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Lured From The Safety Of Home--Into The Jaws Of Hell"America's principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers" (The Boston Book Review), Harold Schechter shatters the myth that violent crime is a modern phenomenon--with this seamless true account of unvarnished horror from the early twentieth century. Journey inside the demented mind of Albert Fish--pedophile, sLured From The Safety Of Home--Into The Jaws Of Hell"America's principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers" (The Boston Book Review), Harold Schechter shatters the myth that violent crime is a modern phenomenon--with this seamless true account of unvarnished horror from the early twentieth century. Journey inside the demented mind of Albert Fish--pedophile, sadist, and cannibal killer--and discover that bloodlust knows no time or place....On a warm spring day in 1928, a kindly, white-haired man appeared at the Budd family home in New York City, and soon persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Budd to let him take their adorable little girl, Grace, on an outing. The Budds never guessed that they had entrusted their child to a monster. After a relentless six-year search and nationwide press coverage, the mystery of Grace Budd's disappearance was solved--and a crime of unparalleled gore and revulsion was revealed to a stunned American public. What Albert Fish did to Grace Budd, and perhaps fifteen other young children, caused experts to pronounce him the most deranged human being they had ever seen....

Title : Deranged: The Shocking True Story of America's Most Fiendish Killer
Author :
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ISBN : 9780671025458
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 242 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Deranged: The Shocking True Story of America's Most Fiendish Killer Reviews

  • Evan
    2019-03-21 06:40

    In terms of sheer numbers, Albert Fish would seem to be little more than a lightweight in the annals of crime; he was only charged with and found guilty of one murder. But that one highly disturbing case--the brazen 1928 kidnapping and brutal killing of a New York City 10-year-old, Grace Budd--eventually brought about Fish's confessions to many more crimes of kidnapping, torture, murder and cannibalism: mainly perpetrated on young boys and occasionally girls, who, if prepubescent, were similar enough to young boys in their androgyny to suit Fish's predilections. No one knows how many victims Fish had during a criminal career that spanned more than 50 years, beginning with petty crimes and evolving into unspeakable ones that dovetailed into his auto-erotic preferences for sadism, pain and religious fantasies. He may have abused, by his own admission, 25 to 30 children a year, and possibly torture-murdered 15. His victims may have numbered in the hundreds.Whatever the case, and as this book makes clear, Fish was one of the sickest persons who ever lived.This incredible true-crime book, expertly structured, finds a happy medium between meticulous detail and lightning-paced narrative. It details the disappearances of Fish's first known victims (though there were likely many before those), the frustrating failed investigations into those cases, and the appearance of a kindly old stranger named "Frank Howard," who, seemingly in the commission of good deeds conned his way into the Budd home and stole a little girl right from her own kitchen with the clueless consent of her parents. As the book shortly reveals Howard was none other than Fish, an otherwise (seemingly) kindly family man who never harmed his own children but as an itinerant house painter committed atrocities in as many as 23 states, leaving no traces of himself and a trail of violated kids.The Budd case outraged and frightened the public, and if not for the kind of dogged investigatory patience of Detective William King (a real hero who devoted more time to the case than any detective would likely dedicate today, or would be allowed to by budget- and time-strapped departments), as well as Fish's own momentary carelessness and the divine intervention of a well-placed cockroach, the case might never have been solved.Schechter stays his hand beautifully in this book, letting the case unfold naturally, only giving the reader details of the true nature of Fish as his trial proceeds in the latter part of the book. The details of his religious manias and drive for self-torture (sticking alcohol-soaked rags up his ass and lighting them or sticking dozens of pins in his lower body) and the torture of others in similar ways are excruciating to comprehend. Fish was a pedophile, sadist, cannibal and much more. The infliction of pain on himself and others gave him orgasms. He took particular delight in sending obscene letters in response to classified newspaper ads, writing to strangers about his desires to have them mercilessly spank his fictitious retarded son, "Bobby." He also enjoyed golden showers and eating shit. He was obsessed by the Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac, believing God commanded him to sacrifice children, and subsequently torturing himself painfully believing that same God was commanding him to atone for his sins. The book details a more innocent time--and in some sense shows how the lack of knowledge about sex in those more repressed times led people to discount its existence, particularly the existence of people who practiced extreme forms of criminal sexual behavior. Fish, as it happened, had been picked up and held briefly at least six times by the New York City police and served a short psychiatric stint in Bellevue before being released, deemed harmless by the authorities.The trial of Fish is thrillingly recounted here by Schechter. Fish's well-selected attorney, James Dempsey, gave a brilliant performance in attempting to use the insanity plea to keep Fish from the electric chair. Dempsey's courtroom dramatics and rapier comebacks remind me of another brilliant defense attorney of that era, Clarence Darrow. Defense attorneys back then were so kick-ass.Fish was a fascinating case of guilt and remorselessness, of normalcy alternating with extreme perversion--and yet, somehow, because of the attitudes of the day, his "eccentricities"--beating himself bloody with a nail paddle while masturbating, claiming Jesus told him to do bad things, or playing weird flagellation games with his stepdaughters while nearly nude--were tolerated and dismissed among family members as just the odd habits of a dear old man. The Fish case is chilling and disturbing to the max. Gray and wizened and stooped, he seemed harmless. As a criminal specter he was known as the Gray Man and the Bogeyman. The site of the Budd murder, an abandoned house in rural Westchester County, NY, known as Wisteria Cottage, is, as can be seen in photos in the book, one of the creepiest places you'll ever encounter.As a psychologist who testified at Fish's trial said: "To the best of my medical knowledge, every sexual abnormality that I have ever heard of this man has practiced--not only has he thought about it, not only has he daydreamed about it, but he has practiced it."This is one of the best true-crime books I've read, and, certainly, any writer who would make this case dull reading should be banished from the writing profession. In this Schechter does not disappoint. If you can handle being exceedingly disturbed, this is an essential read about the incredible brutality that can emanate from the human soul.

