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Hannibal Lecter and Albert Fish - WHO WAS ALBERT FISH?

For some time the old man had harmed himself. A painter by trade, living in Manhattan, Albert Fish and his first wife Anna had six children. By all accounts he was a good dad, although his children knew he had strange habits. Those habits got especially weird after Anna Fish left her family for another man.

A paddle, hidden in the kitchen cupboard, wasn’t used to discipline misbehaving children in the Fish household. It was kept by the father to discipline himself. The nails embedded in the paddle must have caused excruciating pain whenever Fish struck himself with it.

But it was the needles that really defy belief. Later, after Fish was arrested for his unspeakable crimes, even the detectives and psychiatrists disbelieved his story. Who would actually stick needles so far into his body that he couldn’t get them out? Even an insane person wouldn’t do such a thing. Yes, Fish walked with a strange gait. Yes, when he sat down he sometimes seemed to wince in pain. But self-inflicted needles shoved into his peritoneum? No way!

Turns out an x-ray verified the old man’s story. The radiologist had never seen anything like it. Twenty-nine needles were permanent fixtures inside the body of Albert Fish. It was something he did to atone for his sins. And, as he later told Dr. Wertham:

I always seemed to enjoy everything that hurt.

How did this man who looked like a grandfather end up hurting others more than he hurt himself? The doctors could not be sure, but they had a few clues from Fish’s twisted, early childhood.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 1999

Updated Last Revision: May 21, 2015


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"WHO WAS ALBERT FISH?" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 1999. Oct 19, 2017.
       <https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/WHO-WAS-ALBERT-FISH-Hannibal-Lecter-and-Albert-Fish/1>.
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