January 16

This Day in History

Crime

Jan 16, 1936:

The Moon Maniac

Albert Fish is executed at Sing Sing prison in New York. The "Moon Maniac" was one of America's most notorious and disturbed killers. Authorities believe that Fish killed as many as 10 children and then ate their remains. Fish went to the electric chair with great anticipation, telling guards, "It will be the supreme thrill, the only one I haven't tried."

Fish was executed for the murder of 10-year-old Grace Budd. In 1928, at his Wisteria Cottage in Westchester County, New York, Fish strangled the girl and then carved up her body with a saw. Six years later, Fish wrote Budd's mother a letter in which he described in detail killing the girl and then preparing a stew with her flesh that he ate over the next nine days. The letter was traced back to the 66-year-old man.

A psychiatrist who examined Fish stated, "There was no known perversion that he did not practice and practice frequently." Albert Fish was obsessed with sadomasochism. He had his own children hit him with a paint-stirrer and a hairbrush; they also witnessed him hitting himself with a paddle studded with nails. He inserted sewing needles into his body. Nearly 30 needles were found in his groin area after he told a psychiatrist they were there. Fish also ate his own excrement and burned himself with hot irons and pokers.

Most disturbingly, Fish was obsessed with cannibalism. He carried writings about the practice in his pockets. When he was arrested, Fish confessed to the murders of other young children whom he claimed to have eaten. Although nearly everyone agreed that he was insane, including the jury deciding his fate, he was nevertheless sentenced to die. Reportedly, his last statement was a handwritten note filled with filthy obscenities.

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This Week in History, Jan 16 - Jan 22

Jan 16, 1936
The Moon Maniac
Jan 17, 1950
The Great Brinks Robbery
Jan 18, 1990
Barry arrested on drug charges
Jan 19, 1999
Man charged in California cyberstalking case
Jan 20, 1974
Football player-turned-murderer born
Jan 21, 1959
Switzer of Our Gang murdered
Jan 22, 1973
Roe v. Wade

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