If you’re old enough, and if you’ve been around the Poughkeepsie, New York area long enough, you may have heard the name, Albert Fentress. Does the name ring a bell? Albert Fentress was the center of one of the most disturbing and gruesome murder cases that I have ever heard about. Yet, nobody seems to talk about this.
You hear stuff about Kendall Francois, a Poughkeepsie serial killer who was convicted of killing eight women in the 1990s. But you don’t hear the name, Albert Fentress. Maybe it was just so gruesome that people don’t want to remember. So who is this man, and what did he do? I’ll tell you but be warned it’s disturbing. I do actually remember the case, but I did refer to muderpedia.com to help refresh my memory.
Albert Fentress was a Poughkeepsie High School teacher back in the 1970s. There are many details involved in this case, but here it is in a nutshell. Fentress tortured, killed, and cannibalized a Poughkeepsie teenager. It was August of 1979, and according to Fentress, 18 year old Paul Masters had wandered onto the Fentress lawn. Fentress told officials that he lured the teen into his basement, tied him to a post, sexually abused and mutilated him, shot him twice in the head, and then cooked and ate the mutilated body parts. Fentress was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was sent away to a psychiatric center. That really is a condensed edition because the case has so many more twists and turns.
The case doesn’t get talked about too much, but I'll never forget it, and neither will those whose lives were affected by this horrific crime. Recently, local author Jode Millman wrote a fictional book, but it’s based on the Fentress case that takes place in Poughkeepsie, and there is a lot of truth to this fictional work. It’s called “The Midnight Call”. It’s a good read, and I highly recommend it.