5 comments January 16th, 2008 Headsman
On this date in 1936, serial killer Albert Fish was electrocuted in New York’s Sing Sing Prison for a cannibalistic murder.
He was free and clear of the crime until, seven years later, he sent the child’s parents a grotesque taunting letter* that ultimately led police back to its author.
From posting that note to riding the lightning was a bare 14 months, but Fish found time to confess to additional murders (and deny others — the doubtful relationship of any Fish statement to reality makes it difficult to pin down his criminal career exactly).
The newspapers called him “The Werewolf of Wysteria” and “The Brooklyn Vampire”; if as a serial killer he was far from the most prolific, the thoroughgoing strangeness of his mind has made him, at least to some, enduringly fascinating** — as this documentary trailer suggests:
A 2007 feature film, The Grey Man, is also based on Fish’s exploits.
* The mother was illiterate, and her son had to read aloud to her Fish’s descriptions of cannibalism.
On this day..
- 2014: Dennis McGuire, Ohio botch - 2017
- 1630: Christina Plum, at the stake, in Cologne - 2016
- 2013: A day in the death penalty around the world - 2015
- 1942: Senitsa Vershovsky, Mayor of Kremenchuk - 2014
- 1813: 14 Luddites at York - 2013
- 2003: Daniel Juan Revilla - 2012
- 1400: John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon - 2011
- 1682: Alexander Cockburn, hangman, condemned - 2010
- 1980: Four Iraqi Turkmen - 2009