  • Michael
    2019-03-06 06:29

    Can a book be terrible? A book can be bad, it can be boring, it can be poorly written, but I like to think that just by being a book it’s exempt from being thought of as “terrible”. Terrible like Ivan. Terrible like children who are two. Terrible like some of the things Ann Coulter and Rick Santorum say.Sadly, Deranged: The Shocking True Story of America’s Most Fiendish Killer, is, despite it’s eye-grabbing National Enquireresque title, pretty much a terrible book.And worse, I didn’t find it terrible because of the gruesome subject matter, but because it’s not only poorly written and it’s not only boring, but it reads like a shortcut-seeking, high school student’s book report. And by shortcut-seeking, I mean the type of book report that was written in a hurry by someone not being familiar with the book and relying only on the synopsis on the book's dust jacket.The subject of the book, Albert Fish, was a serial killer who committed crimes too horrible for me to mention here. He was born in 1870 to a supposedly distinguished family that suffered from histories of mental illness. After his father died when he was five-years-old, Fish was sent to an orphanage and it was there where the seeds that would shape his future obsessions and behaviors were planted. That is about the extent of the man’s biography shared in the book. Thorough, huh? More biographical information is given about a German serial killer, Fritz Haarmann, than about Albert Fish.The rest of the book is made up of boring, long-winded accounts of Fish's two final crimes, the city-wide manhunt, and his subsequent arrest and conviction and it reads like everything was simply lifted out of old newspapers. And the narrative - it just goes on and on and on and...Let me save you some time. Fish was tried and despite jurors saying they believed he was insane, they also believed he should die for his crimes so they found him sane and he was put to death in the electic chair in the Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Too bad he wasn't holding this book when they pulled the switch.You guessed it: I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.

