Kendall “Stinky” Francois murdered eight to ten women Poughkeepsie, NY over a two-year-period. Francois would target prostitutes, bringing them back to his home, which he shared with his parents, where he would strangle them to death and stuff them in his attic.
Not Your Average Serial Killer
Why do some people grow up and kill?
We often attempt to link, to rationalize, childhood events with serial killers. For instance, many serial killers fall into the MacDonald triad, an assemblage of three distinct factors including a history of wetting the bed, a history of animal abuse or cruelty, and a history of starting fires.
Other killers have a prominent brain injury, such as a concussion, during early developmental phases or childhood. Kendall Francois, however, displayed none of these traits, and there is nothing noteworthy in his background that can explain why he murdered at least eight women within a two-year period.
Kendall Francois was born on July 26, 1971, one of four children to Paulette, and McKinley; Kendall being the largest of all his siblings. He was a big boy, although this may understate his growth spurt he experienced as a teenager. Kendall would later grow to 6’4” and 380 pounds.
Kendall was an average student in grade school, and may have been picked on for his massive size, although it is highly doubtful, because of his size, that other kids bullied him. Most who knew Kendall would claim, even after his arrest, that he was a “gentle giant.”
Using his size, Kendall was a natural football player and wrestler, but exhibited no genuine passion for pursuing his sports in a full career.
After a brief stint in the US Army stationed in Honolulu and discharged in 1994, Kendall Francois started his full-time career as a janitor and hall monitor. His places of employment included The Anderson School, a private school for the mentally retarded and developmentally disabled children, and also the Arlington Middle School.
An Arlington School official recalls Kendall, “I thought he was kind of inappropriate in his appearance and in his demeanor.”
Violet Reynolds, a student, said “he would always want to wrestle and play around.”
Lived in Squalor
At the time of his arrest, Kendall Francois lived in complete squalor at 102 Fulton Avenue. When detectives finally got access to inside the home, they noted “the smell of feces, soiled underwear with human waste lining the fabric.”
What’s really interesting about his house situation is that his mother, father, and sister all lived in the filthy house which explains why they didn’t know, or simply ignored, the putrid smell of decomposing corpses inside the attic.
Most of Kendall’s victims, except for one, would be murdered either in Francois’ room or in the house garage. Since his victims were prostitutes, a price negotiation for sexual intimacy would occur, and then Kendall would drive the woman back to his home where he would strangle them to death.
Snapped and Fractured
Kendall was just as surprised as his first victim when he ‘snapped’, grabbing for the woman’s throat with his massive hands and squeezing. Sure, he broke the law for soliciting sex, but there’s one thing he clearly was not: a murderer.
Besides, he knew Wendy Myers and has used her services many times in the past, but, he reasoned, she was nothing more than a worthless prostitute whose services never satisfied him fully. Kendall Francois hated nothing more than feeling ripped off.
October 24, 1994, would be Myers’ last day on earth. She would never see her family again and she would never step inside the St. James the Apostle Roman Catholic Church where she was a member.
Wendy Myers would spend the next two years inside Kendall Francois’ dark and dank attic, decomposing with the other four that he haphazardly stuffed in plastic garbage bags placed in the corner.
The Price Of Getting High
Walking down Church Street across the Hudson Bay Bridge are clad-dressed females looking for their next trick. Whether rain or shine, sunny or snowy, you can spot these women at all hours of the day, their schedules only dependent on a future hit of crack, cocaine, or heroine. Their prices reflected the current market prices for each hit of dope. For this reason, they couldn’t be too picky on the Johns they serviced.
Kendall was a cash-paying customer. He would never try to low-ball the women, and he would always return for more repeat business. Sure, the big man enjoyed rough sex and his smell was nearly unbearable, but their addiction controlled them and it was the addiction that brought them to the home of a serial killer.
This is precisely the reason Gina Barone hopped in Kendall’s 1994 red Subaru on November 29th, parking just a few miles away on a side street down Route 9. After being choked out of conscienceless, Kendall felt her throat’s hyoid bone snap, instantly relaxing her body as she drifted into death. She would join Myer’s upstairs as the second girl in the attic.
The winter months have slowed down Wendy Myer’s and Gina Barone’s decomposition so much that Kendall’s next victim Cathy Marsh neither knew nor could smell her rotting just a few feet above her head, pushed back in the attic. It is doubtful that Kendall knew, or would even care, that Marsh was pregnant when he choked the life out of her.
Once dead, Kendall washed her nude corpse in the family bathtub before carrying her upstairs, fighting for space in the already crowded attic.
A Storage Problem
Over the next two years, Kendall Francois would continue to snuff out Poughkeepsie’s prostitutes one by one. Maybe the killer felt a sense of righteous duty in what he was doing, eliminating the wretchedness and filth from walking the city streets. As dumbfounded police continued to receive public scrutiny for continuing to let a killer stalk, Kendall was facing a problem of his own. There was no more room in the attic to store his victims.
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Many killers take a break from their hobby after they have a close call with authorities or almost get caught. Kendall took a break simply because he couldn’t figure out what to do with the bodies if he ‘snapped’. The next logical place for his body dumps, Kendall eventually surmised, could be under the home’s front porch, down in the crawlspace.
Kendall would eventually confess to the murders, finally allowing police to search his home and coddling the public’s fear about the serial killer in the midst. Courts spared Kendall the death penalty but spent the rest of his life in prison serving eight consecutive charges for his murders.
Kendall Francois never explained his full motives behind the killings, and he passed away while incarcerated on September 11, 2014 at 43-years-old.
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