Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Descendant of the Original Boogeyman: Albert Fish

Descendant of the Original Boogeyman: Albert Fish

Tue, 07 Aug 2018 10:00

Albert Fish was a cannibalistic child-murderer who loved lighting his own butt on fire. In Episode 16 Robert is joined by comedian Maggie Mae Fish who is a descendent of Albert Fish.

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My name is Alex Fumero and I host the new podcast more than a movie, American Me, a film directed by and starring Edward James Olmos. I'll be diving into the behind the scenes controversy, including an alleged backlash from the Mexican mafia. Several people who worked on the movie have been murdered. I don't want to speak about why would people be murdered for being in a movie. Listen to more than a movie, American me on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Danny Shapiro, host of family secrets. I hope you'll join me and my extraordinary guests for this new season of family secrets. With over 25 million downloads, the importance of both telling and hearing secrets is apparent, and I am so excited to share 10 astonishing news stories with you. This is our best season yet. Listen and subscribe to family secrets on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. My name is Lauren Ober, and in addition to being a charming podcast host, I am also a newly diagnosed autistic person. My new show, the loudest girl in the world, is all about my weird, winding path to diagnosis. My decision at age 42 to finally get evaluated for autism. Listen to the loudest girl in the world on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello friends, I am Robert Evans and this is behind the ******** the show where we tell you everything you don't know about the very worst people in all of history. Now normally this podcast features me and a guest who's coming into cold talking about a horrific person in history, and generally I pick dictators or people who have abused power in some very large scale way. That's sort of our milieu. We don't really talk about serial killers usually, but today we are talking about a serial killer named. Albert Fish, who was a cannibalistic child murderer who loved lighting his own *** on fire. Now we're doing this for two reasons. The first is that my guest today, Maggie may Fish, is a is a relative of said person. So let's start there. What is the relation? OK, so I contacted my Uncle Terry who did our who did our family tree, and so I have a bunch of names here, but basically. I'm related via his brother became our like direct family line. So Albert Fisher's brother ended up moving to Michigan, which is where the rest of that line ended up in where I was born. Ohk. OK, so excluding before we get any further, Maggie, you're you're not just a dead guys relation, you are a wonderful student comedian. No, I am just this dead guys. Gee, I mean, I'll never get out of his shadow. Robert. You look at look at what he's done. I will never beat him on that. No, that's you have, for one thing, a wonderful YouTube video series where you. My favorite one is dissecting sort of the works of Tim Burton. Yeah. I really like your video on Tim Burton. Thank you. You're talented comedian, talented writer. You and I worked for the same site for a while, although duties didn't generally intersect afterwards. Yeah, I don't think I met you while you were because they didn't let me into the. Windows. No, no, no, no, no. For good reason. For good reason. No one saying they were wrong in that. Yeah. Basically, the weird thing about today is that neither of us is coming in hot or cold. I don't know what you know, and you don't know what I know. So we're just gonna we're just gonna find out. Yeah, we're going to make Reese's pieces, peanut butter cups of knowledge where it's like, like a knowledge truck and then another knowledge truck backs into a lightly, and the drivers have to crowdfund their medical care because then they become friends. And then the one, like, falls in love with that guy's sister and then, like, they're all over queer eye, you know? Really upbeat movie about our failed medical system. Oh, OK, alright, well, let's talk about a serial killer now. So I guess I'm going to my research for this was mainly I read a book called Deranged by Harold Schechter. Have you have you given that one to read? I've not given it, although it has been recommended to me several times. If you're it's good. If you're if you're a fan of the books about serial killers genre, it's a very solid entry into that. I also watched a documentary called Albert Fish about Albert Fish. That's terrible. I have. I watched that. We're gonna get into that in a little bit because we've got a couple of video clips from that that I just, I got a. Just trying to light on, if you will. Very excited for this episode. Alright, so let's talk about Albert Fish's crimes. Yeah, the ones that we know, that we know. Here's where I'm confused. And maybe you can shine a light is, I know like what he did, but I also know the rumors and I don't know which is like factually happened and which is like, oh man, what if Albert Fish also? Yeah. Yeah. And I tried to stick mostly to stuff that we know because we know there's three. Children that we know he killed, yes, but he claimed to have killed a bunch of other people after he was caught, right? But he also had, as we'll get into a very rich fantasy life, very rich, which seems like and also like, you know, he's not the only serial killer to have, like, made-up deaths. Well, so some of this is going to be up to the readers to decide, but hopefully you and I can lock down forever. Now be the ironclad history about the fish. This is it. Alright, so on July 14th, 1924, eight-year old Francis McDonnell was playing on the front stoop of his porch in Staten Island. Which was at that time like the middle of nowhere. Yeah, it was still there were like trees and **** trees and ****. What's the the Roly? Tumbleweed walls? Yes, walls. There were walls, walls and trees. So while his mother was watching him, she saw a strange old man with a Gray mustache creeping down the street and exactly the sort of way normal people don't if it had been 2018. You probably would have taken your kid inside and called the cops, or at least taken him inside. But it was 1924 and she was just like, oh, what a weirdo. And then and he was white, so I'm sure it was like, white brown, man. Worst that could happen. It's the 20s. Yeah, so Francis left after his mom went inside to play with his brother and some neighbor kids. They were playing some sort of ball game, probably something old timey like stickball or or do you have a ball or. I heard that's a game from back then. Polio ball? Yeah, I don't know, 1920 sports. But at some point that weird grey man started watching them, and Francis ran over to see what he wanted. Because again, 20s, while his friends and brother were focused on the game, Francis and the man both disappeared. Now, once people realized Francis was missing. Search. Bodies were formed. A trio of Boy Scouts found Francis's body, the newspapers described. Yeah, bad time for the. Yeah, what a troop. What a what a troop. Yeah, they're having some dark camp outs after that. Just these kids sitting around the fire, taking drags, the cigarettes and just staring. We've seen worse than death. The newspapers described Francis as having been, quote, atrociously assaulted. All of the clothing below his waist had been torn off. He'd been strangled to death with his suspenders, and it looked like he'd been cut up too. Which so sorry. Retroactively, I mean. Not that I have any control over it, ancestry, but you know, none of us are responsible for what terrible people in our past. Yeah, like when you think about it, everybody's got a serial killer relative. I hope if you go back far enough. Go find you do after this episode. Go find your serial killer on your Massmart and spoiler alert, my relative who killed people is going to wind up having a cameo in this story, so this is going to be fun. Yeah, this is a massive crossover episode. So yeah, on February 11th, 1927, four year old Billy Gaffney was playing with a 3 year old friend and his 12 year old brother. The 12 year old walked off because 12 year olds aren't really good at babysitting and the two little kids wound up on the roof because again, there were no rules in the 1920s. Kids could just go anywhere. Billy's 3 year old friend was later found safe on the roof and when the adult who found him asked where Billy had gone, he said quote the Boogeyman took him. You are a descendant of the boogie man. Yeah. The scariest thing is that the photo of Albert Fish on the Wikipedia website looks so much like my current relatives. Just as piercing eyes like they run in our family. So it's terrifying to look at them. I mean, I don't think you look like Albert Fish. Thank you. But y'all do have piercing eyes. I was going to bring that up. So both of these abductions cost sensations when they happened, right? It was not common for kids to be abducted in the 20s. It was common for kids to die for no reason because the 20s and medicine was whiskey. But like, this sort of thing was not common. And so it it caused kind of a sensation, and local papers covered the cases breathlessly and even got some national coverage. And if you're feeling bad about the state of journalism right now, which who isn't? Or to this, like my day. This will make you feel better, because it turns out it's always kind of in garbage. Here's how the New York Daily News wrote about Billy's disappearance. Somewhere in New York or nearby as Little Billy Gaffney or his body, an army of detectives 350 strong, is hunting that somewhere. Watch for the results of that search in tomorrow's news. All caps hoping against hope police continue their search for the missing Billy Gaffney. Follow the trail and tomorrow's all Caps news. Will the 7th day bring joy or sorrow to the parents of Little Billy? Read all the developments of the hunt and tomorrow's all Caps news. That's some journalism that wasn't. Advertisement for the news, coupled around a tragic story of a disappearing little boys getting murdered. Time to sell some papers, yeah. Yeah. So if you've paid attention to the last any length of time really in American culture, you may have picked up on the fact that we are a high strung bunch as a country. It was such a nice way to put it. Americans in the 1920s did not take the realization that kidnapping existed any more gracefully than Americans today take scary News reports about MS13. According to Harold Schechter's deranged, in the immediate aftermath of Billy's abduction, over the course of a single week, three separate angry mobs assaulted different suspected boogeyman. Way to be that other man and just to be targeted because everyone looked weird back then. Also, I'm assuming there's no way to fix any of it. Yeah, well, no. And you see anybody walking around in 20s clothing today and you're like, that's a pedophile. One. Yeah, but it's just how they dress. Yeah, they just dress. The bowler hat just is so suspicious you can get arrested for just a bowler hat. Oh my God. And should. You should. Yeah, it's not. OK. So, yeah, here's a quote from deranged about the first guy to be cornered by an angry mob because of Albert Fish's. A 63 year old salesman named Giles Steele was which Giles? This precious poor man Giles Steele was strolling down E 92nd St when a four year old boy strolling. Be alive. It's the only way people could walk. In the 20s, I guess you were either strolling or you had polio and could not walk and then you were rolling. So he was strolling down E 92nd St when a four year old boy stepped into his path. He's told the kid to move aside and reached down and took the kid by the shoulder. And at that point the kid's mother, Miss Sadie Bernstein, came out and saw him with his hand on the kid's shoulder and she just starts screaming. And so a crowd quote, a crowd of neighbors immediately descended on steel and began pummeling him. He just started. It's not even restrain him, for the cops beat the **** out of him. So Steele was saved by a cop who took him to the station. He was questioned, and it became obvious that he had nothing to do with anything illegal. Miss Bernstein eventually agreed that she had overreacted. Steele was still arraigned on a kidnapping charge because the cops just thought he seemed shady. Ohh, ****. Giles, I know, I know, you must talk about a lot about like wrongly convicted people, probably on this podcast that comes up a lot, but I always feel terrible. I mean, usually because dictators are just having people executed for crimes they didn't commit. But yeah, this now the weird thing is the other two cases of people getting mobbed. We're dudes with prior convictions for quote, impairing the morals of minors, and they were caught trying to trick young people into dark alleyways, probably to molest them. OK. So it was a movement and it was OK 2/3 of the time the mobs were right. Right. Which is really pretty good for mobs. Yeah. You see, Boy Scouts go out and one out of 1, they find a dead body, and then mobs are two out of three. One thing I learned in Indiana Jones is if you're a Boy Scout in the 20s, you're finding some dead people and you're probably going to wind up having a fight on top of a train. Yeah, those are the two things that I would assume the two things that 20s Boy Scouts for sure do. And so, yeah, the mobs, mobs in the streets. People freaking out. So up until May of 1928 these were just too scary. Isolated unsolved crimes, one with no body and both of that a clear villain, right? So people get sort of riled up both times these kids get abducted, but then it sort of fades kind of like a shooting does. Only these are less common at this point even than this. All changes on May 25th, 1928 because Albert Fish saw an ad in the situations wanted section of a local newspaper that said young Man 18 wishes position in country Edward Budd, 406 W 15th St. Now, at this point, the classified section was basically the equivalent of like, Craigslist today. The main difference is that today everyone is so aware of the danger of creepy people that, like, if you're by a couch on Craigslist, you joke. Like, alright, I'll be back in an hour unless I get murdered, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Unless the guy eats me. And then there's that one case where that girl did go on a date and she didn't come back. Exactly. There's an expectation that danger can happen in this. It did not exist then. So in 18 year old Boy would just be like, I want to work in the country, put out an ad and two days later the doorbell rang at Edward Bud's house. His mother opened it and saw a small elderly man in a suit. They were very poor, very, very poor family. His suit was not particularly nice, but the fact that he was wearing a suit meant that he was above them on like the class runs. So they were very impressed by that. He was. The light and genteel and like kissed her hand, which she was super impressed by. He does all of, like, the upper class seeming stuff, and he claimed to be a former interior decorator who had made a bunch of money and then started to farm upstate. I like interior decorating. Do you like starting farms? Oh, I could. Well, I like farm video games. I don't know where I'm going with this because this is this is just a lie he used to abduct a child. I know, but I'm thinking. That's what he wanted. What's in my jeans is basically what I'm trying to suss out. Well, he didn't work as an interior decorator. No, no, no. He might have been a passion he wanted to. Yeah, well, maybe you can exercise that part of the fish genes and not and not everything we're about to talk about today. Did you sorry? So part of his life was that his he'd moved out to start a farm with his wife and kids and she'd abandoned him because she was terrible and he had to raise his kids alone. But they were doing great and but now his kids were out of the house and he needed some help. So good stories. Willing to hire 18 year old Edward Bud. He called himself Frank Howard too. So have you ever found yourself wanting to go by the name Frank Howard? Only if I thought it would be better for my job. Like applications. That's a solid job application that sounds like a banker. But anyway, yeah, so Fisher's actual plan was to murder, eat, and probably molest Edward, in that order. Well, it's hard to kind of hard to say he. I feel like he kind of had a dead body thing. I think he sort of did. Although he claims he never ****** the dead people, which it's hard to say. Hard to say yeah, at that point that's like, you know? Yeah, we'll get into the things that he *********** about. Spoiler There's a lot of ************ in this episode. So, yeah, Edward, the, the kid that he was going to hire, is super excited. This guy's going to pay like 15 bucks a week, which is really good wages back then. And he's like, hey, I've got a friend who also wants to work on a farm. Do you have, do you need any additional work? And I think this at this point, Albert Fish is just not that great at lying in the moment. And so he says yes, but he doesn't really know because number one, this kid's already kind of big. Like, big enough that Albert's worried, like, I might not be able to overpower him because I'm like. I don't wanna get rid of some of them. I want to eat all of it, you know? OK. He's very resourceful. It's like retroactively, like, placing, like good qualities on a murder. And he wants to use every part of the boy he murdered. Yes. Yes. Yeah. I mean, he, he is kind of recycling guy. So Albert Fish says like, yes. But I think it's a panic thing. And he immediately comes up with an excuse to delay and says that, like, he he's not quite ready to leave yet, but he'll be back the next day. And then the next day, instead of coming back, he sends a telegram and says I'll be there in the next day. When he does finally show back up, he brings a pot. Cheese, which is what you'll find in every write up of this that he brought. I didn't know what pot cheese was. It's cottage cheese that people would bring to potlucks and pots. I don't know why, it's just it seems like a weird old timey cheese. So if you read about Albert Fish, you're going to come across the phrase pot cheese a lot. And I didn't know what it was because I have a new password for all of my devices. He brings like some cheese and claims that he it came from his farm and they have like a lunch. And everybody's very impressed with this guy. He rounds up like playing with their young daughter Grace. And after the meal he tells the boys he can't take them until later that evening. But he pulls out a big wad of cash, which is like 90 bucks then, which is a lot of money to these people. And he gives a couple of dollars to Edward and his friend and he's like, go see a movie with your buddies or whatever. I'll be back tonight. And then kind of is like an afterthought. I was like, you know, I'm heading out to this birthday party. My sister is throwing maybe your daughter Grace wants to come with me, is afterthoughts in quotes. I think he he kind of brought it up at the end of things, and they say yes, because there's this old man, very classic, very genteel. He's helping out the family. So he takes Grace, and obviously you feel bad for the parents because like the dad, the dad is the one who makes the final call and he's grace is a sickly kid. She's ill a lot and he's like, she never gets to have any fun. Let her go have some fun. Which it doesn't end well for grace or the buds. They they get really pretty ****** over in this. So he gives them an address of where he's going to be, which they later find out his fake and then he disappears and grace never comes back. They never see Frank Howard again. On Tuesday, June 5th, the New York Times reports on Grace's abduction with the classy headline Hunt Man and child he took to party. That is classy. It ends on party. So I'm kind of like excited at the end, you know? Our party. A party? Yeah. You kind of forget hunt, man. That's actually not a bad if I was going to start a superhero hunt. Man and child on Batman and man and Child, I immediately know what that's about. No questions asked. Yeah. So depraved, says the the book that I read for this says that the story unspooled and the tabloids and kind of the same way that the Gaffney abduction had. So there, First off, there's a **** load of false leads. People start just sending lies into the family, and we'll get into that in a little bit. A lot of sketchy witnesses. And then there's just this big surge and anxiety over kidnappings for the people of New York. The tabloids make as much of this as they possibly can, and, you know, it's the same. Follow the Nancy Grace kind of situation. Yeah, exactly. And everything. These newspapers are all giving daily updates and like follow this search tomorrow and the Daily News and yadda yadda yadda and we'll have a list of all of our sources on the website We're going to get to what happens afterwards and it kind of how Albert Fish's crimes sort of started the idea of stranger danger. Like we're we're influential in that concept we were all raised with and to fear and how he sort of had an impact on that and. The Lindbergh baby kidnapping. But first you know what goes great with discussions of the terrible things that serial killers do is products and services. Products and services I do. I use them all the time. Pull out all of your cards and throw them into the air and buy a product now. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month, Mint mobile will give you the best rate. 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For more than a decade, we hear at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions, sometimes their answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research. With you for the first time ever in a book format, you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read or wherever you find your favorite books. Hey, it's Roy Wood, junior, host of The Daily Show podcast beyond the scenes, and we are back for season 2. Beyond the scenes is the podcast where we go even deeper into segments and topics we covered on the show, but they're topics that deserve a little more time, a little more finessing details, you know? So this season, we're bringing on more Daily Show writers, producers and correspondents. We're bringing on more experts to drop knowledge on all sorts of topics. You're going to get some knowledge that you can't get anywhere else. You're breaking it down in season 2. We talking gentrification. We talking gun laws, book bannings, Black Trail Blazers in fashion, all the trash ways that people treat flight attendants as well. And shout out to the flight attendants how you keeping us safe and still got time to give me a biscoff cookie respect. Listen to beyond the scenes on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. It don't matter where you get it, baby. Just find us. And we're back and we are talking about Albert Fish, the ancestor to my guest today, Maggie may fish and and listeners, just just as a heads up, Maggie's one of the nicer people that I have met in the city of Los Angeles. She's not a murderer as far as I'm aware. I mean, there's no trail. You are wearing a red shirt. I am, I thought, blood. And then I put on the shirt. Exactly. Yeah. OK. So I think that before everything I wear. So bloodlust, what's going on in my head? Like a cat. Yeah, or a little dog. OK, so years go by after the grace bud kidnapping, which is what we had just talked about in the end. And the case, like the other two, gradually starts to fade from memory. But kidnapping did not fade. The disappearances of these three children had helped to spark a new crime epidemic in American history. The kidnapping craze. And I spelled crazy with a K in that sentence. I know, thank you. I knew you'd appreciate that. Yeah. The kidnapping. Crazed. Come. Here's a quote from Harold Schechter's deranged. In 1932 alone, there were 282. Reported kidnappings in 28 States and all but 65 of the perpetrators had gotten away, Scott free with their crimes by the summer of 1933. Kidnappings were occurring so frequently that news readers required a scorecard to keep track of them all. Oh my God. Yeah. Well, that's where we are. That's where we are. And I feel like Albert Fish was is so crazy that maybe just no one had really been like, oh, I could. I could just take, take, take people. Just take people. What? This is great. It was probably the guy who committed the first cyber crime. Yeah, probably the same rush of what have I opened? I'd love to see just a movie about the man who invented mugging just like this poor guy on the street, seeing people pull money out of their pockets and like looking at a knife in his hand and looking at a rich guy and a knife in her and then just like. He thought Ridge. Blood, blood, blood, blood. He doesn't want to get stabbed. Andy has money. There's a connection between these things. Figure this out. So, yeah, most of the kidnappers, unlike Albert Fish, which again, we'll get to in a while, we're not doing it for sex or murder. They just wanted money. You know, it became very clear that it was hard for cops to catch kidnappers. And as it became clear that that was the case, intelligent criminals realized that kidnapping was very safe and very profitable. In June of 1932, the New York Times reported on more than a dozen kidnapping cases, and one of them, Maggie, was actually committed by my ancestor Charles pretty boy, Floyd. Yeah, I when I saw that in the book, I was like how there was another guy in the mix. Wow. So pretty boy Floyd was a gangster. He was. He's generally considered to be the last of the big gangsters to die. Like his his death is cool. Well, he got shot in the field, but yeah, that's cool. That is cool. It's a great place to get shot. So Donald Trump and I, our current President, have two things in common. One of them is a literary agent, which is weird. And the other is that Woody Guthrie wrote songs about both of our ancestors. He wrote a song about Donald Trump's dad because Donald Trump's dad denied tendency to black people. And he wrote a song about Pretty Boy Floyd, my ancestry because my ancestor beat a cop to death with a log chain. Hey, yeah. Wow. So yeah, in in that year 32, pretty boy Floyd tried to kidnap a an actress from Malibu and ransom her. She was to be kidnapped and flown to Mexico, but the police found out about it. And, like, ringed the street with cops at the last minute. And Floyd somehow learned of the trap and never appeared. And that's the end of this digression. But I had to bring it up. So yeah, everybody's got murderous. Yeah. Yeah. So the kidnapping wave grew and grew in the 30s until it reaches its apex with the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in 1932. Charles Lindbergh was an aviator, first man across the Atlantic, national hero, potential presidential candidate and anti-Semitic fascist sympathizer, his wife Anne Lindbergh. Isn't acclaimed author and also probably probably racist? They probably talked about it probably a long time. Yeah, I would guess there baby. Charles Junior was twenty months old and a baby would have grown up to be a racist. Yeah, but at the time was just a baby. And he was kidnapped on March 1st, 1932 and immediately pretty much killed. Bon accident probably fell off the ladder. We don't know. Now, up until this point, the only other crime in American history this famous had probably been the assassination of Lincoln. Like, this is, this is like, it's big and it inspired the creation of the Federal Kidnapping Act and I think 1934, which made transferring an unwilling person across state lines a federal crime. So the Lindbergh kidnapping was sort of the Crest of a wave or a crime meme that was then spreading through the culture, and that wave kicked off with the crimes of Albert Fish, although he would not be caught until 1934. He went very long time without, you know, any sort of reprimand for what he'd done. And it's some of that's got to be just the fact that, like, we didn't know how to be detectives back then, right? And then changed his name and he doesn't. He's not glued to this reality in some way because he's not like a super smooth criminal. Ohh, real man. When he abducts Grace Budd, he keeps all of his knives wrapped up in like a kit that he calls his implements of hell. And when he goes to pick her up, he leaves them at like a grocery store. He just hands them to the clerk and said, can you hold these? Here's a Joker card, here's all of my knives and this is the 20. So the guys like, of course I'll take your knives. I've got some extra children you can take on a walk if you want, 20s. Yeah, what a time. So nowadays, when terrible things happen to the children of people like the Newtown shootings, when like 20 people lost their very young children to a mass shooter, they immediately start getting harassed horribly online by Alex Jones fans who think it's a false flag or whatever. It's important to note that that's not new. Blaming the parents kind of is, but being incredibly ****** to parents who've just lost a child is at least as old as the 20s. The part I was not aware of. You played on me, right? So all of these families, these people we've talked about whose kids get abducted, all of them get bombarded with crank letters from just hundreds of random people. Here's one letter that Gaffney family received. My dear friends, I will be fine to boy my son in Waters River Cellars. Look out. My God. Want back, boy. I might have gotten that exact same message on Twitter, just in my DM I was going to guess. Yeah. Wow. You want another one? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wait. Do not appear too anxious. Your son is in safe hands. We fought for him, but I got him. Now we will get the beaten boy for Billy to play with, for Billy is Lonesome. Do not show this letter to anyone if you know what is good for you. Again, I say that Billy is safe and that we are experimenting on him. Can I say that? Those that sounds exactly like when people tell their alien abduction stories, like what the aliens tell them, they're like, almost verbatim. Yeah, like you can tell, it's like. Someone actually hallucinating and their brain just firing words out into a waking dream or whatever. Yeah. Yeah, it it just it sounds like aphasia. Some other ******* sent a letter to this grieving family saying quote I didn't mean to kill him, God forgive me, and giving a pan drawn map of where his corpse was supposedly buried. Police found nothing there and the Boy Scout troops found nothing. The police back? Yeah. Yeah, they had neckerchiefs instead of guns. It's a lot safer for yeah, for murderers. For murderers, it was a lot safer. The book depraved also notes that psychics pledged to aid in the efforts to no effect, obviously, along with an inventor who arrived with what he called a mechanical Bloodhound. Well, that is cool. Yeah, little bit. Well, it was just a divining rod with a rubber tube attached to it filled with Billy's hair. I appreciate that. I appreciate the name. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Why not? Why not? Yeah, it didn't work either. The Bud family also received crank letters. Depraved claims. They were receiving dozens every day for a while. Many of them were like this quote, my dear Mr and missus. Bud, your child is going to a funeral. I still got her, Howard. All caps. And this I have grace. She is safe and sound. She is happy in her new home and not at all homesick. I will see to it that Grace has proper schooling. She has been given an angora cat and a pet Canary she calls the Canary Bill. I am a keen student of human nature. That's why I was attracted to grace. She seemed like a girl who would appreciate nice surroundings and a real nice home. I drove with grace past your house in an automobile. Several days ago. I saw several persons standing in front of the house and did not stop as it looked as though they were waiting for me. I will see to it in the near future that some arrangements are made. The Grace will be able to visit you for a short time. Wow. Why would you send that? What is? What is? I don't know. I don't understand this. I don't know. Like, at least one of those has got to be like one or two people being like, if I say she's alright, maybe they'll feel better. But then, like, I don't care. I don't give a ****. I'm not connected to this in any way. Yeah, to be honest, I actually think these are worse than the people, the Alex Jones people who are harassing the parents of dead kids on because at least those people believe there's a crazy conspiracy, right? You're just ******* with the family for no reason. Yeah. Made it really makes me just like what people did for fun back then. Yeah, just it was a very boring time. It was a very boring time, and one of the biggest sports in the country right now. The dollop does a great episode of this was pedestrianism, which is just people walking in circles for weeks, like days, hundreds of miles. So, like, there's nothing to do at this point, right? Like World War One at least. Gave some people something for a while, but make a victory garden. Victory garden. Go die in the mud. Yeah. Oh, both better options than life in the 20s. So yeah. The the letters, however, were not all entirely negative. There was a detective named William King who was basically your stereotypical Lantern jawed, Chainsmoking 20s detective like picture Dick Tracy. And of course, of course, of course he's the guy. If you just saw him walking down the street and you had a problem, you would run to him and be like, this is my chance to be fix all of this. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That kind of detective, right? So he had gotten on the bud case right after Grace was abducted and spent six fruitless years trying to track down her killer. Now, 1934, because this was the year that had the Lindbergh trial, and the kid had been kidnapped in 32. But the trial wasn't 34. It was a big year for awareness of kidnapping, and Detective King decided to take one more stab at solving it. I love that. It's like a set of our story. You're giving me a hold up. It's great because he ******* solves this case. Spoiler, But he does it. And like, the most unethical way, it's super fun. So like Columbo, like whatever, his strategy for years had been to randomly call newspapers and lie about the bud case and just give them ******** information. So they would write a story based on his lies that like, said that essentially there was been a break in the case. And he did this because every time it would happen, there would be a **** load of more letters sent into the police with tips and sent to the family. And he felt that it kept the story. Fresh. So some people would say it's unethical to just repeatedly lie to newspapers about a little girl's abduction. But King was like, you got to keep people thinking about it somehow. So his big the guy he would do this most often with was a gossip columnist named Walter Winchell. Most listeners will recognize him as one of the rapid fire names spat out in Billy Joel's we didn't start the fire. He comes right before Joe DiMaggio. Richard Nixon student. They could tell, yeah. OK, so before he was part of a classic song, he was America's most famous gossip columnist. His column on Broadway was probably the most influential piece of writing every given week in New York City. So he's a big deal. And some people say women gossip. And this guy, Walter Winchell, probably said that because I'm sure he was super massage. I mean, you just got to assume. Yeah, the woke guys have just gotten down to being OK with women voting at this point. It's a long. It's, it's, it's been it's been a long Rd. So Walter Winchell in early November included this line or paragraph in his column. I checked on the Grace Budd mystery. She was eight when she was kidnapped about six years ago. It is safe to tell you that the Department of Missing Persons will break the case, or they expect to in four weeks. They are holding a cookie now at Randall's Island, who is said to know the most about the crime grace is supposed to have been done away with in line, but another legend is that her skeleton is buried in the local spot more and on. So that's all lies. That is not going to be broke, but it just so happened that Albert Fish was a habitual writer. Which again, I write. Yeah, Robert, walking away from this Cliff. This is when you step in and tell me. Let us talk about the same. You're a much better writer than him. Thank you. I don't know what you write in your private time, but it oh, I have all of my books right here. You don't want to read. They're made out of skin, blood, blood. Is that a whole piece of paper made of band aids? OK, so 11 days after this Walter Winchell column comes up. The buds receive a letter in the mail, and one of the only mercies in this entire case is that Grace Budd's mother gets the letter and she cannot read, which is the only time in history going to be like, oh, thank God for illiteracy. Thank God she never learns. In this case, her son read it and immediately goes to the police. And as soon as I start to read an excerpt from it, you will be aware this is not like the other letters and it is. This was written by Albert Fish and again 11 days after Winchell's column. So it seems like Detective Kings strategy worked like he doesn't. He knew beforehand, you know, the whole Zodiac. And they like attention. Like attention. Detective King does not play by the rules, but he gets results. He gets. He gets results. You hear that? Police do whatever you want. Whipped cokie? You know, that was like a weekly thing for Detective King. His pistol weapon of Cokie. That's like one kick. Yeah. And then he tried to stop it. Just loves pistol whipping. Yeah. And it's it's more of an art than anything. I agree. Yeah. Yeah. Good. ******. A solid pistol whipping. It won't change someone's mind. Come to their mind. OK. So yeah, the full text of the letter is available online. You can find it if you wish. I'm going if you wish. You wish, you wish. If you do not wish, don't. Do, do not. I will read a part of it. And I have. I'm reading not the worst parts because we don't need that, but I I got to read some of it. Have you read this letter? My dear Miss bud, in 1894 a friend of mine shipped as a deckhand on the steamer Tacoma Captain John Davis. They sailed from San Francisco for Hong Kong, China. On arriving there, he and two others went ashore and got drunk. When they returned, the boat was gone. At that time there was a famine in China. Meat of any kind was from 1 to $3.00 a pound. So great was the suffering among the very poor that all children under 12 were sold to the butchers to be cut up and sold for food in order to keep others from starving. A boy or girl under 14 was not safe in the street. You could go into any shop and ask for steak. Chops or Stew meat. Part of the naked body of the boy or girl would be brought out. And just what you wanted cut from it. A boy or girls behind, which is the sweetest part of the body and sold as veal cutlet brought the highest price. John stayed there so long he acquired a taste for human flesh. On his return to New York, he stole two boys, 17 and 111, took them to his home, stripped them naked, tied them in a closet, then burned everything they had on several times a day and night. He spanked them, tortured them to make their meat good and tender. He then goes on into detail about that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Make good intent. Yeah. To make the meat tender. Yeah. It's not just spanking for the sake of spanking. Yeah. Albert Fish is not. Believe that there's one that accused me of many things, but that not needless spanking. No, no, no. There's gonna be a lot more spanking episode. So Albert Fish claims that this guy that he met turned him on to the idea of how good human flesh taste. And so he made-up his mind to try some of his own. And that's why he abducted Grace Budd in 1928. And he admits in the letter and pretty graphic detail that he murdered grace, cooked and ate her. The letter ends on this line. It took me 9 days to eat her entire body. I did not **** her, though I could have had. I wished she died a virgin, which is, I don't know what your goal is with that one. I guess. Again, it's one of those things. It's like, well, I did this, but I did not, you know, a lot of, I mean, serial killers kind of do that. They'll admit to like a part of it, but then take a hard stance on another part they're accused of. Everyone wants to feel like there's that line in in the wire and it's got to have a code. Everybody's. Wants to feel like this even if you're eating children. Right. So for him, like, the goal post is so far this way that don't worry, I'm still in the good. No, I mean, yeah, I murdered her in ate her and it gave me sexual gratification, but I did not ****. No, no, no, no. Yeah, I was pleased in every other sort of, every other sort of way. And he yeah, he goes into detail about that. So the horrible letter wound up being fish is undoing, which is, again, one of those rare times where justice happens in the universe. I do actually like this story because he he gets gotten, only that he got caught because he just needed to. Just needed to **** with this family one more time. So the way he got caught as he sent letters that were stamped with the logo of the New York private Chauffeurs Benevolent Association. So the cops eventually found a janitor for that very specific group, who admitted to having stolen a bunch of paper and envelopes from work and left them in his room when he moved out. The guy who moved into the room after him was Albert Fish. Since he had moved out, Fish had moved out by the time they found him. But his son was in the WPA, which is one of those new deal organizations where you like. That's where we get national parks was these young men, like, building ****? So he would send his dad regular checks, and fish had moved out of the room, but he had one more check coming, and he told his landlord that he would be back for it. So the landlord told the cops this guy's not here anymore, but he's going to be back in a few days to get his check. So the cops waited for him, and they. Yeah, that's how he was caught. Detective King caught Albert fish. He was eventually convicted of murder and sentenced to die via electric chair. Which is exactly what happened. So that's the the story of Albert Fish and Broad. We've got a lot more to drill into. We're going to be talking some more about how Maggie found out that she was related to this guy, and then we're going to go a lot deeper into Albert Fish's psyche. So it's going to be very dark. My skin is crawling. Excellent. That's how you should feel on this podcast. All right, capitalism. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and at Mint. Family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twist at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com slash behind. So by now we imagine that you've seen the theories on Tik T.O.K. You maybe even heard the rumors from your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade, we here at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions, sometimes their answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research with you for the first time ever in a book format, you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read or wherever you find your favorite books. Hey, it's Roy Wood, junior, host of The Daily Show podcast beyond the scenes, and we are back for season 2. Beyond the scenes is the podcast where we go even deeper into segments and topics we covered on the show, but there are topics that deserve a little more time, a little more finessing details, you know? So this season, we're bringing on more Daily Show writers, producers and correspondents. We're bringing on more experts to drop knowledge on all sorts of topics you're going to get. The knowledge that you can't get anywhere else. We breaking it down the season 2 we talking gentrification. We talk in gun laws, book bannings, Black Trail Blazers, and fashion all the trash ways that people treat flight attendants as well. And shout out to the flight attendants. How are you keeping us safe and still got time to give me your biscoff cookie respect? Listen to beyond the scenes on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. It don't matter where you get it, baby. Just find us. We're back now when we we just now kind of got through talking about the broad strokes of the story of Albert Fish. And now I wanted to sort of talk about your personal journey of figuring out you related to this guy's personal journey. Yeah, your own personal journey. Like a salmon swimming to return to George and Robert. Tell me about my life. What was it like? So the Bears are involved and I know that you swim upstream and then we procreate and then we see downstream. Well, I think usually you get eaten by bears. I don't. That's most of what I know about fish. And we get redwoods because of fish. Yeah. Well, you're welcome. Yeah. Well, what's my favorite drink? So how did I find out the the first time that I heard this, I was five or six my grandpas cottage and my uncles were working on our family tree. And I was playing like on the stairs or something. And my dad came down and I have this as a memory on the stairs and was like, Maggie, you're related to someone from a long time ago who was a bad person and he went to jail. And as a kid I was like, that is so cool, like. Unrelated to like a old timey bad picture of Bonnie and Clyde or something? Yeah, yeah, I was like, ah, in outlaw fun. Yeah. Years I lived under that delusion that it was just some sort of, like, nebulous, probably rob banks to give it to poor people. Yeah, yeah, that kind of thing. Like supporting, you know, his daughter that he loved and he put her through higher education. He had to take that hospital by armed force so that his kid could get the surgery he needed. Yeah, boy, I respect him for it. You know, we don't want to think well, the lawn is hard. Much like the detective. The detective. Yeah. I would be really proud to be this guy's relative. He's the only cop I'll say that about. But yeah. Really? Actually, though, yeah. Yeah. So for juice. And then I just kind of, like, forgot about it until I was actually pretty recently. Maybe two years ago, I was listening to my favorite murderer. Very fun podcast, which if you guys listen to this, maybe you also listen to them. They're great, but they had a episode on Albert Fish and. Just from the title, I was like, oh fish oh, I'm related to Oh no. No. So you learned the details about this guy from a podcast from 2 lovely women just describing the horrors of what you've done. So I'm putting together in my head a story about what happened with your dad that day and your your in your family cottage. And the story in my head is that he's with some other member of your family doing genealogy and they're like, we're related to somebody famous and without waiting to hear more, he runs down. Just. Belts down there and then goes back up, learns the second-half of the story and is like, oh God, what if we just don't say anything else? Let's just let this be a dream in her head. She's young, right? She will forget this? What do you think the odds are of like a global information network arising and then leading to like a new replacement for radio that spreads even wider and like involves long form stories about that will never happen, right? Never will be fine. It's just not tell her anything else. I like done knowing my father that like God. He's a very, like, jovial man. Just got so excited. So excited. So you you learn about Albert Fish from a podcast, which was very surprising because I was the time before that and I had just never come across Albert Fish. Maybe because he was so old. I was more scared. Yeah. It's not like you're Bundy or whatever. Yeah. And I had just moved to California, so it was more interested in like, like, the Sacramento killed so many, so many, so rich. So for just some reason, I'd never come across it until that. Me. And then I read the Wikipedia article and then I called my father and he was cooking potato soup and I asked him, I was like Dad. So is it Albert fish that were related to and very calmly, like my father is very calm level headed. He's like, oh, let me just let me just check my e-mail real quick. Yeah. Yep. Yes. Albert fish. Yeah. That's the guy. Oh, God. So he didn't know actually. I guess. Yeah. I think a similar thing he like kind of knew or like at least. Didn't know all of the details. Or at least, like, had just forgotten and then was like re excited by like, yeah, yeah, it's Albert Fishman. Killed night children. Children. That was called the werewolf. Yeah, wisteria. Wisteria. Yeah, the Gray man, the boogeyman. So, like, I have very mixed feelings about true crime in general because like with the book that I love, the most that I read in high school was probably in cold blood, which I still think is a really good. I mean, it started the genre, but I also. There's definitely an extent of, and I know that my own show, because of our focus, runs the risk of of crossing this territory too, of just like, it's important to study these people because it's always important to study the worst and most dangerous people for the same reason that you like look when you hear a car crash. But there's a line and I many, many tickle. Yeah, doing these like film analysis. There's a lot of that, of people like having their cake and eating it too, of like, what you want. Say, but then what ends up happening? And a lot of true crime can end up glorifying is a strong word. But making a party? Yeah, yeah, and this is. Definitely not a party story, yeah. And neither are any of the other stories we have on here. I do think like one of the things that I think is the in terms of like useful lessons that we get from this is less about how Albert Fish actually acted because he was, he was just, he was a monster, but more about how everyone else like the ******* crank letters and stuff and like just how people **** with the families and that's always been a thing, right, and that it is still happening and that it's just evolved with the mediums. That's really interesting to me. Yeah. And I think there's a lesson in there about like sort of human nature, which is that we're garbage, garbage, garbage. We'll jump on anything. And also, I guess like a lesson from like the mob and like that kind of mentality that like, yeah, you know, it's it's OK to have very strong feelings and be afraid. Like, I think that is totally OK. I am curious as to like, how did you feel like, is there because this is a story of we'll get to it. Mental illness. What was the, like, the thought process of accepting that this is a part of your past, like your family's past, right? It's weird. It does also seem like a cautionary tale, obviously, for mental illness and what it can lead to if it is not addressed. Which I kind of blamed the rest of the family for. Probably because there are just so many stories of him doing just crazy, like rolling around in rugs and yeah, calling himself I am Christ while beating his own. Ask metal paddle. Yeah. We'll we'll delve into that in a minute here. Yeah. Which again, you know, in the 20s. What language do you use for a family member who would, like, eat carpet if you left them alone? Yeah, you know, but again, like they didn't do anything to stop or help or and like his son kind of just, like kept giving him money. Which I, you know, in a lot of ways we didn't have protocols to follow. People also didn't want to talk about mental illness. So it's rather, let's not talk about it and just let our crazy uncle just be. Yeah. Which I think is still dangerous if we don't talk about, you know, the mental illnesses that we have. It's hugely important to talk about mental health in general because people need that sort of vocabulary and need to. I do think, and this will make a little like, once we get a little bit further, I'm sure we'll talk about this more. But I do think this is a case of a guy who very likely, it's possible that he'd been killing people for decades. It's also possible these are his only three killings and if he in his 40s or 50s even could have been potentially stopped from hurting anybody. That's yeah. Yeah, it's hard. It's like we can't know for sure, but that is a possible Ave here that if his family members who clearly loved him had like been like, what the hell, man? Instead of just not talking about this, let's talk about talk about this, let's talk about Kevin. But crazy, deranged, it's always like everybody knows. Like you and I are both white people. So, like, there's this assumption, and with everybody it's true that, like someone who you're related to far enough along the line did something terrible, whether it was slavery or something else, that's just the world. But there's something different when it's someone who is recent enough that, like, no, we have a specific name. We know this guy is in our line. Here's where he is and here's what he did. Yeah. Yeah. I had a weird moment because pretty boy Floyd was like, my family's always talking about, has always talked about that. My grandma, who was otherwise a very conservative lady, was Super Press. Should always tell us, you know, you got outlaw blood in you. She was proud, too. She was like, super proud. And I read about him. He's like, this guy was robbing banks and murdering cops like the the Woody Guthrie song is about. He's riding into town with his wife and a cop. Verses in front of him and so he just beats the man to death with a lock chain. That's a fun song. It's interesting the way, like, families talk about these kind of people and then when you actually dig into their lives, you're like, oh, man, this guy was not a good person. Good person. There is definitely kind of like a little bit of hangover guilt. But really, I, you know, there's something you can really do and you're like his brother. Yeah. Yeah. Who didn't do anything that I'm aware of. Right. And it's like, well, if they're going to hide Albert fish, then, like, I won't. I'm related to him. No. And there's some. And Hitler people around here with lines to Hitler and, like, they didn't do anything wrong. Right. His nephew just ran over here during the war because he was. Yeah. He had a nephew who, like, joined the Navy and stuff. Yeah. It was just, like, felt real bad about having Hitler. Isn't Uncle sorry, guys, really sorry? No, you're not responsible for your family's crimes. Yeah, but you can inherit their wealth. Hell, yeah. You had a great system going here. Blood money. OK, so in addition to reading deranged, which is a legitimately good book, I also watched this documentary. Albert Fish when I was prepping for this, it's directed by a guy named John Borowski, and it is one of the worst documentaries I've ever seen. Good job, John briski. It is very ugly. Very little creativity involved. Creepy voice acting, but bland recreations of aspects of the crimes. But then. Then, Maggie's 15 minutes into this execrable documentary, we meet John Coleman. John Coleman is an artist who collects serial killer memorabilia and dresses exactly like you'd expect based on that description. Extremely ornate waistcoat. I'm going to have you describe him in a minute. 100% a 100%. Whoa. He has Albert Fisher's original letter framed in his house, and I'm just going to put him on. We're going to play him for a couple of seconds. I'm going to have you describe him, and then we're going to play the rest of his story about how he came to own that letter. OK. This is. What I've always said is the Magna Carta of crime artifacts. This is the Albert Fish letter. It's the most. You wanna you wanna take a shot at describing John Coleman? Ascribe his face or my face. Watching his face. I will describe your face. Watching his face. Ohh cause you, you look like you just saw a dog like start to tap dance like that. Like slack jawed. But but not in a positive way. He looks like he's licked that letter like several times. Like before he framed it, he tried to get as close to that ink. He has definitely stroked that letter while tweaking his own ******. Yeah, yeah, yeah, 100% and 100 times for sure. Yeah, and he's super ornate. Waistcoat, yeah. Yeah, super ornate. Yeah. Yeah. All right, here's him, describing how he came to have Albert Fish's original creepy murder letter. Tragic and painful. Document. To a monster, that's. To ever in print and I have it, so I'm honored to have it. As I've always felt that the objects themselves. Have desires of their own, how they come here for? For their own reasons. Did he make did he draw that? Oh yeah, yeah. He drew that picture of Albert Fish when I am like a separate head of a little girl, the horrors of the world. It's not about trying to. Oh my God, it's coming back that Jordan Peterson and she used it. Yeah, like the, the, the creepy paintings that he makes that, like the the painting listeners is a painting of Albert Fish varied. It almost looks like a mad magazine. Yeah yeah, very like grimy. And it almost looks like an R crumb Dr yeah. And so it's but it's the picture of Albert Fish and he's holding the severed head of Little grace and it's terrifyingly creepy the way he says the word monster. It's with awe. It's not with judgment. Yeah. This is not a guy who is like, I don't sense respect for like, the gravity of the crimes here. He's a creepy dude. I should e-mail him be like, dude, that is my relative. I would like that letter. I think it wants to be with me. I think, I think that object wants to travel to me. So the creepy house that he's in, he calls it the auditorium. One guess as to how he spells auditorium the way. Yeah, that way, yeah, yeah, the way that the guy wearing. Creepy **** would would spell it. Yeah. And here's how he describes the auditorium in his website quote Joe Coleman is a collector. He collects fascinating friends. He collects artifacts related to infamous historical events. He collects sideshow and serial killer ephemera. He collects religious artifacts that call to his obsessions with violence, with twinning, and with power. Like his art, his collection is filled with reliquaries, containing the twinned power of both the sacred and profane. Welcome to the auditorium. Wow. So, yeah, that's Joe Coleman. Wow. Twinning. There has definitely been, like, secret societies that just have their meetings there. Yeah, but not the good ones. They're the ones that's like, oh, you guys are this is you. This is where the Masons are at these days, huh? Grab a beer. Yeah. Over anywhere on the street? Yeah, maybe join the Mormon church. I'll just walk around for weeks on end because I'd rather do that than anything. Sound better than sitting around here with you people? Now, Joe's a painter, as we already got into, and he believes he was put on this earth to express the pain of the world through, for example, elaborate face paintings with the separate heads of small children. Now he believes the objects he collects want to be his, and we're going to play the excerpt. Now that actually does explain how he wound up. Writing that letter because, spoiler alert, yeah, he kind of stole it from the government. Yeah, life was trying to get, like, the police records and stuff. And I go into Westchester, I'm trying to get a Xerox copy. Of the letter. The infamous letter that he that Albert Fish wrote to the mother of Grace Budd. And that's all I want. I just wanted Xerox copy with the letter from my research. And as fate would have it. Secretary there. Text the letter Xerox is it. Goes over to me and gives me the actual letter. I looked at it. He came as soon as that happened. Ohh man. She then walked away with the Xerox copy, put it in the file and put it in the cabinet. OK, then. I knew that Fisher wanted me to have it. He didn't want anything. He doesn't want anything. He didn't and he doesn't he ***** ** ****. I'm going to tell you something I know has happened in that guy's life on a weekly basis is he has opened a door for a woman with a very. Exceptional flourish. And then said after you, milady. Oh yes. And then kissed her hand. Oh my God, so many times. So many hands, so many times. And so many like complaints from coworkers for the hand kissing after he's been asked to stop. He's that guy. He's 1000% that guy. I don't like Joe Coleman. We're going to play one more segment from later in the documentary where Joe Coleman tries to explain why Albert Fish did not sexually assault. This would be a great to hear him explain that. That would be great on your face. You were waiting for him to weigh in on why Albert Fish didn't rape the child. Yeah. Fish embodies this kind of. Pathology that there is something saintly and beautiful about suffering, but there's something ugly and repugnant about sex. Because he saved little Grace bud. From this terrible crime, you know, and he kept. Saying I did not defile her. She died of virgin. And I know from my Catholic upbringing he was Catholic. This is there's a certain truth that he's saying, that any Catholic is gonna know Albert Fish. By mutilating and cutting this little girl up in pieces and doing this horrible thing to her, he's made her into this martyr, you know? He's made her into this. Umm. Creature. Actually defiling a body is against, well, the Catholic Church, I'm pretty sure. Yeah. So cutting it up, actually. Not that he cares about any of this. I don't think it's definitely true. We're going to get into this a little bit. That fish is peculiar. Personal brand of Christianity. Super had an impact on his crimes. But I think what Joe was saying there is full of **** because. Yeah, yeah. Any Catholic knows that there's a way in which he became a martyr. What are you talking about? No, no, no, no. No, no, no, no. OK, so Albert Fish had a history known to his family, a very creepy religious behavior. In 1934, his son Albert Junior was living with him in a small apartment. One day he came upon his father bare *** naked in the middle of the living room, holding his erect penis and paddling himself on the *** with a nail filled paddle. His *** was red and bloody and he was drenched in sweat. This made Albert Junior recall an incident in 1922 when he was playing football with his two brothers. Here's how depraved describes it. Albert had just bent down to catch a low kick. Albert the younger, not the murderer, and as he straightened up to boot the ball back to Henry, he caught sight of his father. Standing in the apple orchard on the little hill behind the bungalow, the old man hit his right hand, raised high in the air and was shouting something over and over. Albert had strained to listen. The old man was shouting I am Christ, which is like his catch phrase. He would shout I am Christ a lot, particularly while beating himself. He also had a habit of lighting his own *** on fire. He's a huge fan of light. Huge. Well, you know, once you hit it with nails, that's like a sharp pain. And you're like, oh, what's a dull overall pain? What else can I do to my fire? Yeah, burn it, burn it. So, another time, Albert Junior found several of his dad's homemade nail studded bloody and rusted paddles. He asked his father for an explanation. Which is the start of the conversation that you should be having. Yeah, and Albert fish, his dad explained. Quote I used them on myself. I get these feelings that come over me, and every time they do, I have to torture myself with those paddles. Yeah Should have been a longer son. Yeah, duh. Yeah. Should have been longer. I'm punishing myself with paddles because I'm Christ. Because I'm crying. So Albert Fish had a very, very long, very, very long history of writing insane and unbelievably creepy letters to random women. He would find them in newspapers, through matrimonial agencies, classified ads. A lot of times there were women letting out rooms who are like, landladies, and he would just, like, start. He yeah, he would start, he would start. He would just send them these crazy letters. Yeah. And and they would some of them would start kind of reasonable, and then would descend to him asking for paddlings. Usually they're paddling. Focused one way or the other, he would pretend to be a Hollywood agent in some cases. Ohh, we're teetering towards that Cliff again. OK, here's a quote from one letter he sent to a woman while he was pretending to be Mr Hollywood. I wish you could see me now. I am sitting in a chair, naked. The pain is across my back, just over my behind. When you strip me naked, you will see the most perfect form. Yours. Yours. Sweet honey of my heart. I can taste your sweet ****. Your sweet ****. You must pee. Pee in a glass and I shall drink every drop of it as you watch me. Tell me when you want to #2. I will take you over my knees, pull up your clothes, take down your drawers and hold my mouth to your sweet honey. That *** and eat your sweet peanut butter as it comes out fresh and hot. This is how they do it in Hollywood. Yeah. You know, part of me is like, maybe he got some kicks off that way. He was definitely getting kicks off. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But you think it probably did work with some people? Like, statistically you send a lot of letters out. So there are a ton of his creepy letters that you can read if you want to read depraved, or you can just look them up online. We're not going to read every piece of correspondence she sent. I do want to go over a little bit more of it, though. A number of women came forward after he was arrested when he was, like, in court and his letter was made. Public. And these were people who had been freaked out by his letters before and in some cases had kept them and hadn't known what to do because, like, like, nowadays, if you're a woman because of the Internet, men are going to send you terrifying things. That's just what happens. But back then, some lady would just receive a letter that's like, in the 16 pages in the mail. Yeah, of a guy talking about wanting his *** paddled or wanting you to poop on him. And you just you just didn't have any. What do you do? And you don't tell your girlfriend because you don't know if they like. Is this normal? So what, this part of being a person? Yeah, he's really doing the Hollywood that way. Just imagine, like, looking out at mailboxes and just thinking, is everyone getting letters like this? What is this just life? Why is no one talking about this? So he sent the other kind of families of letters that he would have is he would he would message women generally landladies, telling them that he had an adult son who was mentally ill and needed to be spanked regularly. And sometimes he would send them like a dozen letters, like very long conversations where they would agree, like, OK, I can spank him if he's bad and then he, like, go on to specify no, it needs to be done like right now. Why? I like it. This is how I like it. The doctor says three or four good spankings. Day on his bear behind Will do him good as he is nice and fat in that spot. It will be an aide to him. When he don't mind you then you must strip him down and use the cat O9 tails. Say you won't hesitate to use the paddle or cat O9 tails on him when he needs it. Now that's one paragraph. There are pages of him detailing how to spank his fake son. He was very concerned about making sure it was the right way. His fake son might not get spanked the right way and he's clearly doing this to get off, which is creepy and not OK. But this is what I. I suspect this is most of what he did up until he committed those murders. And, yeah, it feels like this was him, you know, the escalation. Exactly. Starting with letters doing that. Always the fascination with the butts, though, that's fat butts, butts, butts. You know, in a different timeline with like, right medication, he would have just liked that bottom girls rule the world. Well, yeah, exactly. Different person, you know, Freddie Mercury could have saved him and all of those. He could. Freddie Mercury could have done anything he could have done. I love Freddie Mercury. This is yet another case where if we had a time machine, you get Freddie Mercury, and you just travel around time, you'd fix a couple of things. You fix a couple of things here and there. So in 1930, though, Albert Fish sent his insane, creepy letters to the wrong damn woman, a housekeeper named E salaried. She sent the letter to the police, and since he had included a return address because he was hoping to keep up this yeah, they were able to find and arrest him, because it's not legal to send horrifying letters like that to strangers. Even back then, yeah, you've been back then. He was sent to Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital to be diagnosed, and he spent a few weeks there. He was found to be sexually psychotic, which seems fair. There seemed to be a crosswire, yeah, between sex and pain. But they also, though, found that he was quiet and cooperative. They said he conducted himself in an orderly and normal manner, and his bad behavior was mostly chalked up to the fact that he was old and probably senile, so he was released after too long. Now, in 1931, he was arrested. Again for sending obscene letters to a woman who owned a boarding school in the area. This time, the police searched his home and found his homemade cat and nine tales, as well as a frankfurter and a carrot, both really gross looking. Where where those were have been. Well, the cops asked him why he had these in his dresser and fish replied I stick him up my ***. Ohh. So yeah. Mystery, mystery soft. Yeah, you're not. To his credit, he was honest because he was crazy and doesn't realize was not hiding it. Yeah. Uh, so during the trial, you know, when he was finally caught and stuff, it was revealed that Fish's original plan had been to abduct a teenage boy rather than grace. He planned to tie up Edward Slice off his penis and then skipped town while the boy bled to death because he didn't want to kill him. He just wanted the penis and he wanted to kill him, but he wanted it to take a long time. Yeah, yeah. Grace was a consolation murder victim, and he usually he would sometimes refer to grace as a hymn just because I guess he wanted it that way. So in interviews with police, Albert Fish reported a general sort of bemusement and confinement over why he had killed Grace, saying first, you know, I never could account for it. He would later claim that his brother had served in the Navy in China because he claimed it before it was a friend of his. Later, he said it was his brother. I don't think either. Yeah, I don't think either was. The family was kind of just like doing normal things, which is so. And it has all his kids turned out, yeah, really normal. Yeah. And they seem, in the story, they seem pretty normal. Yeah. Like, they have a range of different reactions to this because his daughters are kind of in his court. And he was always a good dad. Like, he's a normal guy. All the kids were like, he was a good dad. Even hit his kids, which is weird for that period of time because everybody hit kids back in the 20s, but not Albert Fish. He would just himself and the kids that he murdered. Yeah, the goal posts are wide. All over the place, yeah. So he would later tell Detective King that he traced his problems back to the fact that when he was five years old, he was placed in an orphanage by his mother. His dad was 75 when he was born, and his dad had died when he was very young, and as soon as that happened, his mom put him in the orphanage. He said he saw a lot of things a child of seven should not see. I yeah. Not to say that there's not truth to, I'm sure some. Either it was. He's always like, had, you know, this mental problem or. Yeah, there's usually an inciting incident. He says. They were whipped in the orphanage, which definitely happened in orphanages back then. So maybe that's where it started. Yeah. You're, you know, developing sexually and sometimes a little Doo Doo. Yeah. Yeah. And you're getting hit on the **** all the time. That's your thing. Yeah, that's how it works. Yeah, we're amazing machines. They were. So we should be trusted with so much. Yeah. Isn't it great we have missiles. Yeah. That was a real solid development for species with our sorts of impulse control. Yeah. So further investigation determined that fish's legal troubles had actually started back in 1903, when he had spent 16 months in prison on grand larceny. He'd been arrested six times just since Grace Budd's abduction. Sometimes for sending horrible letters to people, sometimes for vagrancy or for passing bad checks in court. He was no. Clear on why he'd killed Grace saying quote the temptation just came over me. That's all I can say. I can't account for it. I don't understand it. But he was always emphatic that he had not had sex with her saying no Sir, no Sir, no sex at all. I did not outrage her. Which I think murdering someone outrageous them probably I guess. I think he was probably gay. So that's probably a huge reason why he didn't with grace and he does seem to be The Who will talk about in a minute here the psychiatrist who diagnosed him did come to the. Conclusion? He was homosexual, yeah. But he was a lot of things, and I wouldn't. Yeah. And that's almost like, why even mention it? Because his sexuality is like a Pollock painting. Like it is. It is a mess. It's all over the place. Yeah. So the media was as gross as you would expect from everything we've talked about in the story when they covered the trial. Depraved, the book notes that a single article in the mirror called Fish, the ogre of Murder Lodge, the Vampire Man, an orgiastic fiend, and the werewolf of Wysteria all in the same article. Wow. Same. That's too pick one. That prose is so purple. It's red. Yeah. The quote from that article, out of the slime of the sadistic butchery of Grace Budd by the benign looking Albert Howard Fish there, emerged last night. The hint of an even greater horror, a horror of multiple killings revealing a new type of Jack the Ripper in the guise of a kindly old gentleman. Wow. Yeah, that's weird that they describe him as kind and like normal looking because he wasn't. Because he looks creepy. Creepy as ****? Yeah, and it's it's clear. Like at the time when you talk about his first. Crimes. People noticed him? Yeah, like they were like there was a creepy *** flicking Gray dude walking around. That must be who abducted the child. And they were not wrong. No, no, he was the guy. Yeah, he looks like the guy that, if you like, see him walking around a playground you like. I'm just going to call the cops like this. I feel like they should just be some armed men around. I hate doing that because our plenty of wonderful people who do look creepy and vice versa. But he is one that you look at and it's like, Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No. Yeah. And in fact, go to our website to look at those pictures. Yeah. Fish's case was confusing. Is that last quote to people of the time? Because he, aside from his criminal record, he didn't fit society's profile of a sex murderer. He was a descendant of American aristocracy, which I guess you are too. Yes. Some famous revolutionary dude, right? Yeah, famous revolutionary. Dude. And he was also related to, I guess he was like a in the Treasury in DC Hamilton Fish. Yeah, that sounds like a treasury name. Yeah, there's a lot of official checks with his, like, Austentatious signature on it. And Hamilton Fish actually deleted some historical records that connects them as yes, which we ran into that big gap while doing our family trees. Like, Gee, why did he? Sure seems like a well connected dude. Tried to try to cover up. He was related to this, man, that's amazing. Same last name. Oh man. Yeah, that's fun. Yeah. OK, so who's worse? No, Albert Fish was it came out during all this that his wife had abandoned him when the kids were very young and left the kids with him. And again, as we said, he'd been a decent dad. And you can't blame when, because the wife gave testimony at the trial and we're just talked about the same things the kids had seen. They'd seen. They were not OK with it. They were ******* terrified of him, right? They left. Which fair, totally fair. Especially in a time when no one has a vocabulary to discuss something like this. Again, not cool to leave the kids with him? No, that's a questionable move. Agree with that choice, which is made weirder by the fact that he was apparently fine as a dad. Yeah. But there's no way that woman could have known that they just ran. Yeah. And I guess some of it's probably that. I imagine at that time, if you went to court for custody of the kids, it was probably easier for the man to win back then. I don't know enough about how the laws were. But also, maybe she was a little homophobic and saw something like that she didn't like. So it was just like, you know, or maybe, yeah, maybe it was oddly woke and that they just thought he was gay. And we're like, well, gay people can raise kids just fine. I just want to get out. Yeah. Who? Who knows? Who knows? But he was clearly very angry at his wife for leaving and he in fact stated a number of times, yeah. He wrote a letter to his daughter Gertrude and said all I hope for, all I want to live for is to be able to go in court. That I may tell what a ***** of a mother you all had the kind of wife I had. Wow. And you know what? He. I bet he got it. Like, I bet he got to say he sure did. He wrote a letter to his daughter Annie and said tell old Peg leg you're a ***** of a mother. At the deck, going to court and take a stand. We'll be a sorry one for her. It's weird her. It's weird. The only time he sounds like a normal guy is when he's being really angry at his ex-wife. Like, he reaches clarity because I'm sure it's like a clear, like solid thing on this earth that he can be mad at and then like everything else will just spiral. No fantasy. Yeah, but he's got this, like, anger point of being ****** at his wife. So there are also a bunch of stories from his kids who had all just sort of chalked up his weirdness to. That being weird, in court, fish express deep concern for his children and at one point asked a reporter to send them Christmas baskets. That's sweet. Yeah, he claimed he regretted the murder of Grace Budd as soon as he committed it. Depending on the day of the trial, he would veer from asserting he was ready to die for his crimes to trying to get a lesser sentence. So didn't was not totally consistent. Fish was a very religious guy. He had a lot of the Bible memorized, and his favorite Bible passage was Isaiah 3612. I'm gonna read it, and you try to figure out why he might have liked it but rabshakeh. And apologies to listeners named Rabshakeh, if I pronounce that wrong. And but Rabshakeh said, hath not my master sent me to thy master, and to thee to speak these words? Hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung and drink their own **** with you? Ohh, do you think it's he's a big fan of rap shackett, yeah, yeah, that's why you like that. Yeah, when he was in jail one Sunday during a mass for prisoners, a guard her grunting coming from his OHP and walked over to look. He saw fish with his pants down and just enormous erection stroking his you know to the sounds of the Lord's Prayer. Yeah, so he loved guys, really loved God, super into God. Frederick Wertham, distinguished psychiatrist who comics fans will know and hate for originating the comics code. That guy was the guy who assessed Albert Fisher's mental state for the court and just tried to decide whether or not he was too crazy to be convicted, he wrote, quote there was no known perversion that he did not practice and practice frequently. Which, yeah, in a way, an accomplishment. Yeah. Normally that's a positive thing when you haven't murdered people, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. All the fishes weirdness back to a desire for pain and fish did tell him that quote. I always seem to enjoy everything that hurt the desire to inflict pain. That is all that is uppermost to Wortham fish. Explain the details of what he done to Grace Budd. He claimed that he first tried to drink her blood but had not been able to handle it. Instead he'd cut off 4 pounds of flesh from her buttocks, breast, belly and ears and nose. Ears seem odd. Not a lot of wanted them. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So he wrapped them up in newspaper. And took them back to his homes. This excited him so much that he ejaculated while riding the train back home before he even got home. Yes, of course, once he was back, he used Grace's flesh to make a Stew with carrots, onions, and strips of bacon. He said he'd eaten the Stew for 9 days. That our family recipe. Your God? My father was making soup when I called. I know. And then he talks. When he talks about eating the boy, he talks about the potatoes that he used in the like. He makes, like a bisque. Yeah, we do have a really good potato soup family recipe. I kind of want it. It's they're spamming it. It's spam. No. The closest to people. We all know that. I mean, taste buds. It's inherited to an extent. You want to come over for dinner? Kind of, yeah. I can tell you that burning human flesh smells almost exactly like cooking bacon. OK, yeah, I would absolutely buy that. So yeah, he ate her for 9 days and pleasure himself and stuff. We all know where this is going. We're all adults. Yeah, that's that's that's the kind of guy he is. OK, so it was also in prison where Wortham and Detective King discovered Albert Fisher's other favorite hobby. He loved shoving needles inside himself. He did, yeah. Usually pushing them into his taint or somewhere else around his pelvis. The doctors actually gave him an X-ray because he had chronic pain and he came back. Filled with needles. They found 29 needles inside of them. There's the X-ray if you have you seen it? Love it so much because he's just full of needles. He's just full of needles. They're just everywhere. Industrious fellow, you gotta give him that. There's one right there, like in the lower **** cheek, just kind of dangling. Yeah, because a lot of times he would try to get him out, but a lot of times he just got him in two teeth. Yeah. Who's that old Ian Malcolm quote from Jurassic Park he didn't stop to think of if you should. Ohh. Yeah, no, I bet he did. And he decided he decided yes. This was a reasoned decision from Albert Fish. They also found that fish like to soak cotton and alcohol, shove it up his *** and light his *** on fire. He claimed to have tortured many children the same way he did claim there were many children, a life full of victims, Wortham said. Quote He started his sexual career, so to say, at the age of 17. At the time he became a painter. Now, that profession of painter this man has used as a convenience. He worked in many different institutions. He worked in YMCA. He worked in homes for the tubercular. He worked in any kind of home where there were children where they thought he could get children, and all these places he made his headquarters the basement or the seller, and he had a habit of wearing painters overalls over his nude body because he could he could get naked. So either it's true and this guy killed a shitload of people or he's lying and I think it's totally credible because he definitely was important to him to be a good father. I think it's totally possible. He spent all of his time working and doing ************ in weird ways and sending letters to people and it was when he was no longer working. And his kids were supporting him. That he really got the time to actually commit horrible crimes, right? Enact his fantasies? Yeah, we'll never know. That's my read on it. And that he was getting off on talking to the psychiatrist about stuff. Yeah, I think that was also part of it because he told him lurid stories about seducing kids into basements with bribes of candy and money and then doing terrible things to them. He did claim that most of his victims were colored because the authorities didn't care if black kids went missing. Damn. Which they knew back then. And they parts true. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know if he actually did that, but I'm going to bet it was easier to get away with. Yeah. And is still today, yeah. So we'll never know how many of these victims are real or not. Wortham did uncover more religious influences. He found out that fish was obsessed with the story of Abraham and Isaac, which he claims convinced him he needed to sacrifice a child. Yeah, he figured that if God didn't want the boy to die, he'd send an Angel down to stop fish. Yeah. So God's the real bad guy in this story, right? Come on, guys. Don't write a book like that and just leave us to interpret it. We'll do things like this and some angels down like we're not. You know, you made us. You know, we're not smart enough to figure this **** out. We're sticking needles in our *****. Come on. On purpose. On purpose. In the end, uh Wortham concluded that fish was in fact far too mentally ill for the state to execute. He is, in my opinion, a man. Not only incurable and unreformable, but also unpublishable, which is probably accurate, probably. I don't think there is anything anyone could have done to be like, do you realize what you've done? I mean, at that point, who are you talking to? Yeah. The court didn't disagree with this guy. Nobody, none of the jurors thought that fish was not criminally insane, but they all wanted him killed anyway just because they thought he needed to die. I mean, and I don't really disagree with that either. Quality of life, if that is a factor. He's not leading. He's hurting himself. Yeah, he's it's, yeah. Yeah. So he was taken to the electric chair. He was killed on January 16th, 1936. He left behind a final statement to his lawyer. Jack Dempsey, who stated quote I will never show it to anyone. It was the most filthy string of obscenities that I have ever read. One last one last letter to my dear lawyer. So that's all I've got on Albert Fish. Is there anything else that you brought to the table that we haven't gotten to yet? I really, you covered a good amount of it, I think, yeah, just the kind of the rest of the family and the Hamilton fish. Like, not only trying to not talk about it, but like you race records of being. You want to destroy the. Yes. Yeah. Do you destroy the evidence? I think, yeah. It kind of speaks to the, I guess, shame of it all, which again, is tied into mental health, which is tied into, like, sexuality. And just, yeah, I'm glad that we have at least a couple more Nets to catch things like this before. And now when a society where maybe a guy who grows up like Albert fish and wanting to have his *** paddled bloody and wanting to paddle. Other people and be lit on fire. Now that guy can just go to a dungeon dungeon and light his own, have his *** lit on fire, light other people's ***** on fire, and there can be consent, and it's all fine, and it doesn't have to. And not to say that he didn't choose to also, yeah, but he's not a monster because he shoved needles up his ***. That's a respectable way to pass the time like you want to. You do whatever you want to your own ***. This is America. Just don't eat children. Yeah, maybe eat adults. Maybe the rich, rich, rich. Maybe eat the rich. Doritos Doritos Doritos, Doritos the only thing tastier than the flesh of the rich. Only thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's the only thing holding society together right now is that Doritos are tastier than that. And if they ever dip in quality, which they never will, which they are amazing. But if they ever did, society would collapse because we would start eating right. We would, we would. We would go right for the bankers. Don't we? We do. We do. And that's a positive note to end this horrible, horrible episode about a terrible criminal. Maggie, you want to plug your plegables? Yes. Yeah, you can find me Maggie may fish. That's May Mae, also named after my great, great grandmother, who is in the same line. Yeah, I bet she was really horrified when all this came out. Oh, I don't know if she ever knew. And thank God I'm just imagining members of your. Family like picking up the news over in Michigan and like reading about the trial and going, oh, gonna throw this newspaper in the trash here. Don't let the kids see this. Color cousin in DC. I think we need to have some files burned. Hamilton will know what to do. Uh, yeah. So find me on Twitter. I have a podcast about friendship called my top eight of the Small Beans network, and you can catch my videos, that breakdown of film and society on my YouTube channel? They're fantastic videos. Check them out. Check out Maggie's work. She's one of the most talented people I've ever worked with OHS. I'm Robert Evans and next week, next Tuesday, we'll be back as we are every week with another story about someone terrible. So please tune in for that. It will probably be a dictator rather than. A mass murderer. But you know, I wanted the same. Yeah, one in the same. Not as different as you might expect. Yeah. You can find this podcast on Twitter at at ******** Pod Instagram too. You can find us on the Internet at Have a cool ranch day and I love you. And have 40% of you. My name is Alex Fumero and I host the new podcast more than a movie, American Me, a film directed by and starring Edward James Olmos. I'll be diving into the behind the scenes controversy, including an alleged backlash from the Mexican mafia. Several people who worked on the movie have been murdered. I don't want to speak about why would people be murdered for being in a movie. Listen to more than a movie. American meat on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. My name is Lauren Ober, and in addition to being a charming podcast host, I am also a newly diagnosed autistic person. My new show, the loudest girl in the world, is all about my weird, winding path to diagnosis, my decision at age 42 to finally get evaluated for autism. Listen to the loudest girl in the world on the. 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