1. Worst Childhood
Albert Fish was born Hamilton Howard Fish on May 19, 1870, in Washington, DC. His mother suffered from hallucinations, and other members of his family struggled with severe mental illnesses. At least two of his family members died in asylums.
Sent to St. John’s Orphanage, Fish was punished severely by his teachers. They would rip off his clothes and whip him while the other students watched. Psychologists believe that his later behavior—torturing his victims to death—was his way of forcing the same pain he had endured onto others.
When his mother was finally able to hold down a steady job, she sent for him. But the psychological damage had already been done, and he continued with bed-wetting until age 11. In his later teenage years, he changed his name from Hamilton to Albert so that he was no longer mocked by his school friends as “Ham and Eggs.”