TRAIL OF BLOOD: A True Story by Michael Angelella


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A gruesome story like this makes one wonder whether every crime must be chronicled, no matter how hoary or vile. Albert Fish was born in 1870 to a family of lunatics and mental deficients. He spent several years in an orphanage (he loved being whipped), became a religious fanatic and expert on famous crimes, worked in New York as a house painter and male prostitute, had six children by his legal wife, and married several times bigamously. Fish drank human blood, tasted urine and feces, and heard voices -- Christ telling him to torture people. He castrated young boys ""to neutralize the excessive sexual forces within himself,"" according to screenwriter Michael Angelella, and also beat himself with a nail-studded paddle. This story centers on Fish's kidnapping of ten-year-old Grace Budd in 1928, and NYPD Detective Will King's six-year crusade to find her: Fish had beheaded the girl and drunk her blood (he died in Sing Sing's electric chair). As if this weren't enough depravity, Angelella also gives us Fish's letters to prospective sado-masochistic partners. This kind of book titillated Albert Fish, and he was diagnosed as a ""sexual psycopath.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill