The Story of Albert Fish (not for the faint of heart)

****This post is not for the faint of heart, it contains very disturbing actual events****

My sister was telling me about a documentary that she watched the other day and recommended that I watch it.  All she would tell me is that is was about a man named Albert Fish and it was a crazy intense, the kids were around so she wouldn’t tell me anymore.  Well after figuring out what it was about there was good reason to leave out all details with kids in ear shot.  I sat down last night and watched the most disturbing, creepiest, lose your appetite, give you chills documentary I have ever seen.  Let me just say that my sister and I both are weird when it comes to the documentaries that we favor.  We both like documentaries about the human mind and how weird it can be.  I love to watch shows about the mind and how evil and twisted it can be.  Psychology has always interested me ever since high school.

The documentary is called Albert Fish: In Sin He Found Salvation

Albert Fish was a cannibal, sadomasochist, serial killer.  His prey of choice…children.

He was born in 1870 and the majority of his horrendous crimes and acts took place during the depression era in New York.  His family on both sides had a long history of mental illness.  His mom suffered from hallucinations, his uncle suffered from religion mania, his brother ended up in a mental institution and his sister had a “mental affliction”.  After his father died, his mother was forced to work and she could no longer care for him so she put him in an orphanage at the age of 5 where he and the other boys were frequently stripped naked and beaten by the teachers in front of everyone.  He came to enjoy pain.  At the age of 12 his mother was able to bring him back home and he met a friend that introduced him to some disgusting practices that he enjoyed.

He’s known best for the murder of a young 10 year old girl named, Grace Budd.  He had convinced her parents to let him take her to a birthday party, the girl’s family was poor and the father let her go because she is locked up in their small apartment so often and she never gets to do anything fun.  She was never seen again.  6 years later he sent a letter to her parents, this is what led to his arrest.  The letter below I copied from Wikipedia, it is Albert Fish’s unaltered words..his confession letter.

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 staid 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.[10]

Even though Fish married and had 6 children of his own he committed horrific acts and crimes through out his life.  His wife left him for another man and left him with their 6 kids.  After the rejection of his wife leaving he started hearing voices.  He thought Christ was talking to him, telling him to sacrifice children and do bodily harm to himself.  Over the years his mind got worse.  He would try to reenact biblical stories.  He would take whips and whip his back, he would put nails in a board and beat himself with it, he inserted needles into his body, the list goes on and on.  Later they would do an x-ray and found at least 29 needles that were embedded in his groin area that Fish placed there himself.  Not only did he do this things to himself but he did them to others as well, mostly boys.  He found himself a boy at one point that he played with for 2 weeks in exchange for money and clothes. Daily they would play, Fish would tie the boy up and whip him, he would have the boy whip him, they would partake in every sexual act you could imagine including urinating on each other and drinking it.  One day he went to castrate the boy and only achieved half of it when the boy screamed and Fish could not take the look on the boy’s face so he left him a 10 dollar bill and left.

Fish was a compulsive letter writer.  He would answer ads from the newspaper to find victims or lonely women.  He would right obscene letters to the women to find out if they were on board with his disgusting ideas and acts.  Most were not but there were a few that were.  He wrote to one woman that was interested in cannibalism and he instructed her tie up her son and husband and whip them daily to tenderize them and they both would feast.

He continued to kidnap kids, keep them hostage and whip them daily to tenderize their meat to be eaten.  One boy named Billy Gaffney who was 4 was one victim.  The boy’s body was never found but the boy’s friend was a witness to him being taken and the description matched that of Albert Fish.  His mother visited Fish to find out the details and here is Fish’s 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 as sweet as a nut, but his pee-wees I could not chew. Threw them in the toilet.[10]

The stories of the acts on children should have been enough for me to turn it off and move on but I couldn’t.  I was so intrigued by his mind that I had to finish it.  The majority of the documentary is about his metal state.  He was captured a couple of times and under went mental evaluations, each time he would pass as sane.  He was completely functional, he knew right from wrong, he passed himself off to everyone as a wealthy, proper and polite old man.  During his trial in 1935 for the murder of Grace Budd, he pleaded insanity.  Several psychiatrists testified about his sexual fetishes that included  sadismcoprophiliaurophiliapedophiliainfibulation, and masochism. One noted that Fish was a “psychiatric phenomenon” and that nowhere in legal or medical records was there another individual who possessed so many sexual abnormalities.  His obsession with religion led him to think that the act of cannibalism was communion for his sins.  The trial lasted 10 days and the jury found him guilty and sane.  He received the death penalty and on January 16, 1936 he was executed by the electric chair.

Actual picture of Fish in the chair.

About Jamie

Taking my time through this A-Mazing thing called my life. I'm the owner and photographer at The Adore Girls here in Nashville TN. Life is what you make of it and I am making mine...AMAZING!

Posted on July 2, 2011, in life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. firecracker3

    That truly has to be one of the most horrific historical accounts of mental illness. Good work with your summary, excellent story-telling.

  2. why am i hungry all of a sudden?????

  3. and I thought the movies we watched last night were boring and dull…..please, don’t ever ask me to watch a movie with you. I might cry. Then pee myself. That would be awful. BAHAHA!!!!

  4. Holy crap! Yep, that’s about all I got!

    I have always been fascinated with psychology and the inner workings of the malfunctioned brain. Maybe it’s because of my childhood and the people I’ve come across throughout my lie. I’m not sure. Either way, I’m thankful I was able to take the psychology classes that I did and it was one of the main reasons I have the education and degrees that I do.

    With that said, I have seen some shit in my time. Sometimes this can make you numb to the horrors that a human being can create. For me, nothing could ever numb me to the horrors that are inflicted on a child. Whether its a medical trauma, a genetic disorder or pain inflicted by another human being, it breaks my heart.

    Nevertheless, mental illness is a fascinating field. Thanks for sharing the story.

  5. The things that people can do and when they do these and all horrific crimes against children I have such a hard time wrapping my brain around it.

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