  • Juanita
    2019-03-11 09:35

    The acts that Fish committed were the stuff that no fictional artist could imagine. It takes a specific kind of individual to even come close to thinking of the things that Fish practiced his whole life. I am not a person that thrives on the lowest of humanity or on being able to stomach the horrific. Still, I chose to read a book, this book, which includes all of the above and more. I could not put it down – I read it whenever I could and was captured from the very first words: “Every period is known not only by its heroes but by its killers as well.” The author, Schechter, is an author with true talent. It is a given that you will be shocked when reading Deranged – Fish, the person written about, was TRULY deranged – but it takes skill to write a book about such a murderous villain and have the book be more about the people he affected than about the murderer himself, even though the depravity was written about in detail. Deranged read like a mystery, and even though I knew who and what the book was about having learned and read of Fish on the internet, I was continually enthralled with finding out when and how this man would get caught and just how sick this man actually was. In the beginning, we are introduced to the Budd family whose humble living and innocence makes them a prime target for Fish, and learn of their eventual regret in allowing a predator to take their child away. We move forward to other families that suffer similar losses and actually feel their pain as their babies are led into the woods of the never-again-seen-alive. The book in its finality gives us the depths of this man, Albert Fish, and makes no excuses for him though the author makes it a point to tell what Fish felt were catalysts to his bad behavior. I know that it takes quite a bit to read about a person like this and not hate them and judge them as I read. It appears, though, that the author has as little judgment as humanly possible as he writes this monstrous tale. That in itself is a feat. It was enjoyable to read because of these facts – not because a person of unseen proportions of degeneracy was on display. So, I would suggest this book to anyone who’d like to try and gain a better understanding of humanity, because when you can face the lowest of humanity without running away or closing a book then you can face the greatest of humanity with even greater understanding. I cannot recall reading a book this well written. The book of the year for me – and I have read almost 30 books this year alone!

  • Lisa
    2019-02-23 06:35

    A true crime book that completely lives up to its title - I don't believe I've ever read of so appalling a catalogue of crimes before and am shortly off to give myself a good scrub to get rid of their taint.Albert Fish was a harmless looking old man whose appearance masked a truly depraved personality - host to an incredibly long list of sexual and religious perversions, amongst other things Fish was a child killer who tortured and ate his victims.I've never read such a shocking account of depravity, but was also surprised by many other aspects of the case. The police in the 1920's seem an altogether more naive bunch than those around now - when Grace Budd (and the other children) initially goes missing it seems unfathomable to them that anyone would be kidnapping a child for anything other than ransom (both rather popular criminal activities in the '20s), and many parents were unaware also (unlike parents of today who are hyperaware of paedophiles and child murderers).Also surprising (though it probably shouldn't be) was the sensationalism of the tabloids, with one particularly lurid account of The Mirror going so far as to provide step-by-step illustration of Grace's murder - "culminating in a close-up of the little girl's strangulation."I was taken aback at how little time the psychiatrists (for both the prosecution and the defence) spent with Fish once captured in an effort to ascertain if he was insane. Though the defence managed to spend a total of 12 hours with him, those for the prosecution managed a single visit of just 3 hours. The legal side to this argument was fascinating and I did spend some time myself questioning how I would have decided had I been a juror; to be able to commit such awful crimes Fish was surely insane, though he wasn't without his reason, and I fully sympathise with the jurors who had to sit through such detailed testimonies and decide whether the man lived or died. There was no hope that the man could be rehabilitated in any way and punishment was like sexual reward to him so while I don't personally support the death penalty, I can understand why many of the jurors saw fit to have him executed even while believing he was insane. Personally, I can't help but think that there would have been more benefit to society had members of the psychiatric profession been able to speak to and learn from him instead.Simply and straightforwardly written, there were only a couple of occurrences that didn't sit right with me where the author attempts to present some moments 'inside the mind of the killer'. While I appreciate that some of Fish's thoughts and feelings from the time could have been gleaned from his interviews, these couple of instances felt more like supposition and were the sort of sensationalism I expect from the tabloids than from a decent journalist. That said, I will be seeking out more of Schechter's work.

