Unparalleled Perversity: The Sickening & Unbelievable Truths About Albert Fish | Graphic Content

(Albert Fish. Picture credit: murderpedia)

*Please be aware that the details that I will be sharing in this post will be very disturbing and will deal with such subjects as child murder, sexual abuse. dismemberment and cannibalism. I will try to be as sensitive as always without missing crucial facts*

Just one look at those cold dead eyes, that hard drawn face and it is enough to send chills down anyone's spine. The name 'Albert Fish' has gone down in history for all of the wrong reasons, the most sickening of reasons. I've had a lot of requests over the years to write about this monster and I never plucked up the courage to do it until now. Two reasons for not writing about him included the fact that so many have covered his case and because of the sickening things I would be delving into as part of my research. 

I'm sensitive when it comes to deaths relating to children and animals. All murder cases are heartbreaking but when the victims happen to be children or animals, it makes my blood boil. Despite such difficult cases to get through, I have managed to cover some stomach-churning cases on this blog over the years and here we are with another case which will be tough to get through. 

Like a lot of people, I thought I knew the basic horror stories surrounding Albert Fish but as I did my research into his life and background, I found myself discovering details that I never knew before. As you can imagine, there were many times during my research that I had to step away for a few minutes or was constantly shaking my head at what I was reading. He wasn't just a monster he was THE monster! The nicknames that were given to him by the media do not live up to the actual demon that he was. Names such as 'Moon Maniac', 'Brooklyn Vampire', 'The Gray Man' amongst others are quite tame compared to what his actual crimes were, he was beyond evil, beyond sick and beyond perverted. Come to think of it, what would you call him? I can't even call him human, I can't even think of a name that best describes him. 

I think that if you were to sit down and write a list of the worst traits of each serial killer you've ever read about you still wouldn't get close to describing Albert Fish. There was nothing this guy would not do, if you can even attempt to think of the worst thing imaginable to do, he's probably done it. As we move further through this post you'll see what I mean and it won't be for comfortable reading so brace yourself.

Albert Fish came into the world on the 19th of May 1870 into strange circumstances in Washington D.C (USA). His father was an elderly man who was 43 years older than his mother and actually died when Albert was just 5 years old. Albert was the youngest of four children and his full name at birth was Hamilton Howard Fish. He later changed his name to Albert because he suffered from bullying at school where the kids would call him ''Ham & Eggs''. After his father had died the family struggled financially and Albert was placed in an orphanage whilst his mother looked for suitable employment. 

From the outside some people were led to believe that Albert had come from a respectable, well together family but it turned out that a lot of his relatives had suffered with severe mental disorders and two relatives even died in psychiatric hospitals. So being placed in institutions from time to time was not uncommon in the family. The plan was for Albert to be taken into the care of the orphanage and his mother would collect him when she was financially comfortable. His mother did eventually retrieve him from the orphanage but by then the damage had already been done. According to Albert a number of very unsavory things happened whilst he was there. He claimed that he had been abused and had witnessed other boys being abused and doing things that they shouldn't have been. 

The trauma of losing his father at a young age and the abuse he experienced and witnessed at the orphanage obviously had a profound affect on him. Albert frequently urinated his bed until the age of 12 and was known to run away quite a lot. Things took an ever worse turn when he became close with another boy who he claimed to have opened his eyes to various things. According to Albert the boy taught him various 'fetishes' which also included the sickening act of ingesting urine and feces. Albert's main interest was boys and he enjoyed spying on them getting dressed at his local bath house. It was clear that from a very young age, Albert was growing into something that could only get worse as time went on. 

No father figure in the household, surrounded by family members who struggled with their own mental health and witnessing the unsavory behaviour at the orphanage (as well as this uncomfortable relationship with this boy who was teaching him to eat human waste) was a recipe for disaster. 

