Albert Fish's trial for the murder of Grace Budd began on March 11, 1935, in White Plains, New York.
The trial lasted for 10 days. Fish pleaded insanity and claimed to have heard voices from God telling him to kill children. Several psychiatrists testified about Fish's sexual fetishes, which included sadism, masochism, cunnilingus, anilingus, fellatio, flagellation, exhibitionism, voyeurism, piquerism, cannibalism, coprophagia, urophilia, pedophilia, and infibulation. Dempsey, in his summation, noted that Fish was a 'psychiatric phenomenon' and that nowhere in legal or medical records were there another individual who possessed so many sexual abnormalities.
None of the jurors doubted that Fish was insane, but ultimately, as one later explained, they felt he should be executed anyway. They found him to be sane and guilty, and the judge ordered the death sentence. Fish arrived at the prison in March 1935 and was executed on January 16, 1936, in the electric chair at Sing Sing. He entered the chamber at 11:06 p.m. and was pronounced dead three minutes later. He was buried in the Sing Sing Prison Cemetery. Fish is said to have helped the executioner position the electrodes on his body. His last words were reported, 'I don't even know why I'm here.' According to one witness present, it took two jolts before Fish died, creating the rumor that the apparatus was short-circuited by the needles that Fish inserted into his body. These rumors were later regarded as untrue, as Fish reportedly died in the same fashion and time frame as others in the electric chair.
At a meeting with reporters after the execution, Fish's lawyer James Dempsey revealed that he was in possession of his client's 'final statement.' This amounted to several pages of hand-written notes that Fish apparently penned in the hours just prior to his death. When pressed by the assembled journalists to reveal the document's contents, Dempsey refused, stating, 'I will never show it to anyone. It was the most filthy string of obscenities that I have ever read.'