Albert Fish: Serial Killer Cannibal Who Ate Kids And Wrote To Their Parents About It (The Brooklyn Vampire)

By | November 26, 2020

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(Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons)

Albert Fish was a gray man living in a gray world. Known as the Brooklyn Vampire, he was a cannibal, real-life Bluebeard, and child predator who created the template for the boogeyman. Not satiated by infanticide, Fish found a sick pleasure in telling the parents of his victims exactly how their children died. The life and crimes of Albert Fish are full of unadulterated depravity, and once you've spent time with this real-life monster, you'll never be the same.

A Monster Is Born

On May 19, 1870, Albert Fish was born in Washington, D.C. into less-than-ideal circumstances. Many members of Fish's family suffered from mental illness, including an uncle who was diagnosed with mania and a mother who regularly dealt with visual hallucinations. When Fish was five years old, his elderly father passed away, leaving Fish and his three siblings with no one but their troubled mother to care for them.

Consequently, she left them to the state, and during his time at various New York City orphanages, Fish was routinely beaten by his caretakers. When they tired of assaulting the children, they turned them against each other. Fish credited these experiences with warping his senses of pain and pleasure. In 1880, when Fish was 10 years old, his mother removed him from the orphanage and brought him home, but he was already too far gone. 

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(Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons)

Masochism And Marriage

Normalcy escaped Fish after his time in the orphanage. At the age of 12, he began a strange sexual relationship with a telegraph boy who introduced the young Albert to the concept of urine and feces play. As much as Fish delighted in these pursuits, he preferred self-mutilation above anything. In his teenage years, he spent his free time spanking himself with a nail-studded paddle and jamming needles into his genitals and abdomen. When Fish moved back to New York City after his 20th birthday, his sadistic lust grew out of control. He spent a brief period of time as a sex worker, but only to meet other young men to torture in his home with his nail-studded paddle.

At the age of 28, something remarkable happened: Albert Fish got married. After his mother introduced him to Anna Mary Hoffman, a woman nine years his junior, the two fell in something like love and Fish fathered six children: Albert, Anna, Gertrude, Eugene, John, and Henry Fish. Throughout their lives, Fish's children were steadfast that their father never harmed them, but he did continue to assault and molest children while playing the part of the family man.

After about seven years of marriage, Fish's visual and auditory hallucinations as well as his growing penchant for sadomasochism proved too much for Hoffman, who left Fish for another man. It appears that his marriage was Fish's last tether to the real world. Shortly after Hoffman left, Fish began eating raw meat and inviting his children to take part in his feasts, particularly when the Moon was full.