Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Albert Fish


Delia & Albert Budd
Delia & Albert Budd

Grace's parents and brother Albert, Jr., testified. Dempsey seemed determined to make the point that both Delia and Albert, Sr., gave their consent to Grace going to a birthday party with Fish. When it came time for Grace's father to testify, he was overcome with emotion and began to weep loudly.

On the third day of the trial, over the strenuous objections of the defense attorney, a box of Grace Budd's remains was brought into the courtroom as evidence, while Det. King recreated from Fish's confession how the girl was killed. Then Gallagher reached into the box and held out the small skull of the dead girl. It was a very dramatic moment. Dempsey sought a mistrial.

Dempsey focused on the cannibalism issue as a central part of the insanity defense. It was clear that he was trying to establish that Fish had eaten parts of the girl's body — something that no sane person would do. But he was unsuccessful in establishing and proving that Fish actually did what he said he did with her body.

Fish appeared to be completely indifferent throughout the trial. Although, at one point, he expressed to his attorney that he had a desire to life because "God still has work for me to do."

Dempsey put several of Fish's children on the stand to testify to his bizarre behavior — self-flagellation and sticking needles in his body, as well as his religious delusions. They also testified that he was a good father who always provided for them and never physically abused them.


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