  • Rouxmia Bougas
    2019-03-02 07:32

    "Though his name has faded from public memory, his presence is inescapable." Personally, for me this is one of the most terrible serial killers of all time. Albert Fish. This is one f#@*d up gramps. A detailed story of the difficult hunt for him by the police and of the atrocious crimes he committed in the late 1920s. He did not kill as many as other notorious serial killers, but his modus operandi and the fact that he got away with it for so long is absolutely shocking. This book focuses on many of the cases including the New York kidnappings of Grace Bubb, Billy Gaffney and Francis Mcdonnell. But the court case will haunt me for a long time. A few times while reading this book, it literally gave me the chills and I needed to get an extra blanket. The fact that no one could link the missing children from over the years to one another and even though he admitted to his crimes once caught, no one can tell for sure how many innocent victims died viciously or were tortured at his hands, but it is believed that it is in the 100s. The acts that this human monster committed, doesn't come close to any fictional character I read about in horror books. And if it does, the author's got some serious issues just thinking it up in the first place."In a very real sense, a cockroach had led to the capture of Albert Fish." My personal opinion about his case? He should not have been sent to the electric chair. Why? Because he was a man that enjoyed self infliction as much as he thrived on torturing children. It was probably the ultimate thrill being shocked to death with a self inflicted carved cross on his torso from a sharpened chicken bone and 29 needles that he shoved into his friggen asshole? This dude did not deserve to live, but he definitely deserved a slow boring AF death with no excitement.Harold Schechter is my all time favorite true crime author. This man can write a story so well, the fear he brings out of you through his historical storytelling and the facts that are so detailed makes you feel like you are living in that era and reading the daily tabloids. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of humanity, because facing the lowest of humanity without looking away or shutting a book can make you more aware. But I don't think he was human. If this could happen in the 1920s, what could possibly be out there today?

  • Hannah
    2019-02-22 12:46

    I've always been fascinated by Albert Fish, and I thought I knew all about him. I was wrong. Schechter has a way of making you feel like you're there, and you can see it all perfectly clear. I knew Fish was incredibly depraved and disturbed, but the extent of the horrors he inflicted on innocent children was far beyond anything I thought I knew. It takes a lot to creep me out. Fish creeps me out. This book creeps me out. It's well-written and the facts are solid. Anyone who is interested in true crime, particularly the psychology of serial killers, although Fish wasn't exactly a typical case, should read this book.

  • Lede
    2019-03-17 14:53

    Albert Fish was a monster who preyed mainly on black children, by his own admission. This book only focuses on the white children. The author struggles to stay on topic, because of that, the book felt disorganised.People were so trusting back in the day. "Yes strange, creepy man. You can take my daughter to a party...alone." I also think Fish should of been studied and analysed before he was electrocuted.

  • Edwina Callan
    2019-03-01 11:47

    This is the story of Albert Fish - child killer and cannibal.He was every parent's worst nightmare until he was caught by the cop who wouldn't give up the search.This book will sicken and sadden you, but, in the end, when he is strapped in "the chair" you will breathe a sigh of relief ... knowing that this monster will never, ever harm another child.Rest In Peace ...Billy Gaffney (Age 4)Francis McDonnell (Age 8)Grace Budd (Age 10)And the ones who remain nameless ..........

