Join 3,551 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Albert Fish: The Real "Hannibal Lecter"
March 16, 2007 10:22 PM   Subscribe

Albert Fish is one of the most brutal, yet least known serial killers in American history. A true cannibal, Fish may have provided some inspiration for the character Hannibal Lecter. Fish claimed more victims than the Zodiac killer and has inspired a movie or two of his own.
posted by grapefruitmoon (36 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Reading about Albert Fish as a little girl was quite terrifying (I liked reading encyclopedias). He did look like a gentle old man.

The Fish case also served as an inspiration for Stephen King and Peter Straub's novel Black House.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:27 PM on March 16, 2007


Jesus.

Well, I'm a little sick of serial killers, but that first article was amazing, if only for the description of the utterly implacable detective...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:42 PM on March 16, 2007


That's a movie or one... ?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:45 PM on March 16, 2007


also: great name for a cat or greatest name for a cat?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:46 PM on March 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Death Metal outfit Macabre has an album entitled Sinister Slaughter -- 20 songs about serial killers.

From Track 20: "Albert was worse than any fish in the sea"

Fish seemed like a nice old man and people believed his lies
But Albert was a child eating shark in disguise

CHORUS
Albert was worse than any Fish in the sea
He killed and ate young children and enjoyed it immensely
Albert a child eating Fish was he
Who devoured the flesh of kids because he thought it was tasty

The land was Albert's ocean; Fish consumed his helpless prey
He would have ate more kids but they cuaght him and made Fish fille

REPEAT CHORUS

posted by papakwanz at 10:47 PM on March 16, 2007


He was always such a nice, quiet man......
posted by fenriq at 10:48 PM on March 16, 2007


Haven't read the links yet but will tomorrow. However, Zodiac only killed 5 or 6 people so I think many serial killers killed more. Zodiac was just ahead of his time marketing-wise.
posted by dobbs at 10:49 PM on March 16, 2007


"Albert Fish loved children. He loved them boiled with carrots and onions, but he loved them just the same. He also loved eating shit, ramming flaming alcohol-soaked cotton swabs up his ass, and permanently embedding needles in his scrotum. You might say that he loved life." - Jim Goad
posted by jonmc at 10:52 PM on March 16, 2007


dobbs: Yeah, I was just trying to tie this in to the Zodiac movie, since they made a movie about that dude, and he wasn't all that weird by serial killer standards. And yet, the movies being made about Albert Fish are all low-budget and not starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Just doesn't seem fair.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:00 PM on March 16, 2007


How interesting that the lead psychiatrist in the Fish case was the infamous Fredric Wertham, bane of comic book fans everywhere.
posted by papakwanz at 11:05 PM on March 16, 2007


Here's another Albert Fish movie.
posted by papakwanz at 11:09 PM on March 16, 2007


I like this Fish so much more
posted by growabrain at 11:31 PM on March 16, 2007


First a thread on blowjobs, now one on cannibals. Is Metafilter trying to tell me something?

And growabrain, I prefer this Fish.
posted by davy at 11:41 PM on March 16, 2007


Any relation to Stanley Fish?
posted by phaedon at 11:44 PM on March 16, 2007


Death Metal outfit Macabre has an album entitled Sinister Slaughter -- 20 songs about serial killers.

From Track 20: "Albert was worse than any fish in the sea"

Fish seemed like a nice old man and people believed his lies
But Albert was a child eating shark in disguise

CHORUS
Albert was worse than any Fish in the sea
He killed and ate young children and enjoyed it immensely
Albert a child eating Fish was he
Who devoured the flesh of kids because he thought it was tasty

The land was Albert's ocean; Fish consumed his helpless prey
He would have ate more kids but they cuaght him and made Fish fille

REPEAT CHORUS




Wow those lyrics sniff pelican taint.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:56 PM on March 16, 2007


Reminds me of Fritz Haarmann
posted by Smedleyman at 12:15 AM on March 17, 2007


The apostrophe misuse in that first link cannot stand. It is simply unacceptable. Unacceptable.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:39 AM on March 17, 2007


Fish's anonymous letter, which I won't copy/paste here, has haunted me for years:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Fish
posted by rmmcclay at 1:05 AM on March 17, 2007


I've got an Albert Fish in my pants.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:41 AM on March 17, 2007


Harold Schechter writes books about serial killers. Deranged is about Albert Fish.
posted by parudox at 2:47 AM on March 17, 2007


I liked this Fish so much more.

