Hamilton Howard "Albert" Fish was an American serial killer, child rapist, and cannibal who was also known by various other names, including the Gray Man, the Werewolf of Wysteria, the Brooklyn Vampire, the Moon Maniac, and The Boogey Man. Fish claimed to have "had children in every state" and at one point stated that his number of victims was around 100, but it is unclear if this referred to rapes or cannibalization and whether the statement was true.
Victims Of The Serial Killer Albert Fish
Fish was a suspect in a minimum of five murders during his lifetime. He confessed to three murders that the police were able to link to a known homicide, and he also admitted to stabbing at least two other people.
Francis X. McDonnell, age 8, July 15, 1924
Billy Gaffney, age 4, February 11, 1927
Grace Budd, age 10, June 3, 1928
Emma Richardson, age 5, October 3, 1926
Yetta Abramowitz, age 12, 1927
Robin Jane Liu, age 6, May 2, 1931
Mary Ellen O'Connor, age 16, February 15, 1932
Benjamin Collings, age 17, December 15, 1932
On December 13, 1934, Fish was arrested for the abduction and murder of Grace Budd. His trial resulted in a guilty verdict and he was sentenced to death by electrocution. Fish was executed on January 16, 1936, at the age of 65. His story was later portrayed in the movie The Gray Man, starring Patrick Bauchau as Fish.
Here's What The Monster Acknowledged In His Twisted Letter To The Mother Of His Victim, Grace Budd
On May 25, 1928, Albert Fish saw an advertisement in the newspaper placed by Edward Budd and decided to kill him. However, when he met Budd's 10-year-old sister, Grace, during his visit to the family under the guise of offering Edward a job, Fish changed his target and decided to kill Grace instead. Fish had a history of rape and murder.
The letter that Fish sent anonymously to Grace Budd's mother after he killed and cannibalized the young girl was the key evidence that led to his arrest. This is the letter:
"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 to 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 a famine in China. Meat of any kind was 1-3 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 girl's behind, which is the sweetest part of the body and is sold as veal cutlets, brings the highest price.
John stayed there so long that he acquired a taste for human flesh. On his return to N.Y., he stole two boys — one 7, one 11. He took them to his home, stripped them naked, and tied them up in a closet, and 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, and he went the same way. At that time, I was living at 409 E. 100 St. He told me so often how good human flesh was, and I made up my mind to taste it.
On June 3, 1928, I called on you at 406 W. 15 St. and brought you pot cheese and strawberries. We had lunch. Grace sat on 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 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 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 the 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, though I could have if I wished. She died a virgin."
What's About The Story In His Sick Letter?
The tale of Captain Davis and the Chinese famine could not be verified, but the details of Grace Budd's death as described in Fish's letter were accurate. Using the information on the stationery paper, the police were able to track down and detain Fish, who did not deny his guilt. In 1936, he was put to death by electric chair at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York.
Every Criminal Has A Terrible Childhood: The Early Life Of Albert Fish Inflicted All His Gruesome Crimes
Hamilton Howard "Albert" Fish, also known as the Brooklyn Vampire, the Werewolf of Wysteria, and the Gray Man, was born on May 19, 1870, in Washington D.C. to Randall and Ellen Fish.
Despite his small, unassuming appearance and quiet demeanor, Fish had a private life that was disturbing even to hardened criminals. He blended in with the crowd, but his face was not memorable.
Fish and several members of his family struggled with mental illness. His brother was institutionalized and his uncle was diagnosed with mania, while his mother frequently experienced hallucinations. Fish himself was affected by mental illness from a young age.
Fish's father was 75 years old when Fish was born and passed away when Fish was only 5 years old. His mother, who was left to care for Fish and his three siblings on her own, did not have the means to support them and left them in a state orphanage. It was while living in the orphanage that Fish developed a fascination with causing pain.
The caretakers at the orphanage where Fish lived often beat the children and even encouraged them to inflict harm on one another. While the other children lived in fear of these painful punishments, Fish took pleasure in them.
"I was there 'til I was nearly nine, and that's where I got started wrong," Fish later recalled. "We were unmercifully whipped. I saw boys doing many things they should not have done."
Fish's experiences at the orphanage led him to associate pain with pleasure and this distorted perception carried over into his sexual gratification. When his mother became financially stable and mentally capable of caring for him, she took Fish home in 1880. However, the harm had already been inflicted on Fish's psyche.
In addition to continuing to inflict pain on himself, Fish began a harmful relationship with a telegraph boy in 1882. The child introduced Fish to the sexual practices of urolagnia and coprophagia, which involved the consumption of urine and feces. Fish became fixated on these practices.
Fish's sadomasochistic tendencies eventually manifested in an obsession with sexual self-mutilation. He would frequently insert needles into his groin and abdomen and whip himself with a paddle studded with nails. These actions were driven by his desire for pain and pleasure.
After moving to New York City in 1890 at the age of 20, Fish's crimes against children began. He was deeply interested in causing pain to others and did not waste time in exploring this interest after moving to the city. He began prostituting himself and sexually assaulting young boys, luring them from their homes to rape and torture them. Fish particularly enjoyed using a paddle studded with nails as a weapon during these attacks.
In 1898, Fish married a woman introduced to him by his mother and had six children with her. Despite being a husband and father, Fish continued to sexually assault and torture other children during this time. He did not harm his own children, but his actions show that he was unable to stop his predatory behavior.
In 1910, Fish, who was working as a house painter in Delaware, met Thomas Kedden. The two men entered into a sadomasochistic relationship, though it is unclear how much of the activity Kedden actually consented to.
Just 10 days after they met, Fish convinced Kedden to meet him at an abandoned farmhouse under the guise of a romantic tryst. When Kedden arrived, Fish locked him inside and subjected him to two weeks of torture.
By 1917, Fish's severe mental illness had become more noticeable, causing his wife to leave him for another man. Fish's self-harm became more extreme, including inserting more needles into his groin and stuffing wool soaked in lighter fluid into his anus and setting it on fire. He also began experiencing auditory hallucinations.
Fish introduced his own children to strange and sadomasochistic games and became fixated on cannibalism. As a precursor to consuming human flesh, he began eating raw meat, often inviting his children to join him in these meals.
By 1919, Fish's obsession with torture and cannibalism had led him to consider murder. He began searching for vulnerable children, including intellectually disabled orphans and homeless Black children, whom he believed would not be missed.
Fish claimed that God was directing him to torture and consume young children at his trial and in later writings. Before his death, he wrote a comprehensive account of all his crimes for his lawyer, but the lawyer never made the writings public because they were too disturbing.