As he got older he began to fantasize about children and wanted to carry out various 'fetishes'. He would flit from job to job as a painter and decorator. The jobs never lasted because word soon got around that Albert was up to some creepy behaviour involving children and he'd be fired. He was no stranger to crime, as well as being a pedophile, he was also  involved in petty crime involving fraud and cashing blank cheques. He was arrested about 8 times in his life and had spent time in institutions where he was declared a psychopath and a pervert but they still released him. 

Another shocking fact about Albert was that he'd actually been married three times! Three women actually married him! And he had 6 children with his first wife who soon ran off with another man. She returned to Albert briefly pretending that she wanted to make another go of things but it turned out that she had been hiding her secret boyfriend in the attic. Albert made the discovery and sent the two of them packing. His 'relationship' with his children was disturbing, the children (and their friends) were forced to spank him on his bare bottom either using their hands or a wooden paddle. Albert had been spanked in the orphanage and enjoyed the pain. he would encourage the children to hit him until he bled. He would tell the children that he was Jesus Christ and would insert needles under his own fingernails and groin. It got to the point where he was inserting needles so much that many of them disappeared (these needles later appeared on a prison x-ray, some were still intact and others had partially disintegrated). He also enjoyed soaking cotton balls in alcohol, inserting them into his backside and setting them on fire. 

With Albert Fish there is so much to unpack but another of his favourite things to do was to shock people with his vocabulary and written words. He would get a thrill out of finding addresses from lonely hearts ads in the newspaper and he would write disgusting letters to people. It was this very act that saw him being arrested for the very last time. Albert may have been 'creative' in thinking up what kinds of disgusting things he was going to do next but when it came to his crimes, he wasn't too bright. He'd sent a letter to the mother of one of his victims and the unique stationary was traced back to him by the police. 

So it became clear, Albert Fish had gone even further than anyone could have imagined. There were no limits at all to this sick perverted monster and the truth was soon revealed that he was responsible for the unsolved murder of 10 year old Grace Budd. I will include the horrific letter that he sent to Grace's mother in this post but the way little Grace was murdered was the stuff of sheer nightmares. Playing the part of the nice, old man, Albert attended the Budd family home in response to a job advert. He befriended the family and was able to gain their trust, his original plan was to murder Grace's brother Edward but when Grace sat on his knee, he said that it was then that he decided that he wanted to ''eat her''. Chillingly, he was able to convince Grace's parents that there was a children's party and offered to take Grace along. Her parents were fine with this. 

Instead of taking the little girl to the party (which of course was a lie) he took her to an abandoned building and told her to pick some flowers whilst he went inside. Once inside he removed his clothing for fear he would stain them with blood. He called for Grace to come inside and grabbed hold of the frightened child as she fought for her life. He sickeningly strangled her and dismembered her body so that (in his words) he could eat her.

He didn't deny the murder of Grace, he described it in detail and bragged about other children he had killed. He claimed to have ''had a child in every state''. When detectives tried to guess the number of children he had murdered, Albert was offended and bragged that he had killed at least 400. 

In the following lines I will be sharing the letter in it's entirety that Albert Fish sent to Grace Budd's mother. Please be aware that the contents are very disturbing....

''My dear Mrs. Budd, 

In 1894 a friend of mine shipped as a deck hand on the steamer Tacoma, Captain 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 from $1 to $3 dollars a pound. So great was the suffering among the very poor that all children under 12 were sold to the butchers to be cut up and 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 that he acquired a taste for human flesh. On his return to N.Y, he stole two boys, one 7, 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 yr old boy, because he had the fattest a** and of course the most meat on it. Every part of his body was cooked and eaten except head - bones and guts. He was roasted in the oven, (all of his a**) boiled, broiled, fried, stewed. The little boy was next, went the same way. At that time I was living at 409 E 100 St rear - 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 pretence 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 wild flowers. I went upstairs and stripped all my clothes off. I knew that if I did not I would get all 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 stairs. I grabbed her and she said she would tell her Mama. 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 a** was roasted in the oven. It took me 9 days to eat her entire body. I did not f*** her, though I could of had I wished. She died a virgin.''

