked if he could take Grace, their 10-year-old daughter, to a party. The Budds allowed him and they never saw their daughter or the old man ever again. The Mr Howard was in fact the 58-year-old Albert Fish, who thought up the idea of killing Grace Budd so he could use her body for acts of cannibalism.

Six years later the Budd’s received an anonymous letter from the murderer who admitted to killing Grace and afterwards cooked and ate her body. The police tracked the letter back to some apartments where they matched the writing of the letter to Albert Fish who was a tenant. The letter:

We had lunch. Grace sat on my lap and kissed me.

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 the 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 mama.

First I striped her naked. How she did kick, bite and scratch.

I choked her to death, then cut her into 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 nine days to eat her entire body.

I did not fuck her, though I could have, had I wished.

She died a virgin.”

Nice guy. If you can stomach it, here’s a little more:

He was orphaned at 5 and wet his bed until he was a teenager.
He convinced himself that he was a real bad person, and felt that the only way to atone was to punish himself for his sins.
Among his ways of self punishment were inserting needles into his groin, scrotum, and anus and eating human feces.
Eventually, he turned this psychotic behavior against children.
He molested almost 400 children.
He fell in love with 12 year old Grace Budd.
Although he never raped her, he did murder her (1928).
He regretted his choice to kill her unmolested, so he ate her bit by bit.


The first time they tried to electrocute him, the electric chair short circuited from all the metal objects (needles) in his body.
He died with a full erection.

It’s rather difficult to imagine that any form of rehabilitation would have worked on this man. The death penalty has its uses…

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About RJ

  • HW Saxton

    Albert Fish was one sick motherf**ker.
    I read about him in my “Encyclopedia Of
    Bloodletters and Badmen”. Sadly, I think
    that the book is out of print RJ, but if
    you can score a copy it’ll be a real big
    help in your class. Out of curiousity,is
    it(the Serial Killer course) for credits
    in Sociology ?

    It’s pretty hard to beat Wisconsin’s own
    Ed Gein though,when it comes to out&out
    sickness. This is a guy who butchered
    several of his kills and proceeded to
    feed them to his neighbors,telling them
    it was Venison.

    He also used to like dance about in the
    moonlight wearing masks and body suits
    made out of the skin and various other
    parts of his victims (including female
    breasts)as well. He had a few issues w/
    his mother they say.

    It’s said that he was an inspiration for
    Norman Bates character in “Psycho” and
    also Leatherface in “The Texas Chainsaw

  • RJ

    “Out of curiousity,is
    it (the Serial Killer course) for credits in Sociology?”

    It’s actually for Criminal Justice (my Minor), but good guess, because Sociology is part of my Major…

  • jayce

    albert fish was so fu**in sick that i love it…. dude was so cool… i think that everything he did was such a work of art, i mean think about it all the things he did had to take alot of brains and thought man…. he is so awesome and if anyone cant see it then they are seriously messed up…

  • If you really believe that Albert Fish was “cool” then YOU are the one who is “seriously messed up”…

  • Mallory

    i thought it was extremely interesting! i believe there is a killer in us all and Albert Fish just had enough will power to go there. I don’t congragulate him on his sick things, but i find them quite interesting to read up on.

  • D.mcc

    This guy is really messed up in the head,and if anyone thinks he is cool they are dumb.

  • van

    He seems neat

  • Jamie Poole

    Actually Fish died just like any other person. If you want to read that letter again, it’ll give you a brief introduction to his frien, Capt John Davies, and how Fish got into cannibalism in the first place [because Capt. Davis was in China, sailing from San Francisco to Hong Kong, and meat of any kind was $3/lb, and there was a meat shortage, so little kids were killed and eaten, and so Fish decided to try it for himself and killed and ate Grace Budd]. I doubt very much that he died with a full erection, that’s a new development for me! The thing about how he wouldn’t die [how the rods in his body acted as short-circuiters] was only a myth. There are a few people in history who have needed to be fried a few more times than perhaps necessary to kill them, but Fish wasn’t one of them.

    I found the full letter that Fish wrote to the parents of Grace Budd [and Gracie’s mother wept uncontrollably as she read it, according to the legend]. Here’s that infamous literature:

    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 $1-3 per 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 girl’s behind which is the sweetest part of the body and sold as veal cutlet brought the highest price. John stayed there so long he acquired a taste for human flesh. On his return to N.Y. he stole two boys, one 7 and 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.

    Spelling errors are unchanged.

    I’m some psychology student at some college in some country someplace, anywhere, in the world, and serial killers and cannibals fascinate me. I did one of my A2 Psych pieces on Jeffrey Dahmer, a really lovely man, you should read up on him if you’re interested in that sort of stuff.

  • Jamie Poole

    And I gotta agree with Van, he seems neat! 🙂

  • Dave Miller

    I have taught criminal justice for many years. I use all the serial killers for teaching profiling. This killer is just that, a killer. While you might find him interesting……remember he was a killer. Grace Budd could have given birth to a future president of the United States or a skid row bum, It really doenst matter, her life and those of 400 more were snuffed out by this killer. If you admire him, then perhaps someday, we of the law enforcement community will be arresting you or writing about your explots, after your death.

  • Nancy

    Fish & Gein were the tip of the abnormal psych iceberg as far as serial killers goes. has an excellent altho by no means complete roster of them, if you’re interested. Also check out the books by the various FBI profilers, including John Douglas. Ann Rose also has quite a few valuable pieces in her true crime series, altho she’s more oriented to popular writing, but she’s a helluva good read as well as a good starting place. Finally, the book by Donald Rumbelow on Jack the Ripper is a must read for its angle on early investigations as much as the crimes themselves; it’s a classic, as are the murders, and shouldn’t be missed.

  • Vanessa

    Yeah I agree that he is pretty smart…but indeed a smart sick fuck…the man has mental problems and for whoever think its “neat” or “cool,” I guess they’ve got mental problems too.

  • sdfgdf

    Yes, Albert Fish was intresting in some retrospect but he was NOT smart and what he did was definatley not “cool”, he commited his crimes with little thought and had to move 23 times and lost several because he was accused of crimes, he was no more intellegent than the average criminal,The most organized crime he commited was the grace budd murder and he got caught, Albert fish was just a deragned sadistic paraphilia who deserved die and anyone here who “congragelates him” deserves to die also.. i suggest you seek a physiatrist immediatley

  • JADE301

    Albert Fish was a sick, worthless, disgusting creature. Anyone who looks up to what he did and congratulates and gives him a “pat on the back” so to speak is nearly as sick as he was. This man was a serial killer who had no respect or regard for human life whether it be child or adult. He ruthlessly tortured, brutalized, mutilated, and murdered tons and tons of children the world yonder. For those of you that look up to him, just think if this happened to you or to someone in your family. Would you still look at this monster with adoration? I don’t think so. I think youd be fighting right along with the justice system to see that he received the highest punishment available. I understand that there are some of us may enjoy reading about serial killers and delving into their crime stories, but there is a big difference between doing that and actually looking up to such a worthless human predator. How was Albert Fish smart? Just because he asked permission to take an innocent child to a birthday party? That makes him smart? NOT! If you WANT to think of “smart” serial killers then I suggest you read up on other ones who were much smarter than Albert Fish.

  • steph

    The needles in fish did short-circuit the chair whoever said that was a myth is a dumbass. Obviously metal needles would short-circuit the chair. Besides, many sources have confirmed that fact including serial killer books. As he was electrocuted he DID die first, but they found that shortly after, the metal needles had short-circuited the chair.

  • derrick

    this man was a crazy person yo he needed help rite when he was born