  • Kelly
    2019-02-25 07:30

    I do not mind true crime. I enjoy watching Criminal Minds. I understand why it's a popular genre. Many have a certain curiosity for the macabre; and delving into the deranged minds of criminals gives us a glimpse of how humanity can go to hell in a hand basket in no time flat. My issue with this book was not the content, not exactly. Sure, Albert Fish was a particularly disturbed individual and he did some horrible things. If he lived in a more current time, perhaps he would have been able to receive the help he so obviously needed. As a "story", it was interesting enough. But as an overall piece of work, I cannot agree with it. I can divide my grievances into two categories.Gripe #1: The Writing StyleOddly enough, if you read the acknowledgements at the end, he dedicated this book to his editor for doing such a fantastic job ("as always"). I'd like to have a serious talk with this editor and how much work she actually completed with Schechter. Not only were there typos and grammatical problems, but the sentence structure and overall layout of the book provided a very choppy picture. At times, it was difficult to read, dipping into the realms of high school history reports. The run-on sentences could have been easily fixed with some added punctuation. Or, even better, cutting whole sections out entirely. I think Schechter could have made the same, if not a better, impact with 100 fewer pages. There were paragraphs that did not even relate to the current content. There were entire chapters I honestly skipped after I realized he decided to go on a field trip tangent about some other event. There are good and bad ways to incorporate related ideas. With Deranged, it felt like the author could not keep his focus. And this led to repetition and over-the-top, long-winded "theories." I think he took a lesson from the Dempsey lawyer; because it also took Schechter 15,000 words and 45 typed pages to get out one statement.Gripe #2: WHERE ARE YOUR SOURCES?!?I cannot, in my right mind, give a nonfiction title greater than 1 star if there is no bibliography, index, footnotes, or any recognition from the author that he used outside sources to compile his book. Any researcher, librarian, or freakin' high school student, knows that a source is not credible if they do not cite resources. I'm not asking for much, just some proof that what Schechter presented was factual. He did quote some newspapers, which was nice. However, I still wanted those newspapers to be listed in a bibliography, or at least a note of which database he used to find the prints. Without it, I have to say that Schechter painted a fictional portrait of a serial killer. The accounts in this book are way too specific to be real. It reads like fiction most likely because a lot of it is. The dialogue has no basis, and plenty of it would not have been recorded in any form. So how did Schechter know who said what and when? It was conjecture. And I'm fine with conjecture, as long as the author makes a note of it! Erik Larson--author of Devil in the White City, among others--at least gives us that. He adds a forward to his books that lets us know that some conversations were fabricated to help with the facts. Any nonfiction writer worth his salt should know this. I. Do. Not. Trust. Schechter. And his lack of refinement in this category really irked me to no end. Sure, I could do my own research to back up his information, but that's not the point of reading nonfiction. I should not have to double-check the author's work. Nonfiction should not come with homework (unless you are writing a paper and using it as a source, hah!). For all I know, Schechter wrote this book by looking through blogs and Wikipedia. So, no. Just no.

  • Israel Calzadilla
    2019-03-01 13:56

    Albert Fish es también conocido como el "Hombre gris", "El hombre lobo de Wysteria" y posiblemente con su calificativo más ridículo "El vampiro de Brooklyn". Muchas cosas se han dicho sobre Fish, la mayoría mitos o exageraciones basadas en el excéntrico personaje. Fish confesó 3 homicidios que la policía fue capaz de investigar y relacionar con el sujeto. Fue sometido a juicio por el asesinato de Grace Budd, condenado y ejecutado. Esa es al versión corta y certera, lo interesante está entre líneas.Deranged está muy bien escrito, Schechter maneja los detalles sin abrumar, crea el suspenso necesario y la calidad suficiente en la narración para sobrepasar el morbo de los acontecimientos, incluso da en el clavo cuando toca los puntos más sensibles de los involucrados.Albert fue "El Fenómeno" de la pscología en su época, nadie, en un ningún registro existente, había presentado tantas patologías o desviaciones juntas: Homosexualidad, Sadomasoquismo, Pedofilia, Urofagia, Coprofagia, Canibalismo y esas de las que me recuerdo por ser las más sencillas. Era tan sujeto de estudio que mucho se insitió en darle cadena perpetua en una institución mental y correr exámenes para entender el funcionamiento de su cerebro.El motivo de la leyenda nace una vez que Fish es sentenciado, al verse condenado, empezó a cantar. Se estima que asesinó al menos a 100 niños, de los cuales la policía solo logró corroborar algunos con extrema precisión según la información proporcionada por el propio Fish, pero los demás, concuerdan con morbosa coincidencia con varios casos sin resolver y ni hablar de los cientos de casos que empezaron a hacerle "click" a las autoridades de varios estados, pero por ser tan viejos ya no habia manera de probarlos. ¿Qué les hizo a sus víctimas? leanse el libro o junten todas las patologías anteriores más un grado de maldad, aunque para dar un panorama más claro: mandarle una carta a la madre de una de tus victimas para aliavarla de su dolor por no conocer el paradero de su niña extraviada contandole con lujo de detalles como te aprovechaste de su confianza para secuestrarla y luego la estrangulaste, descuartizaste, cocinaste, devoraste y lo disfrutaste, no tiene precio.Lo que quizás le faltó a Schechter en su relato es hacer un poco de incapié en el ambiente religioso que se manifestaba sobre Fish, otro camino oscuro de su mente donde nadie quizó adentrarse lo suficiente. Deranged es una lectura vertiginosa, adictiva, rica y bien documentada, probablemente lo mejor que se haya escrito sobre Fish.

