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Albert Fish

Trial and Execution

Albert Fish was indicted for 1st degree murder in Westchester County as well as kidnapping in Manhattan before his confession. After his confession, it was clear that the police had a cannibal on their hands.

Fish described in graphic detail his murders of Billy Gaffney, 4, and Grace Budd, 10.

Fish had a criminal record dating back to 1903 when he was jailed for grand larceny. After that, he was arrested six times for sending out obscene letters and for petty theft. He had also been in and out of mental institutions.

Upon seeing Fish's picture in the paper, a man from Staten Island identified Fish as the man who had tried to kidnap his teen-age daughter. The daughter identified Fish in his cell.

Fish was also tied to the murder of Mary O'Conner, a 15-year-old whose body was found behind a house that Fish had been painting.

In the end, it was found that Fish had killed 15 children and mutilated about 100 others. Although numerous doctors had found Fish to be insane, those called by the prosecution declared him sane.

On Monday, March 11, 1935, Fish stood trial for the murder of Grace Budd.

The defense pointed to his strange life and his masochistic habits to try to convince the jury the Fish was insane. They challenged the prosecution to prove that a man who killed and ate children was sane.

The trial lasted for 10 days, but the jury only took one hour to find Fish guilty. Fish thanked the judge for his sentence of death by electrocution.

On Jan. 16, 1936, Albert Fish was electrocuted.


Source: Court TV's Crime Library


Albert Fish:
History | Victims | Confession | Trial and Execution

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  • Fish indicted for first degree murder and kidnapping before confession
  • Fish described murders of Billy Gaffney and Grace Budd
  • Had criminal record dating back to 1903
  • Staten Island teen identifies Fish as man who tried to kidnap her
  • Fish tied to murder of Mary O'Conner, 15
  • Fish had killed 15 children, mutilated about 100 others
  • Prosecution declared Fish sane
  • March 11, 1935- Fish stood trial for murder of Grace Budd
  • Trial lasted 10 days, jury found him guilty in one hour
  • Jan. 16, 1936- Fish was electrocuted
Copyright © 2003 Heather Rawlins