Albert Fish, born 1870,  the Brooklyn Vampire
Albert Fish, born 1870, the Brooklyn Vampire, an example of a ‘Walter’.

Walter never understood what he had done wrong
In his head he heard only a sad haunting song
He sat in the courtroom as he had been bidden
All sense of the seriousness from him was hidden.

His mother had left him when he was but a child
His father he’d not known, they said he was wild
And to the children’s home where he had been placed
He was often returned after some strange disgrace.

To him it was natural, he liked to trap rats
And later dissect them, and the dogs, and some cats
But the thrill of small creatures was beginning to bore
So he turned then to people, once one, then lots more.

They followed him willingly when he offered the treat
Of a room in his house as opposed to the street
Then he drugged them and tied them as they lay asleep
And cut them to pieces just like he did sheep.

His total was forty as far as they could tell
They had come to his house because of the smell
He’d eaten some of them and the taste was so good
And Walter was especially fond of the blood.

Now here he sat quietly for the jury to see
This ‘disgusting murderer’ who ate people for tea
And he hummed the strange song that he heard in his head
Wondering who he could eat before going to bed.

Each day when they finished he was taken away
And locked in a small room so he couldn’t stray
And it never occurred to him that he had done wrong
As he sat and he rocked and he hummed his sad song.


©Joe Wilson – ‘Walter’ 2014
Like most people I’ve had the good fortune never to encounter a ‘Walter’, but I have had an interest in criminology for many years. I do hope the subject matter and poem doesn’t upset or offend anybody. ©Joe Wilson – ‘Walter’ 2014