Who was Albert Fish aka 'The Grey Man' and what happened to him?

Who was Albert Fish aka 'The Grey Man' and what happened to him?

SERIAL killer and cannibal Albert Fish was known by many names including the 'Brooklyn Vampire', 'The Moon Maniac', and most famously 'The Grey Man'.

While he once claimed his number of victims was around 100, Albert Fish was only convicted of one murder and executed by electric chair.

Who was Albert Fish aka 'The Grey Man'?

Hamilton Howard 'Albert' Fish was born on May 19, 1870 in Washington D.C, the youngest child of Randall and Ellen Fish.

Randall was 75-years-old at the time Albert was born and 43 years older than his mother, Ellen.

He spent much of his childhood in an orphanage after his father passed away, in which he was abused, until his mother could remove him in 1880.

At the age of 20, Fish was married in a relationship arranged by his mother and had six children.


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Over the next two decades he molested countless children, mostly boys under the age of six, as well as being arrested for grand larceny -for which he was incarcerated in the very prison he would die in.

He became fascinated with sexual mutilation after a lover took him to a waxwork museum, adding to his long list of sexual abnormalities.

His crimes began to escalate when he started a sadomasochistic relationship with a man named Thomas Kedden – Fish ended up cutting half of Kedden's penis off and tying him up for two weeks.

In his confession, Fish explained that he did not kill Kedden for fear of unwanted attention, so he covered the wound with peroxide and a handkerchief and left Kedden $10.

Fish's wife had left him by 1917, his mental wellbeing had deteriorated and he was having auditory hallucinations.

Who was Albert Fish's victim?

Fish began eating raw meat after becoming preoccupied with the thought of cannibalism.

This quickly escalated into abducting and eating children – he claimed to have "had" children in every state in the US.

The monstrous cannibal started abducting children who were homeless or vulnerable, finding them through the job section of the papers.

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His downfall came when he targeted Edward Budd, an 18-year-old he planned to lure with the promise of farm work, but instead spotted Edward's sister Grace, 10.

On May 28, 1928, Grace's poor parents allowed Fish to take her on the pretence he was visiting his niece's party and wondered if she would like to join.

Fish, then 58, took the young girl to his apartment in New York where he tortured, killed and ate her.

The police searched for six years for a lead, even wrongfully arresting another man, before Fish slipped up by sending the family a letter in 1934.

What happened to Albert Fish?

Fish's letter detailed a story of a Capt John Davis, who's identity was never verified, in which he included the precise details around Grace Budd's murder.

Once captured, Fish did not deny the murder and two more crimes were discovered after his arrest, thanks to eye witnesses identifying him.

The cases of Francis McDonnell, 9, and Billy Gaffney, 4, were solved through Fish's confessions after the Grace Budd trial ended.

While the jury did believe that Fish was likely insane due to his extensive list of sexual abnormalities and auditory hallucinations, they found him sane and guilty.

A juror later explained this decision had been made because they believed he should be executed for his crimes.

On January 1936 Albert Fish was executed by electric chair at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York.

His lawyer, James Dempsey, revealed that he was in possession of a final statement consisting of several pages of hand-written notes by Fish.

Dempsey refused to show the contents, and said: "I will never show it to anyone.

"It was the most filthy string of obscenities that I have ever read."

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Grace Budd was the only victim who Albert Fish was convicted of killing but there are at least seven other known or suspected victims.

The true extent of Fish's cannibal crime spree is unknown and covered decades of child abuse and murders.

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