Serial killer Albert Fish has many claims to true crime infamy. He was known by names like the “Brooklyn Vampire” and the “Werewolf of Wysteria” for his crimes of kidnapping, murdering, and eating children. Fish managed to avoid capture for years, until 1934 when he sent a letter to the family of Grace Budd—a 10-year-old girl he had murdered six years earlier. An emblem on the letter’s envelope eventually led the police to Fish and he was finally arrested.
The letter itself—addressed to Grace’s mother—was a deeply disturbing account of how Fish decided to cannibalize Grace. He goes on to describe how he killed, butchered, and ate her. Fish also described another one of his crimes—the killing of four-year-old Billy Gaffney—in a letter to his attorney. These letters were written by a man who clearly felt no remorse for his crimes, so they both contain lines that offer a creepy glimpse into the mind of a serial killer. All that considered, we advise you to proceed with caution here, as these quotes contain content that some may find disturbing.
Related: 19 Creepy Serial Killer Quotes
“He told me so often how good human flesh was I made up my mind to taste it.”
The first part of the Grace Budd letter details how Fish came to be a cannibal. He describes how his friend, Captain John Davis, ended up stranded in China during a famine in 1894. It was apparently so devastating that people started killing children and selling their meat. Fish claimed that John developed a taste for human flesh while in China, and kidnapped, killed, and ate two boys once he returned home to the United States. The whole account reads like a horror story.
Police were skeptical of the story in the letter, especially because there was no famine in China in 1894. So it’s unnervingly possible that Fish just constructed this story to justify his cannibalism.
“On Sunday June the 3 - 1928 I called on you at 406 W 15 St. Brought you pot cheese - strawberries. We had lunch. Grace sat in my lap and kissed me. I made up my mind to eat her.”
Grace Budd's kidnapping is made even more disturbing by the fact that Fish had met her entire family beforehand. He was posing as a man who was thinking of hiring Grace’s older brother Edward. The Budds let Fish into their house and ate with him because they thought they could trust him. And all during what seemed like a pleasant get-together, he was planning to kill their daughter.
“How sweet and tender her little ass was roasted in the oven.”
In the letter, Fish describes how John told him that meat cut from a child’s bottom was the best tasting. After he recounts how he killed Grace Budd, this is how he describes his first meal. When you remember that he wrote this specifically for her mother to read it, it becomes even creepier.
“He was dead then. I stuck the knife in his belly and held my mouth to his body and drank his blood.”
One of Fish’s monikers was the “Brooklyn Vampire”, and this part of his account of the murder of Billy Gaffney makes it clear why. At this point, Fish has already mutilated Billy’s body, but the fact that he drank his blood makes it all the more gruesome.
“I never ate any roast turkey that tasted half as good as his sweet fat little behind did.”
The Billy Gaffney letter describes in detail how Fish prepared the meat he took from the body. He lists the other ingredients he cooked it with, including bacon and onions. It reads like a kind of disturbing recipe. Most chilling of all is this line comparing human meat to turkey.
Featured photo: Murderpedia