  • Christina
    2019-03-20 13:53

    If you are a fan of the true crime genre, I imagine you would really enjoy this. I don't generally like true crime books, but I really enjoyed Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, and while walking through the airport recently, I saw he had another book out. Upon arrival at my destination, I looked up the reviews of Larson's new book and saw many readers recommending this author, Harold Schechter, if you liked Larson's books. I was intrigued and searched for Schechter, then purchased this, his highest rated book.Well, I feel that Larson's book was more of a history book that happened to be about a serial killer, while this was most definitely a true crime book. I found the quotations starting each chapter to be quite annoying. I have no problem with novels about serial killers like those by Thomas Harris or Carr's The Alienist, or non-fiction like Larson's Devil in the White City, Preston and Spezi's The Monster of Florence, or Summerscale's The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (all of which I highly recommend), but I ended up skimming quite a few sections of the book, and as soon as I was done, I deleted it off my Kindle. I didn't want this book anywhere near me. That was more due to the subject matter than the writing, although I found the writing to be just average. Albert Fish was a truly deranged person. It would have perhaps been better to know something of his childhood. It must have been severely abusive, right? Did no one ask him about his childhood? The author gives no indication. Maybe nothing is known, but this should have been stated.

  • Chick_Flick
    2019-02-28 12:48

    I don't know if it's age or motherhood, but I feel an urge to bathe to "cleanse" myself after having read the book. Perhaps I no longer have the stomach to read true crime books of this nature, especially ones dealing with such atrocities committed toward children. I tend to agree with the defense attorney that Albert Fish must have been insane, for I cannot imagine how a sane person would have had committed so many depravities as he had done. In fact, in their own words, most of the jurors had also agreed that he had been insane!As for the book, Harold Schecter did a good of writing it, though I was slightly annoyed with the various quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I appreciated his writing style -- simple and journalistic. He presented the facts and did not embellish the details, though with the facts of this case, which were so gruesome, I imagine that there was not a need. I did leave the book with the gnawing question of "Why?" Perhaps a little more exploration on Albert Fish's childhood would have helped answered that. On the other hand, perhaps there was nothing to be answered; perhaps Fish had been really insane and we as the reader are supposed to have been left with that question.You probably could read the entry about Albert Fish on the truTV crime library and not have to pick up this book. Most of the important facts are presented there.

  • Beth
    2019-03-10 12:47

    One of the worse killers ever the chair was to good for him.

  • Monique
    2019-03-10 09:30

    Horrible story and written like a 10th grade science report.

  • Kc Chapa
    2019-03-20 14:57

    So disturbing. People thing Ed Gein (the inspiration behind Leatherface) was a horror figure...Gein has nothing on Albert Fish. OMG. I will never look at old, grandfatherly types the same.

