Born as Hamilton Howard “Albert” Fish on May 19, 1870.
His family had a history of mental illnesses. His uncle suffered
from religious mania. A brother was confined in a state mental
hospital. His sister was diagnosed with a “mental affliction.”
Three other relatives were diagnosed with mental illnesses and
his mother had “aural and/or visual hallucinations.”
Fish’s mother put him in an orphanage where he was treated
sadistically and Fish remarked, “I was there till I was 9, and that’s
where I got started wrong. We were unmercifully whipped. I saw
boys doing many things they should not have done.”
At the age of 12 he was removed from the orphanage and began a
relationship with a young telegraph boy who introduced him to
urolagnia and coprophagia (Drinking urine and eating feces).
Throughout his life he became known as the Gray
Man, the Werewolf of Wysteria, the Brooklyn
Vampire, the Moon Maniac, and the Boogey Man.
By 1890, Fish arrived in New York City where he
became a prostitute and he also began raping young
In 1898, his mother arranged a marriage for him with a
woman nine year younger than himself. They had six
children: Albert, Anna, Gertrude, Eugene, John, and
From his experience in the orphanage he grew to love
pain, having began to indulge in self-harm.
He would embed needles into his groin and abdomen; XRays later revealed at least 29 needles in his pelvic region.
He repeatedly hit himself with a nail-studded paddle and
inserted wool doused with lighter fluid into his anus and
set it alight.
He developed a growing obsession with cannibalism, often
preparing himself a dinner consisting solely of raw meat.
After visiting a wax museum, he grew to have interest in
He suffered from religious psychosis, believing that
God was commanding him to torture and sexually
He later quoted saying that he liked children because
they were tasty, hence why all of his victims were
He would strangle his victims to death and then
proceed to decapitate them.
He would then cut off each limb and cut them up into
With most of his victims, he would slice across their
abdomen and proceed to drink their blood.
He’d chop up the rest of their body and cook them up
over a fire, making a stew out of the meat.
Lastly he would eat the now cooked meat of his
His first victims consisted of mentally handicapped
and African-Americans, believing that no one would
notice their absence or miss them.
Even after he took up a career in painting, he
continued to molest young boys younger than the age
Fish had gone to Budd’s family
wanting a job, his intention to kill
Grace’s father. But when he set his
eyes on 10 year old Grace his motive
changed completely. He wanted to kill
her. By this time he only killed his
victims so he could eat them. One day
he told the Budd family he had to
leave early to go to his niece’s birthday
party. He asked them if Grace could
come and they said yes. He took her
on a train to Westchester where he
strangled her to death and then ate
her. He then sent a letter to her
family, describing how he killed her.
The letter he had sent to the Budd’s had an emblem on
the envelope with the letters “N.Y.P.C.B.A.”
representing “New York Private Chauffeur’s
Benevolent Association.” The investigators went to the
address and waiting outside the room where the
landlady said Fish was staying. They burst in the room
and convinced Fish to come in for questioning only for
him to pull out a razor blade. They disarmed him and
took him in where he confessed to killing Grace Budd.
He was charged with murder and was sentenced to
He died January 16, 1936 from electrocution by electric
X-Ray of the needles
lodged in Albert’s
Albert in court
One of Albert’s murder
Why are serial killers so difficult to spot/find?
They look like everyday people
They are masters at manipulation
Explain four childhood events that seem to contribute
to the development of a serial killer.
Mental illness history
He married to women 3 times but was attracted to
He actually hit his dead victims to make their meat
He chopped up his victims and made them into a stew.