Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Albert Fish


Fish with Atty. James Dempsey
Fish with Atty. James Dempsey

The confession of Albert Fish would be heard by many law enforcement officials and psychiatrists. A severely edited version of it would appear in the newspapers. It was an odyssey of perversion and unspeakable depravity which seemed unbelievable until detail after detail was corroborated. It was all the more amazing considering how decrepit and harmless Fish appeared. He was a stooped, frail-looking old man about 130 pounds and five-feet, five-inches tall.

Detective King took the initial confession. Fish told him that in the summer of 1928 he had been overcome by what he called his "blood thirst"his need to kill. When he answered Edward Budd's ad for employment, it was the young man, not his sister Gracie, that he intended to lure to a remote location, restrain him and cut off his penis, leaving him to bleed to death.

After he left the Budd house the first time, Fish had purchased the tools he would need to murder and mutilate the boys: a cleaver, saw and butcher knife. He wrapped up these implements of destruction into a bundle which he left at a newsstand before he went to the the Budd home for the second and last time.

When Fish saw the strapping young Edward, the size of a full-grown man, and his friend Willie, he convinced himself he could overpower the two of them. But then Fish had a lot of experience in that regard.

It was only after seeing Gracie that he changed his mind and his plans. It was she he desperately wanted to kill.


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