  • Marissa Jager
    2019-03-04 07:46

    Wow. Albert Fish is a supremely disturbed man. The tortures he inflicted on small children are beyond some of the most heinous encounters I've ever read. It breaks my heart to think of the pain and torments he put his victims through. He should of died 100 times over in the electric chair. I freaked out a little bit when I found a bloody fingerprint on one of the pages in my used copy of this book. Hopefully someone just nicked themselves and they weren't masochistically stabbing themselves with a needle as they read about Albert Fish stabbing himself with a needle. :O

  • joolz
    2019-03-02 14:29

    As in other true crime reviews, the rating I've given doesn't literally mean that I 'enjoyed' it, but that I found it a thoroughly interesting book that made me think a lot about the topic.I am firmly against the death penalty, but this book is the only time I have thought that a person might truly be better off dead. More for the man himself than for the terrible crimes he committed. For his crimes the court should have put him in prison and thrown away the key, certainly, but this book made me wonder if there is any point to someone living when they are driven by such compulsions and desires as Albert Fish was. If your life is so painful and twisted with no hope of recovery then isn't it possible that allowing someone to commit suicide would be the right thing to do?This book really makes you think hard about the line between sanity and insanity. Is someone insane because they do things that seem insane to you? Or might they actually be sane and just making a deliberate choice to do wicked things? Does being a wonderful father to your children under difficult circumstances mean you cannot be deemed insane? Or can you be insane and do compassionate things while you are also murdering and killing?Whilst some of the items on Fish's list of perversions may always be considered deviant, there are certainly several that would not be considered that way now, so we need to bear in mind that times change, but no matter what he did to himself, Fish's deeds against children were repugnant and, if I was a juror, I don't know whether I would have made a knee-jerk reaction to the crimes or made a logical consideration of the sane/insane issue. The comment made after the trial by one of the jurors about the decision they made is very interesting.The photos at the end of the ebook show Fish as I imagined him to be, I can see why he has been cited as a classic example of the 'boogie man' that your parents warn you about.It's thanks to people like him that kids lead more restricted lives nowadays. Heading off for hours at a time and playing in local woods isn't an option now as it was for the kids in my street when I was a child. The publicity of the evil that humans can do has put a stop to that.

  • Katie Muriel
    2019-03-25 12:58

    I don't rate this book four stars for the content, because let's be real: any book that describes in detail the acts of a man so horrific as Albert Fish was (gory murders and cannibalism included), is not exactly a book you read for the content. I read this because I'm a criminal justice major and it's important for me to understand people like Albert Fish, even if I can't understand what he did.I rated this four stars because the writing was pretty decent, if sensationalised sometimes to the point of being annoying. The author often discusses how the newspapers sensationalised the Grace Budd case, writing increasingly wild headlines about Fish, whether they were true or not, but frequently roams into the same territory, with absurd metaphors and cheesy word choice (which for a topic such as this, is not easy). But, nonetheless, it decently covers the life of Albert Fish and his crimes, and does not shy away from the details, which is welcome in some ways and unwelcome in a multitude of others. I wouldn't recommend it if you can't handle the great detail with which his crimes are described because if you have a weak stomach, you're pretty much guaranteed to be throwing up your latest meal.Overall, decent book on a horrible subject.

  • RachelvlehcaR
    2019-03-11 10:30

    What a disturbing man. Albert Fish is a monster. He was made, that's a given. I don't think many want to admit that a society can make such a dark and disturbing man. This book tracks the life and crimes (however not all the crimes) of Albert Fish and his years of abuse and fantasies. He carried out many of his sick and warped fantasies but what is creepy is thinking what sick fantasies did he really have--those that he didn't carry out.I was creeped out by the man. This book isn't for the weak. That is for sure. I should give it a higher rating but honestly the man sicks me out. Knowing this was true just doesn't settle well with me. A monster was made in that boarding school. He never got into very detailed specifics about that school. He only shared bits and pieces of his experiences and said it was bad there but this is where his darkness was born.

