Fish was executed on January 16 , 1936 , in the electric chair at Sing Sing . It is believed by some that he spoke of the prospect of electrocution as the "supreme thrill" and even helped the executioners fasten the straps that held his body in place. A Daily News reporter who covered the trial wrote that Fish's "watery eyes gleamed at the thought of being burned by a heat more intense than the flames with which he often seared his flesh to gratify his lust ," though others thought that Fish did not want to die.
His last words are said to have been "I don't know why I'm here". It was reported that the first jolt of electricity did not kill him, and that a second jolt was needed. A few wrote, facetiously, that the twenty-nine needles Fish had inserted into his body over the years had caused a short circuit . However, this is generally considered to be erroneous, as guards insist that the first jolt did indeed kill him and that all executed prisoners receive a second jolt as a precaution.
He is reported loosely to have said after the first attempt to execute him, "is that all you've got?" He is buried in Sing-Sing Prison Cemetery .
He came to Sing Sing prison in 1935 carrying a Bible and handcuffed to another murderer, named Stone, whose forefathers had also fought in the American Revolution. Dozens of appeals to save Fish were rejected and he was scheduled to die on January 16, 1936. As his appointment with the electric chair grew closer, Fish told reporters that he was looking forward to his execution. "It will be the only thrill I have not tried," he reportedly said. On January 16, Fish ate his last meal (a steak) and without aid, entered the death room and walked briskly to the electric chair. He climbed into the seat and readily helped the guards fix the electrodes to his legs. The reporters and witnesses who were present were aghast at his behavior. He could barely manage to contain his joy at going to a violent death.
Legend has it that death did not come as quickly as Fish might have liked. When the switch was pulled, according to the story, the first massive jolt of over 3,000 volts failed to kill him. Blue smoke appeared around him but that was all and it has been surmised that the needles that he had put into his body actually created a short circuit. Another, prolonged and massive charge had to be sent through his body in order to execute him -- or so the story that circulated went. In truth, Fish died just like anyone else. When the current raced through him, his body surged and his fists clenched. Moments later, the doctor on duty pronounced that Fish, the oldest man ever executed at Sing Sing, was dead.
While the old man's corpse was being taken out to the autopsy room, his defense attorney met with reporters. In his hand, he held Albert Fish's final statement, several pages of hand-written notes that he had penned in the hours before his death. To this day, the statement has never been revealed. "I will never show it to anyone," Dempsey said. "it was the most filthy string of obscenities that I have ever read."