Albert Fish: also known as; Hamilton Fish, Hannibal Lector, Grace Budd, Albert Fish and more
Serial murder is defined by the National Institute of Justice as a "series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually but not always, by one offender acting alone. The crimes may occur over a period of time ranging from hours to years. Quite often the motive is psychological, and the offender's behavior and the physical evidence observed at the crime scenes will reflect sadistic, sexual overtones." This definition perfectly describes serial killer Albert Fish. Albert Fish is the man who some believe to be the "most deranged killer in American history" (Rampo Catskill Library system, Biography resource center, Albert Fish ). So much so, that the character, Hannibal Lector in the movie Silence of the Lambs is partially based on him. Murder was not the only thing that Albert Fish indulged in. He also dabbed in cannibalism, fetishism, pedophilia, voyeurism, exhibitionism, and masochism. During his reign of terror, Fish was arrested and detained by police on several different occasions. He was charged with everything from sending obscene mail to being mentally ill. During fits of rage he would stand around screaming at the sky yelling that he was Christ. He even told anyone that would listen that GOD told him to kill. Albert has several stays in mental hospitals but was released because they determined that although he was a little weird, he was sane. In 1928, Fish went to the Budd family house under the alias, Frank Howard, offering the younger boys of the family jobs. His real reason for going to the Budd family house was to get to their daughter, Grace. After spending some time with the family and gaining their trust, he asked if he could take Grace to his niece's birthday party, which they allowed. Grace never made it to the party, as it was a lie to get Grace alone. The Budd family never saw Grace again. Fish took Grace to an abandoned cottage where he strangled and ate her. Six years later, Albert mailed a letter to the Budd family describing in lurid detail what came of their daughter. The authorities were able to track him down by the postmark and he was arrested, tried and convicted. During the trial, Albert Fish pleads insanity but the jury did not believe him and sentenced him to death. On January 16, 1936, he was electrocuted at the Sing Sing Prison. It took two full electrical charges to finally kill Fish. The second charge actually shorted out the electric chair. After his execution, a prison x-ray revealed 29 different needles in his groin, some eroded from time. It was said that after his wife left him, he would stick these needles in his groin as well as taking an alcohol soaked cotton ball, placing it in his anus and lighting it with a match for sexual pleasure.
Albert Fish Biography
Fish was born on May 19,1870 in Washington, D.C. and was placed in an orphanage at age five after his father passed away. During his stay at the orphanage, Fish observed and experienced numerous acts of perversions including forced masturbation in front of other children and brutal beatings. Albert would become sexually aroused by these acts, which helped to further his obsession with sado-masochism. Fish would later say, "That place ruined my mind." Finally, at age 7, Fish was reunited with his mother. Shortly thereafter, he fell from a cherry tree causing severe head trauma causing him dizzy spells and severe headaches. After graduating from high school, Fish started working odd jobs and traveling around the country. This gave him perfect opportunity to commit crimes. In 1910, Fish committed his first murder in which he mutilated and tortured his victim. From that point on, he set his sights on children as he saw them as easy targets. Fish traveled from state to state in the 1920's leaving a trail of victims from molestation to cases of children disappearing. Fish would torture, mutilate and eventually murder his victims using what he called his "Implements of Hell" which consisted of a meat cleaver, a butcher knife, and a saw. Fish also like to inflict pain on himself; he would insert needles far into his body to where they would get stuck. He also liked to have people paddle him with a paddle that had nail sticking out of the end so that it would make him bleed. Albert Fish was labeled a "masochist, a child molester, and a cannibal" with his primary victims being children, namely young boys. In 1910, Fish started his torturous, mutilating murder spree, which continued until he was caught on December 13, 1934. Fish earned himself the nickname, `Brooklyn Vampire' by murdering four children from 1932-1934. There are conflicting resources over the actual number of murders and molestations Fish committed but he was suspected of at least fifteen murders and molested between one hundred to three hundred children. Who or what is to blame for Albert Fish's psychopathic behavior? Some say that it is genetics. But can someone be born with the "kill gene"? Actually, there's no such gene. If there were, we would have whole families of serial killers. One killer, by the name of Richard Speck used the, "I have an extra chromosome" defense. This was not proven. There's not much evidence that links the X or Y chromosome to serial killers. High testosterone by itself is not dangerous, but when combined with low levels of serotonin, (the chemical that mellows you), you may have a serial killer in the making. We all know that testosterone is associated with the need for control/dominance so when that is high and your serotonin level is low; you have a frustrated, aggressive person that uses violence as an outlet. There have also been studies to show that high levels of metal toxins such as manganese, lead, cadmium and copper can lead to aggressive behavior and the use of alcohol increases this behavior. There have been a few serial killers that are known to have had some sort of head trauma. Albert Fish, Leonard Lake, David Berkowitz, Kenneth Bianchi, John Wayne Gacy, and Carl Panzram all had head injuries. Different injuries and diseases to the brain can cause someone to have a lack of emotion, aggressiveness, violent tendencies, and sexual perversions. Most people don't even realize they have a problem with the brain that medication can fix. Last is Sensory deprivation. It is said that the lack of physical touch can be harmful to the child's development. Some serial killers had been separated from their parents at an early age or were denied their mother's love and physical touch. Looking at Albert Fish's life, we can say that he was destined to become a serial murderer. What we know to be true is that he fell out of tree resulting in a head injury and that he was separated from his mother at an early age. I don't believe that either of these two things alone caused him to become who he was but the consequences of both together makes for a picture perfect serial murderer.
Movies inspired by The Story Of Albert Fish
Home Aileen Wuornos Albert Fish Boston Strangler BTK Killer Charles Manson Clifford Olson Charles Ng Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate Cary Stayner David Berkowitz Ed Gein Fred West and Rose West Green River Killer Henry Lee Lucas Hillside Stranglers Jack The Ripper Jeff Dahmer John Wayne Gacey Karla Homolka Paul Bernardo Mass Murderers Richard Ramirez Ted Bundy The Unabomber Tommy Lynn Sells Zodiac Killer Serial Killer Movies