Born Hamilton Howard "Albert" Fish on May 19, 1870, Albert Fish was a serial killer, child rapist and cannibal. (Honestly, I'm sorry I did him and Jeffery Dahmer in the same week.)
Fish was known as the Gray Man, the Werewolf of Wysteria, The Brooklyn Vampire, the Moon Maniac and the Boogey Man.
He claims to have murdered and ate children in all 50 states, saying his victim count was over 100, but only 3 have been proven to be linked to him.
Fish's most heinous crime was the kidnapping and murder of a 10-year-old girl. After her death, he sent her parents a detailed letter about how he killed and ate her. He was put on trial for her kidnapping and murder, and was executed via electric chair in January 16th, 1936.
ALBERT'S EARLY LIFE
Albert was born to a mother who was 43 years younger than his father. He was the youngest of 3 living siblings, and took the name "Albert" from his dead brother. His family had mental health issues on all sides.
When his father died, his mom put him in an orphanage where he was beaten regularly, but he grew to enjoy the pain. He was taken out of the orphanage at age 12 and began a relationship with a telegraph boy who introduced him to drinking urine and eating feces. Around this time, he would also take public baths to watch boys undress.
In his early adulthood, he became a prostitute and would rape young boys. In his late 20s, his mom arranged a marriage for him to a woman 9 years younger than him. Together, they had 6 children.
In 1910, he met a 19-year-old and they began a torturous sexual relationship. It does not seem as if this relationship was consensual, and many believe this man to have been intellectually disabled.
In 1917, his wife left him (wonder why) and he became a single parent. Around the same time, he began having auditory hallucinations and began to self inflict pain.
He would insert needles into his groin and abdomen, hit himself with a nail-studded paddle, and insert wool doused in lighter fluid and set it alight in his anus.
Though he claims to have never abused his children, he would ask them and their friends to paddle his butt with the nail-studded paddle. So yeah, I think its fair to say he did abuse his children.
THINGS GO FROM BAD TO WORSE
In 1919, he stabbed an intellectually disabled boy in Washington D.C. He said he typically chose African Americans or the intellectually disabled because he felt they wouldn't be missed.
He claimed after assaulting boys that he would ask them to find him more boys, and he would torture them, mutilate them and murder then with a meat cleaver, butcher knife or handsaw.
At 54, he was suffering from severe psychosis and felt that God was telling him to torture and sexually mutilate children. (He was probably not). He married again in 1930 and that marriage lasted 1 single week.
One day, Albert saw a classified ad about an 18-year-old man named Edward looking for work. He wanted to murder him, so he went, posing as an interested employer. But, when he came back later, he saw Grace instead.
He said he had to leave to go to his niece's birthday party, and asked if he could take Grace with him. (Note: If a weird old man you've known for 5 minutes asks to take your 10-year-old with him to a party for someone you don't know, just say no.) However, they said yes. Grace was never seen again.
The superintendent was arrested and jailed for 108 days after his ex-wife accused him of Grace's kidnapping. He was eventually not found guilty. It seems bizarre that the first suspect wouldn't be the man that took your daughter away, but I digress.
Fish wrote the family a letter after he killed their child. It is a horrifying, graphic account about kidnapping, killing and eating their child. I will not share it here.
CAPTURE, ARREST AND DEATH
Fish was arrested when he arrived home one night to the room he was renting. He didn't deny Grace's murder, even offering that he'd actually intended to kill her brother instead. He said he never raped her.
His trial began on March 11, 1935 and lasted for 10 days. He pleaded insanity. The prosecution said his perversions didn't qualify him as insane and that many people live very normal lives with some of the desires he has. The defense said that his laundry list of horrifying sexual fetishes in itself meant he was insane. Most agreed that he was a "psychiatric phenomenon", believing no one else had as many sexual abnormalities as Fish.
Though most of the jurors admit to believing he was insane, they wanted him to be executed so they found him sane and guilty. He arrived in prison in March 1935 and was executed January 1936.
In a meeting with reporters after the execution, his lawyer revealed he had possession of his final statement, but refused to read it, saying: "I will never show it to anyone. It was the most filthy string of obscenities that I have ever read."
Though the murder of Grace Budd was what Fish was ultimately tried for, there were 2 other murders attributed to him (out of the 100+ he claims to have committed around the U.S.)
Francis McDonnel was a 9 year old who was found hanging in a tree with extensive lacerations and a hamstring stripped of flesh. People saw him around Francis that say, calling him "The Gray Man".
The case was unsolved until the murder of Grace Budd was public, and then seeing his photo, people realized that it was him. He initially denied it, but then confirmed that he also raped him and intended to castrate him.
Billy Gaffney was a 4 year old when he was taken, witnessed by his 3-year-old friend who called him The Boogey Man. Again, once his photo was more public, he was recognized and accused.
Fish wrote a letter to his attorney confessing to the horrors of this murder and it is equally as horrifying and disgusting as the one sent to the Budd family.
Perhaps one of the most disgusting, depraved serial killers in history, 84 years ago the world was ridded of this monster.