He is deemed by some to be the most evil man that ever lived.
Born Hamilton Frank Fish on May, 19,1870 in Washington D.C. he has been been deemed by some to be the most evil man that ever lived.
He was the oldest child with three siblings named Walter, Annie and Edwin. His father was 75 years old when Hamilton was born and was 43 years older than the mother.
The Fish family had a history of mental illness. His mother had frequent aural and visual hallucinations, one brother was confined to a mental hospital while another one died of hydrocephalus(water on the brain), his sister had an undisclosed mental illness, his uncle had religious mania and three other relatives also had severe mental problems.
His father died of a heart attack at a railroad station in Washington, D.C. in 1875. The young Fish was put in the St. John’s Orphanage by his mother when she had to go to work and could not care for him. He was beaten and whipped by the teachers and over time came to enjoy the physical pain and even got erections which the other kids teased him about. He later said that “that place ruined my mind.”
His mother got a good job in 1880 and was able to take him back. At the age of 12 he met and had a relationship with a telegraph boy who introduced Fish to eating feces and drinking urine. He spent his weekends going to bath houses where he would watch other boys undress. He wrote offensive letters to women whose names he got from matrimonial agencies and classified ads. He wet the bed until he was a teenager.
Fish became a male prostitute in New York City in 1890 and began raping boys about the same time. A marriage was arranged by his mother to a woman nearly ten years his junior in 1898. Out of this marriage they had six children . He worked as a painter and still was molesting boys.
He went to a museum with one of his lovers and was interested in a exhibit of the bisection of a penis. This led him to develop an interest in castration. He went to brothels where he could be beaten and whipped.
In 1903 he was arrested for the first time for embezzlement and was incarcerated in Sing Sing.
A handyman named John Straube stayed with the Fish’s and in January of 1917 his wife ran off with the man Coming home to find his apartment deserted and all the furniture gone Albert was left with the children to manage on his own.
It was around this time that Fish began to hear voices and in one instance he actually wrapped himself up in a carpet saying that John the Apostle had told him to do so. He started to stick needles into his groin and so deeply they were impossible to remove. He also beat himself repeatedly with a nail studded paddle he had made.
It was later documented by x-rays that he had 29 needles embedded in his groin.
Among other things doctors said that Fish suffered from a religious psychosis. When he was 55 years old he began to have hallucinations that God told him to castrate and torture little boys.
It was in the 1920’s that he traveled from state to state doing odd jobs and this is when he started murdering young boys. He was arrested on many occasions for , sending obscene letters, child molestation, and being mentally ill. It was during these times that he would yell out that he was God or that God had told him to kill. He would also have fits of anger. And yet there were no investigations made.
In February 1930 he had a one week marriage to a Estella Wilcox in Waterloo, New York and later in May of that year he was arrested for sending an offensive letter to a woman who had answered a ad for a maid.
He spent about a year in Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital for observation until 1931.
He made the claim that he had a child in every state. Whether cannibalizing or molesting them no one is quite sure. It is said that Albert Fish molested over 400 children while the FBI after doing some research in the 70‘s said it may have been 200 or so. He was known as the Werewolf of Wisteria, the Brooklyn Vampire, the Boogeyman and the Gray Man.
He is known most for the murder of Grace Budd. On May,27, 1928 he answered a want ad that the young Edward Budd had placed for a job with full intent to murder the young boy. He showed up at the Budd residence looking like the average neatly dressed fifty eight year old grandfatherly type using the name Frank Howard and saying that he was a farmer from Farmingdale, New York. But he saw ten year old Grace when he arrived and his plans quickly changed. He asked the Budd’s if he could take Grace to his niece’s birthday party being held nearby promising to send for the boy in a few days. The parents, Delia and Albert let Grace accompany Albert Fish that day. He took her to an abandoned cottage he knew of as Wisteria Cottage 40 High Street, Westchester, New York. The cottage was surrounded on three sides by woods. Fish directed the child to play in the front yard while he went inside to get something. He walked to the back of the house where he disposed of the little girl’s coat and hat under a large rock. He took the bundle and a five gallon pain can and went inside to the second story of the house where he laid out the tools he had brought with him. These consisted of a double-edged knife, a cleaver and a saw. He directed the girl to come in and join him on the second floor. When she saw him she began to cry “I’ll tell my mama!”. Fish wrestled her to the floor, set on her with his full weight and strangled her. Being sure she was dead he held her head over the paint can and using the double edged knife he cut it off. He disposed of her clothes and dumped the blood. He dismembered her body and ate her in a stew he prepared over the next few days.
Detective King of the New York Police Department worked on the case for six years. A 66 year old apartment super indent Charles Edward Pope was even arrested on September, 5, 1930 when his estranged wife accused him of the crime. After 108 days in jail he went to trial and was found not guilty.
In November 1934 Fish decided to write the Budd family and laid out in disgusting detail what he had done to their daughter. Here is a copy of that 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 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 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.
The Budd’s contacted the police and showed them the letter. In tracing the paper the letter was written on they were able to find the rooming house where Fish was staying and on December, 13, 1934 apprehended him.
At the police station Fish told the horrific story. He had purchased a round trip ticket for himself and a one way ticket for Grace to the Worthington Forest area where the Wisteria cottage was located. He grinned as he described the draining and drinking of the young girl’s blood. Buried in pieces beside a stone wall just as he told the detectives they found her remains.
His own son, Albert Fish, Jr. told interviewers later that he had a feeling his father would be arrested for something like this. He had witnessed his father naked and flogging himself in his home. He had kicked him out soon after that. He said he didn’t want anything to do with him.
The trial of Albert Fish lasted ten days. The jury took less than an hour to find their verdict of guilty as charged. On January, 16, 1935 he was executed. The man actually was excited and remarked that this was something he looked forward to. As the legend goes the 3,000 volt did not kill him. It may be the needles that were still embedded in his groin caused a short circuit and blue smoke surrounded the body. Another charge did finally end the life of the oldest executed man at Sing Sing.