  • Tina
    2019-03-03 07:48

    You know that feeling when you get a little bit sick, cold and just feel the need for a blummin good shower, well that's how I feel having read this book.The fact that it was a true account of one mans depravity and unbelievable cruelty just makes it even more scary. I live in the hope that if Albert Fish was around today, committing such heinous crimes, the police would be much quicker to act. The naivety of the 1920's police is nearly as shocking as the crimes themselves, although to be fair, technology or lack of it played a big part in the time it took to catch him. Having just said that - look at "Sir Jimmy Saville", maybe we are just as naive today!!!I think it really hit home when Albert was so pleased to be given the electric chair because it was one of the only "thrills" he was yet to try....

  • Marianne
    2019-02-28 14:36

    I rated this 3 stars, not because it wasn't a well-written and fascinating, if disturbing, book; but because it was written too much like a novel. At several points I found myself wondering how Mr. Schechter could have possibly known certain things. I don't doubt that perhaps these things are written down somewhere, but I would like to know where the information came from. That being said, I found this book to be well-written and extremely disturbing. Do not read this anywhere near mealtime unless you have a strong stomach.

  • Nancy
    2019-02-25 11:56

    On June 3 1928, a kindly, elderly benefactor showed up at the Budd family home and offered to take their daughter, Grace, to a niece's birthday party. Grace was never seen or heard from again and it would take six years for the ghastly truth of what happened to emerge. I read a fair amount of true-crime stories, and this is one of the most gruesome I've ever read. Highly recommend this if you're into the true-crime genre.

  • ♥ Marlene♥
    2019-03-20 13:50

    On Sunday, November 13, 2005 I wrote about this book:My first book by Harold Schechter and still one of his best.My copy is much older and 1th printThis was another really shocking story. I love the way this author writes.

  • Bill
    2019-03-01 07:30

    Harold Schechter's account of cannibal killer Albert Fish. He lured 10 year old Grace Bud to her death by telling her parents he would like to take her to his niece's birthday party. He then took Grace to an isolated vacation cabin and murdered her.

  • J.H. Moncrieff
    2019-02-26 06:34

    Started off strong, then got very dull in the last third. Meh.

  • Ronna
    2019-03-18 13:38

    Well that was disturbing. The writing, I mean...

  • Dustin Reade
    2019-02-23 11:36

    if you like true crime. if you like serial killers. if you like to be made sick by a book about creepy old men with needles in their crotch. then i recommend you read the hell out of this book.

  • Bob Mackey
    2019-03-01 06:45

    So, this probably isn't a book for everyone. The reason Albert Fish doesn't come up often in discussions of history's greatest monsters can be chalked up to his crimes being so ghastly—the ones we know about, actually. Fish's story is a globetrotting early 20th century journey propelled by sexual sadism, murder, and religious mania, with children being his choice of victims. Instead of telling Fish's story chronologically, Schechter instead starts with the stories of his three most notable victims, and eventually gets to Albert's biography after his capture. Deranged definitely makes for one of the most enthralling true crime books I've ever read, and if you can stomach accounts of Fish's crimes, you'll definitely enjoy Schechter's work. Looking forward to reading his other books about American serial killers soon.Also, check out the series the podcast "Last Podcast on the Left" did on Fish. It's the reason I grabbed a copy of Deranged!

  • Sandy Nolen
    2019-02-22 06:41

    this was a bit better than The Last Victim i just recently read. i knew about fish and most of his history before this book, sometimes diff authors take on other things, it was alright i was bit bored reading about how the police over and over and over again went to the wrong clue or lead, we got it after the first time, but how about after that just hint there were more mistakes that had no bearing on the case other than it took forever to find him. i mean seriously. this does not give much insight into Fish himself, a little but not major, more about taking him down how the interviews went and so on. it was decent true crime like read tbh. not a re-read like some are but not waste of time.

  • Stephen Douglas Rowland
    2019-03-17 13:45

    Although the author has the annoying habit of speculating about what the real people in this book thought, said, and did (in an effort to make the proceedings more novelistic), he cleans up his act by the time he gets to Fish's trial and the results are devastating. How much of what Fish confessed was fantasy or a desperate man's attempt to convince the judge and jury of his insanity and escape death, I suppose we'll never know.