In 1928, Fish answered an ad by 18-year-old Edward Budd who was looking for part-time work to help out with the family finances. Albert Fish, who introduced himself as Mr. Frank Howard, met with Edward and his family to discuss Edward’s future position. Fish told the family that he was a Long Island farmer looking to pay a strong young worker $15 a week. The job seemed ideal and the Budd family, excited about Edward’s luck in finding the job, instantly trusted the gentle and polite Mr. Howard.
Fish told the Budd family that he would return the following week to take Edward and a friend of Edward’s out to his farm to begin working. The following week Fish failed to show on the day promised, but did send a telegram apologizing and set a new date to meet with the boys. When Fish arrived on June 4, as promised, he came bearing gifts for all the Budd children and visited with the family over lunch. To the Budd’s, Mr. Howard seemed like a typical loving grandfather.
After lunch, Fish explained to the family that he had to attend a children’s birthday party at his sister’s home and would return later to pick up Eddie and his friend to take to the farm. He then suggested that the Budd’s allow him to bring their oldest daughter, ten-year-old Grace along to the party. The non-suspecting parents agreed and dressed her in her Sunday best, Grace, excited about going to a party, left her house for the very last time. Grace Budd was never seen alive again.
The investigation into the disappearance of Grace Budd went on for six years before detectives received any substantial break in the case. Then on November 11, 1934, Mrs. Budd received an anonymous letter which gave grotesque details of the murder and cannibalism of her precious daughter, Grace.
The writer tortured Mrs. Budd with details about the empty house her daughter was taken to in Worcester, New York. How she was then stripped of her clothing, strangled and cut into pieces and eaten. As if to add some solace to Mrs. Budd, the writer was emphatic about the fact that Grace had not been sexually assaulted at any time.
By tracing the paper the letter to Mrs. Budd was written on, the police were eventually led to a flophouse where Albert Fish was living. Fish was arrested and immediately began confessing to killing Grace Budd and several hundred other children. Fish, smiling as he described the grizzly details of the tortures and murders, appeared to the detectives as the devil himself.
On January 16, 1936, Albert Fish was electrocuted at Sing Sing prison, reportedly a process Fish looked upon as “the ultimate sexual thrill”