When researching serial killers for my first book, A Thin line, Albert Fish stood out to me from the beginning. His life story was filled with darkness and evil, starting with his birth and continuing through the day he was executed.
Physical, sexual and emotional abuse along with torture, prostitution, mutilation and cannibalism, were all part of his daily life, the abuse coming to him as a child and the rest being acted out by him as an adult. Pedophilia is evil and creepy enough, but when you add in cannibalism of the children he sexually molested, it becomes something from our worst nightmares.
In my novel, A Thin Line, the character Javier Mendez was created in my mind from the mold of Albert Fish. Of all the evil personas that haunted the book, he is the one that readers have told me they were repulsed by and fear the most.
A.K.A.: "The Gray Man" - "The Werewolf of Wysteria"
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Sex pervert, including cannibalism, coprophilia, urophilia, pedophilia and masochism
Number of victims: 3 - 10 +
Date of murders: 1924 - 1934
Date of arrest: December 13, 1934
Date of birth: May 19, 1870
Victims profile: Francis X. McDonnell, 8 / Billy Gaffney, 8 / Grace Budd, 10
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife - Strangulation
Location: New York, USA
Status: Executed by electrocution at Sing Sing Prison in New York on January 16, 1936
The Hidden Monster
- He was a small, gentle looking man, he appeared kind and trusting, but once alone with his victims his true monster self was released.
- His crimes were so perverse and cruel they seemed almost unbelievable.
- Eventually he was executed and rumors say that he turned his execution into a fantasy of pleasure.
Twisted Letter From The Infamous Cannibal To The Mother Of His Victim
On May 25, 1928, Albert Fish read an ad in the paper that was posted by a young man named Edward Budd...and then he decided that he would murder Budd. Fish, by then an accomplished rapist and murderer, visited Budd's family under the pretense of offering the man a job. But when he met his 10-year-old sister, Grace, Fish decided to change his intended victim.
The following is the letter that Fish sent anonymously to Grace Budd's mother after killing and eating the little girl. This is the document that eventually led to the murderer's arrest.
"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 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 1-3 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 girl's behind, which is the sweetest part of the body and is sold as veal cutlets, brings 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. He took them to his home, stripped them naked, and tied them up in a closet, and 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, and he went the same way. At that time, I was living at 409 E. 100 St. He told me so often how good human flesh was, and I made up my mind to taste it.
On June 3, 1928, I called on you at 406 W. 15 St. and brought you pot cheese and strawberries. We had lunch. Grace sat on 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 the 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 the 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 if I wished. She died a virgin."
Grace Budd (1918-1928)