Very interesting articles btw. (Am I the only person to find the first link really poorly written, though?)
posted by miss lynnster at 3:03 AM on March 17, 2007


Oh damn, Davy beat me to it. Doh!
posted by miss lynnster at 3:04 AM on March 17, 2007


Ah yes, Albert Fish - one of the few serial killers who was, to my understanding, actually truly insane. Nice. I'd recommend Deranged too, if you like reading about this sort of thing.

And I've gotta say, crimelibrary.com - while full of interesting information - has a page layout from Hell.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:36 AM on March 17, 2007


Thanks for the link to Fritz Haarmann, smedley. I wonder wether he was the inspiration for Musils Moosbrugger...?
posted by jouke at 7:32 AM on March 17, 2007


...least known serial killers in American history... He also loved eating shit...

About time we gave this man his do.
posted by hal9k at 8:02 AM on March 17, 2007


why do the call abe vigoda 'fish"?
posted by growabrain at 8:22 AM on March 17, 2007


He was sipping at a cup of team. Perv.
posted by econous at 8:34 AM on March 17, 2007


What was really horrific is that he would travel to the Washington, D.C. low income area and hunt black kids.
He said because the cops never followed up on black kids,
so there's no telling how many more he killed.
posted by doctorschlock at 8:59 AM on March 17, 2007


You know the end part of the Proclaimers song "5000 Miles," where they sing something unintelligible? Anybody else think it sounds like they're singing "Hannibal Lecter?"

"Hannibal Lecter! Hannibal Lecter!
Hannibal Lecter! Hannibal Lecter!
ba da da ba da dum dum da ba da dum dum da!
Hannibal Lecter! Hannibal Lecter!
Hannibal Lecter! Hannibal Lecter!
ba da da ba da dum dum da ba da dum dum da!"

ok, maybe it's just me.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:13 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


He also seems to have been the inspiration for the killer (or at least some of the killer's actions) in "The Alienist"
posted by rmd1023 at 9:19 AM on March 17, 2007


why do the call abe vigoda 'fish"?

Go Fish.
posted by hangashore at 9:35 AM on March 17, 2007


He may have eaten children, but did he ever sent them erotic literature for editorial purposes??
posted by fire&wings at 9:45 AM on March 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Fish was definitely a monster of the highest order. It is poetically just that his one of his worst offenses; that of sending a letter to the mother which described the details of how he murdered and ate her daughter, is the very thing that led to his capture.

The really impressive part of the story is that of William King. I love the idea of a detective that is so tenacious that he would postpone his own retirement just to keep working at a cold case.
posted by quin at 11:31 AM on March 17, 2007


A child is a (hot)dog to a Fish.

I forgot about the Wertham connection; small nutty world, ain't it?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:52 PM on March 17, 2007


That letter is grotesque to an incredible degree, the more so for me because I read his intent in part as an attempt to reassure her family that she was not raped or tortured before he killed her, and to claim a kind of virtue, therefore.
posted by jamjam at 4:14 PM on March 17, 2007


may have provided some inspiration for the character Hannibal Lecter.

I heard that Ed Gain and The Monster of Florence inspired the Hannibal story.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 6:50 PM on March 18, 2007


« Older Thomas Paine is sometimes forgotten, but dealt wit...  |  Legend of Ruby Ridge... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments