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Op-Ed: Do you know Albert Fish the real Hannibal Lector

By Forstine Carter     Oct 10, 2011 in Crime
We have all watched the movie Silence of the Lambs. "Hello Clarise," played by Anthony Hopkins. Did you ever wonder where that particular storyline got its roots?
Serial Murder is defined as a series of two or more murders, caused or committed as separate events, usually by one offender. Crimes of a serial murderer may occur from time frames ranging from a few hours to years. The motive is always psychological and usually the behavior of a serial murderer at a crime scene, while committing the crime, will often reflect evidence of sadistic, sexual overtones. Meet Albert Fish, if you haven't already. Albert Fish is believed to be the most deranged killer in American History.
The character of Hannibal Lector in the movie Silence of the Lambs is partially based on him. He fancied expeditions in cannibalism, fetishism, pedophilia, voyeurism, exhibitionism and masochism.
Born May 19, 1870 in Washington, DC., his mother placed him in an orphanage after his father died, for fear of not being able to provide for him. While at the orphanage Fish experienced degradation through uncommon acts that he was forced to do in front of other children such as masturbation and beatings. This only helped further his sado-masochistic obsessions. At the age of 7, he was finally reunited with his mother and shortly afterwards fell from a tree a causing him severe head trauma, which resulted in severe headaches and dizzy spells.
All serial killers website goes on to tell you the rest of Albert Fish's biography, a time-line of crimes and prey, his next murder, his trial and conviction.
Eventually Albert Fish was captured, tried and convicted after a postmarked letter by a child that he'd killed and ate and sent to the child's family, was tracked by police to him. Albert Fish pleaded insanity but the jury didn't think he was insane, and he was sentenced to death. It's documented that it took two full electrical charges to finally kill him. After he died in the electric chair a prison x-ray detected 29 different needles in his groin, some were eroded from time.
Albert Fish enjoyed pain and enjoyed causing pain to others. Some say that genetics is responsible for such behavior, but I don't think there is anything in science that says someone can be born with a kill gene. If this were so, wouldn't be more than one serial killer in that family? Why just one, why not at least two so that theory can be supported. What drives a person to kill?
When Albert Fish stood trial he wanted to be declared insane, this would've meant a lesser sentence with time spent in some mental institution. I don't think he was insane in that way. I think he was cunning, manipulative, and if you've seen the movie "The Silence of the Lambs", he was quite intelligent. But on the other hand, I think the only responsible factor in Albert Fish's path of terror was Sadomasochism.
Sadomasochism broadly refers to the receiving of pleasure—often sexual—from acts involving the infliction or reception of pain or humiliation. The name originates from two authors on the subject, Marquis de Sade and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. A subset of BDSM, practitioners of sadomasochism usually seek out sexual gratification from these acts, but often seek out other forms of pleasure as well. While the terms sadist and masochist specifically refer to one who either enjoys giving pain (sadist), or one who enjoys receiving pain (masochist), many practitioners of sadomasochism describe themselves as at least somewhat of a switch, or someone who can receive pleasure from either inflicting or receiving pain.
The acronym S&M is often used for sadomasochism, although practitioners themselves normally drop the & and use the acronym SM or S/M. Sadomasochism should be differentiated from the clinical paraphilias which require that such practices lead to clinically significant distress or impairment for a diagnosis. Similarly, sexual sadism within the context of mutual consent should not be mistaken for acts of sexual violence or aggression.
Sadism and masochism both terms were introduced to the medical field by German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing in his 1886, which is around the time when Albert Fish was 16 years old. Albert Fish killed for sexual pleasure. It satisfied him 100% to eat the flesh of his victims. What would cause more pain to the body than eating it? Sexual gratification was his motive. He never violently killed his victims, his victims were usually strangled. My observation is because he more of an arousal eating them than killing them, that's what drove him. Albert Fish was evil.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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