1870’s BoogeyMan   

Albert Fish did indeed have a rough upbringing. There were several causes that shaped him into the horrific, insane, cold hearted monster he became. Being abandoned by his mother and placed in an orphanage where he was abused physically, mentally and emotionally played a huge factor in how he began enjoying receiving and giving pain to others. He also had a long family history of mental illness which is hereditary. Through his lifetime he caused a lot of pain to many, many, many individuals and families. Those individuals and families probably never had closure with their loved one and might not have known what truly happened to them. Maybe it was better for all those who were affected by him not to know how their loved ones ended their life.

Hamilton Howard, “Albert Fish” was born on May 19, 1870. According to Pneumococcal Bacteremia, Albert Fish was also known as The Grey Man, Werewolf of Wysteria, the Brooklyn Vampire, the Boogey Man and the Moon Manic. There were several factors that lead him to commit all the vicious heartless acts of killing children and eating them through the states  (Blair, J., Mitchell, D., & Blair, K. (2005). Albert Fish also engaged in promiscuous and bizarre behavior throughout his lifetime. He has been one of the oldest man electrocuted in the electric chair. This essay is going to be about the causes that led up to the american serial killer Albert Fish and what his passed made him do the things he did.  


One of the factors that contributed to his monstrous behavior was being put in an  orphanage at an early age. When Fish was five years old his father died of a heart attack. Then, his mother placed him in an orphanage because she couldn’t care for him, where he suffered from physical, mental and emotional abuse. While at the orphanage he was brutally beaten. He was also ridicule and was called names. They would call him “Ham & Eggs” which caused him to change his name to his deceased brother’s name, Albert Fish. He would also observe other boys get beaten and whipped without mercy. He was also sexually abused and was forced to witness sexual abuse on others. After getting beaten for quite sometime he started enjoying the physical pain. He saw and experienced sadism. At the age of 12 another youth introduced him to drinking his urine and eating his feces. Shortly, after that he became a prostitute and began raping young boys.

Another major cause that lead to Albert Fish’s bizarre, horrific, heartless and insane behavior was due to suffering from chronic mental illness. This falls under the causal relationship that I learned in class, the cause that led to him killing children is under contributing factors that brings about the effect that mental illness was a major cause of his killings.(Professor Ramos, 2018). He had a long family history of mental illness. His brother was confined in a psychiatric mental hospital. His sister suffered from mental health problems. His uncle suffered from mania and had several relatives including his mother who suffered from auditory and visual hallucinations. Fish suffered from psychosis and antisocial personality. He was examined by several psychiatrists throughout his lifetime and was also admitted to a psychiatric hospital for observation. Fish disclosed that God was talking to him and commanding him to sexually mutilated and tortured children. He once wrapped himself in a carpet and stated that he was following the instructions of John the Apostle (Blair, J., Mitchell, D., & Blair, K. (2005). His antisocial personality caused him to have no remorse for his malicious, vicious, cold hearted acts. Per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5), “The essential feature of antisocial personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)”. Fish admitted to molesting over 400 children and engaged in cannibalism throughout his lifetime. His children disclosed after his arrest that he would eat and feed them raw meat. Fish also confessed how he conducted the horrific acts of killing, butchering and eating his victims. He showed no signs of remorse, on the contrary he greatly enjoyed all of his insane acts.


Albert would calculate all his moves. This is an example of remote cause, because from one act he was pretending to hire someone for a job but the other act he was planning to kill a young boy. It all tied together because he ended up getting a victim in the end. It started out with, posting ads on the newspaper and those who responded became his victims; However, Albert was found and arrested because of the letter he sent out to the family of Grace Budd, a 12 year old girl he killed. He described in that letter how he ate little Grace Budd. Albert had intentions of trying to find someone to “work on his farm” but in reality he was just trying to get someone to go to his farm. When he finally got a response from a young boy named Edward Budd, he went to meet with the Edwards family. Once he left from the families house he had a plan to come back to Manhattan a few days after to pick them up. Fish already had a plan to tie Edward up, mutilate him, and leave him to bleed to death. Fish was 58 years old at the time, when he meet again with the family he was introduced to Grace Budd. When meeting with the little girl his whole plan changed. After winning the trust of her parents he asked the parents if it was okay to take her to his nieces birthday party, and they said yes. After that they never saw or heard of her again. In the letter he sent out to Grace’s parents, he explains how he murdered her. He started off telling a story where his friend went to China and how they would sale children that were about 12-14 years of age that were in the streets to a butcher to keep others from starving. He goes on to say that John his friend with would eat body parts and would keep telling him how sweat children ass tasted. When convincing the family to let her daughter go to the party he took her to a house he already had planned out, he went upstairs took off his close and called her up to the room he was in. When Grace got there she saw him naked and tried running down stairs calling out for her mama. He did not rape her. When catching up to her she put up a fight until he choked her to death. He ended up eating her entire body in nine days.

Referring back to the monster theory thesis IV it has so much similarity to the concept im talking about because it explains how Albert Fish would be aroused by the pain that was cause to him and or in front of him, “ The monster awakens one to the pleasures of the body, to the simple and fleeting joys of being frightened, or frightening —to experience of mortality and corporality. Once he separated from his arranged marriage he carried out this pleaser. He would make his own children and the kids in the neighborhood to hit his buttocks with a paddle that had inch-in-a-half-nails. He would also insert a large number of needles into his body, mostly in the genital region, and burned himself constantly with hot irons and pokers. He greatly enjoyed causing and having pain.The picture below shows an X-ray of all the needles he would insert into his body. images-1

He was sentenced to the death penalty in a electric chair, but article say that he was looking forward to that day for a while (Wikipedia, Dec 2018). In 2007 a movie/documentary came out named after him. He created  the Grey Man, Werewolf of Wysteria, the Brooklyn Vampire, the Boogey Man and the Moon Manic. A myth that everyone refers to. His life is a contributing factor that adds a cause to bring about the effect.


Work cited   

Source #1 Blair, J., Mitchell, D., & Blair, K. (2005). The psychopath: Emotion and the brain. Malden, : Blackwell Publishing.

-This article I used was able to give me a view of what the emotion of the brain is and how psycho you have to be to kill someone.

Source #2 Sacchetti, A. D. “Pneumococcal Bacteremia: Were We Just Working Up the Boogeyman?” Academic Emergency Medicine, vol. 9, no. 5, Jan. 2002, pp. 526–526., doi:10.1197/aemj.9.5.526.

-This source im using is good to refer back to because it gives more information about Albert fish and the outrages things he did to himself to cause pain.

Source #3 Sacchetti, A. D. “Pneumococcal Bacteremia: Were We Just Working Up the Boogeyman?” Academic Emergency Medicine, vol. 9, no. 5, Jan. 2002, pp. 526–526., doi:10.1197/aemj.9.5.526.

Source #4

Source #5 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013.

-This book is meant for people that have mental disorders i felt like it was a good source because i got a deeper understanding of what mental illnesses there is and what kind of mental disorder Albert Fish has. I got an overview of what kinds of issues one could have and the percentage a women has to have enough to get it passed down to their children.