1870 - 1936
"I have no particular desire to live. I have no particular desire to be killed. It is a matter of indifference to me. I do not think I am altogether right."
"I always had a desire to inflict pain on others and to have others inflict pain on me. I always seemed to enjoy everything that hurt."
My personal favourite among serial killers. If you're going to murder people, you may as well look like a harmless old man, be a masochist, eat the flesh of a hundred murdered children, and have doctors rule you legally sane. Oh, yeah, and.. when they try to electrocute you, short out the electric chair due to all the needles you've stuck in your groin over the years.
He was a stooped, frail-looking old man about 130 pounds and 5 feet 5 inches tall.
For a guy that Hannibal Lecter was modeled after, he doesn't get much attention.
"In spite of all these brutal, criminal and vicious proclivities, there is another side to this defendant. He has been a very fine father. He never once in his life laid a hand on one of his children. He says grace at every meal in his house."
"Fish had been detailed for observation a couple of years after the Budd and other murders and where he had been judged "both harmless and sane."
About the age of fifty-five, Fish started to experience hallucinations
and delusions. "He had visions of Christ and His angels....he began
to be engrossed in religious speculations about purging himself of
iniquities and sins, atonement by physical suffering and self-torture,
human sacrifices....He would go on endlessly with quotations from
the Bible all mixed up with his own sentences, such as ' Happy is he
that taketh Thy little ones and dasheth their heads against the stones."
Fish believed that God had ordered him to torment and castrate little
boys. He had actually done so a number of times.
He killed Grace Budd, and sent the following letter to her mother:
"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 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 to 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 girls 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 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
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 though I could have had I wished. She died a
Fish describing his background:
"I was born May 19,
1870, in Washington, D.C. We lived on B Street, N.E., between
Second and Third. My father was Captain Randall Fish,
32nd-degree Mason, and he is buried in the Grand Lodge grounds
of the Congressional cemetery. He was a Potomac River boat
captain, running from D.C. to Marshall Hall, Virginia.
"My father dropped dead October 15, 1875, in the old Pennsylvania
Station where President Garfield was shot, and I was placed in St.
John's Orphanage in Washington. I was there till I was nearly nine,
and that's where I got started wrong. We were unmercifully
whipped. I saw boys doing many things they should not have done.
I sang in the choir from 1880 to 1884 -- soprano, at St. John's. I
came to New York. I was a good painter -- interiors or anything.
"I got an apartment and brought my mother up from Washington.
We lived at 76 West 101st Street, and that's where I met my wife.
After our six children were born, she left me. She took all the
furniture and didn't even leave a mattress for the children to sleep on.
"I'm still worried about my children," he sniffled. His six children
ranged from age 21 to 35. "You'd think they'd come to visit their old
dad in jail, but they haven't."
Fish did confess the unspeakable things he did to Billy Gaffney:
"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
"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 a sweet as a nut, but his pee-wees I could not chew.
Threw them in the toilet."
Wertham was amazed as Fish described the horrible cannibalism of
Billy Gaffney's body. "His state of mind while he described these
things in minute detail was a peculiar mixture. He spoke in a
matter-of-fact way, like a housewife describing her favorite methods
of cooking....But at times his voice and facial expression indicated a
kind of satisfaction and ecstatic thrill. I said to myself: However
you define the medical and legal borders of sanity, this certainly is
beyond that border."
his first meeting with Albert Fish in his jail cell. He was shocked at
how "meek, gentle, benevolent and polite" Fish was. "If you wanted
someone to entrust your children to, he would be the one you would
Fish thanked the judge for his sentence of death by electrocution.
On January 16, 1936, Albert Fish was executed at Sing Sing prison. It took two jolts to
kill him because the 29 needles he had left in his body over the years short circuited the chair.