Albert told investigators that he had been ordered by God to castrate young boys and that he had molested and murdered children in numerous states. He claimed that his first murder was in 1910 and that was of an adult male. The number of victims that Albert Fish was responsible for is up for debate. Investigators and psychiatrists couldn't say for certain how many lives he had taken because of his methods of killing and disposing of the bodies through cannibalism and dismemberment. As I mentioned before, Albert claimed the number to be closer to 400 but he was a fantasist as well as a sick monster. It leaves another chill down the spine to think of all of the children who had gone missing during those times, classed as runaways never to be seen again and could have been possible victims of Albert Fish, there is no way that anyone will ever know. 

Another known victim was Francis McDonnell who was just 8 years old when he was murdered by Albert Fish. The poor child was put through hell, molested, tortured and strangled to death. Billy Gaffney was the youngest of the known victims at age just 4. The poor child was put through an endless nightmare and suffered greatly at this evil monster. Billy's horrendous ordeal began with constant torture until his skin bled. His nose and ears were cut off and he was slashed across his face. He was violently and repeatedly stabbed in the stomach which Fish had drank blood from. The boy's eyes were gouged out too. The poor child was then dismembered and the parts that Fish was not interested in were bagged up and thrown in the river weighted down with rocks. He took the rest of the remains home to cook and eat. 

Albert Fish tried to plead insanity and claimed that God had told him to murder children. Although it was clear after everything he had done to those poor children as well as the strange things that he did to himself, that he was mentally ill and had a history of psychiatric disorders in the family. Nobody gave him any sympathy because he didn't deserve it, the jury were determined that he get the death penalty. On the 16th of January 1936 he faced the electric chair at Sing Sing prison. He was the oldest man to be executed at Sing Sing being the age of 65 at the time of death. Legend has it that he was only too happy to be strapped into the chair and even helped the guards put the electrodes on his body. He reportedly said that being in the electric chair would be the only thrill that he hadn't tried. 

Also, his death was reportedly quicker than usual because of the pins that he still had embedded in his groin. His final words before his death were ''I don't know why I am here''. 

As is often procedure after the execution of a Death Row prisoner where a press conference is involved, his lawyer was supposed to have read out a statement which was supposed to be Albert Fish's final message to the world. The lawyer refused to read it publicly and vowed that he never would because the statement contained some of the most evilest and disgusting things that anyone could not even dare to imagine. So even in the end, Albert Fish couldn't resist being a monster, no apologies to the victim's families, no regrets just pure evil and sadistic right up to the final moment. 

Albert Fish was buried in the prison cemetery in an unmarked grave. 

I would like to just say that I knew going deeply into this case that it would be disturbing but it really shook me to my core the level of evil that this monster brought into the world. Nothing but pain and misery to so many children and families. The horrific murders may have happened a very long time ago but the victims should never be forgotten and the horrors that they went through. Albert Fish looked like a pathetic, frail old man, even at the age of 65 he looked more like he was 80. It's just another lesson to be learned that someone may appear to be a harmless old man or woman but you never really know what they are capable of. I think he was able to commit his crimes in such a way because he was able to fool people into thinking he was a nice old man. It makes you feel sick just thinking about it. I don't have children myself (yet) but I can imagine this post being a very traumatic thing to read as a parent. 

Albert Fish may not exist anymore but the reality is that in this world, there could be more Alberts out there and we always have to be vigilant not just for the kids but for ourselves. 

RIP to the known victims:

Frances McDonnell
Billy Gaffney
Grace Budd 

and to all of the unknown victims, we may never know your names but we recognise and sympathise with everything you had to endure at the hands of that evil monster. There is always hope that the truth will be revealed one day and identifications will be made but nonetheless you are never forgotten. 

Further reading & sources :

Thank you for sticking with this post if you have made it this far, I know it wasn't an easy read but I do hope that you have been able to take away some more knowledge of the true, unbelievable monster that was Albert Fish. 

I hope you will join me in my next post. In the meantime you can find me on all of my socials here and if you would like to buy me a coffee and help support my work, you can do so here

Stay safe & I'll see you in the next post (hopefully) 

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