American serial killer Kendall Francois was born on July 26, 1971, in Poughkeepsie, New York and was convicted of murdering eight females/prostitutes between 1996 to 1998 after he was arrested on September 2, 1998. He was known as The Poughkeepsie Killer, Fat Ken, and also Stinky. Kendall was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole and was held at the Attica Correctional Facility for a short time. He died at the age of 43 on September 11, 2014, at the Wende Correctional Facility in Erie County, New York. Kendall did not die from HIV which was revealed in his trial in 2000 that he had tested positive in 1995 for HIV. A female that corresponded with Kendall in prison said that Kendall had cancer but the official cause of death was from natural causes. Kendall"s killing spree began in October 1996 and ended on August 26, 1998.
Kendall Francois confessed to murdering eight women and put their bodies in the attic of his Poughkeepsie family home and let it rot. Investigators had a difficult time solving this case as the residence became unsettled. Kendall was caught after one of his victims escaped from him and informed authorities. Police arrested Kendall and took him to the precinct for questioning. He confessed to raping and killing eight prostitutes. The officer that was in charge of removing the dead bodies from the attic mentioned that he ruined two pairs of boots from walking through the decaying flesh. Kendall Francois told the prosecutor, "Killing," "seemed easier than getting into a relationship."
Kendall"s life before he went on his killing spree:
Kendall was a middle-school hall monitor. Kendall was in the army, but he was discharged in 1992 due to his obesity. He went back home to live with his parents, mother Paulette, father, and younger sister, Kierstyn in Poughkeepsie. He attended school when he felt like it and hired prostitutes. Kendall"s house was a mess with soiled underwear in the kitchen, syringes almost everywhere and bathroom sink with maggots. His family appeared as though they were a middle-class family as his mother was a vocational counselor for mentally ill people and his sister pursuing a degree in family studies.
Kendall discarded the heads in a kiddie size pool while he kept most of the bodies in his attic. There were three bodies that were pushed in the basement crawlspace which is next to where Kendall"s father hangs out for several hours some nights. The rotting bodies were beginning to smell so Kendall told his family that a raccoon died and he cannot find it. His sister"s bed was under the ceiling where maggot casings were falling from.
There was a police report every few months for Kendall, but police did not take it seriously and saw him as a guy that beats up females and did not think of him as a serial killer. Kendall Francois passed a lie detector test, and the officials believed that the killer was white because they did not believe that the killer would cross racial lines.
Christine Scala was a druggie who was regularly visited by Kendall during the summer in her hotel room while she was getting high. Kendall invited Christine over to his house to grabbed something to eat while Detective Skip Mannain in his uniform was handing out flyers two blocks way with Catina Newmaster"s face on the flyer. Kendall arrived home with Christine and demanded sexual intercourse from her in his car parked in the garage. Christine refused, so he punched her face and held her throat down, but she kept on fighting. He then demanded her to perform a sexual act on him after he pulled her out of the car but his condom kept repeatedly falling off.
He heard his sister calling out to him that she needs the car, so he let Christine go and went with his sister to school, waving at Detective Skipp as they passed each other. Christine made her way to a convenience store and informed officers of what had happened. Detective Skipp did not connect Christine"s attack in the car with thumbprints on her neck to what Catina Newmaster had reported to him. Kendall was brought into the precinct for questioning about Christine"s attack as police only suspected him of assault. He then told them, "I want to talk to the chief prosecutor of the missing women," and confessed to his murders.
Kendall Francois had invited Detective Skipp Mannain sometime earlier in the case to his home at 99 Fulton Ave., and took him to his bedroom which was right below the attic with the rotting bodies.
Kendall Francois was seen/heard giggling while relatives were reading their victims" statements.
1996, October: Wendy Meyers - 30-years-old
Kendall paid prostitute Wendy Meyers twice, but she ran away with his money. The only time she did not run away and gave him what he paid for was the same time she gave him AIDS. He choked her in his bedroom and said she fought him very hard and refused to die, so he put her face down in his bathtub and turned the water on until her legs became lifeless, he then carried her body to his attic and left her there.
1996, November: Catherine Marsh - 31-years-old
Catherine Marsh accompanied Kendall home and did not annoy Kendall, but he murdered her and put her in the attic.
1996, November: Gina Barone - 29-years-old
Gina Barone was an addict and a working girl who had sexual intercourse with Kendall in his car. Gina made the vital mistake of telling him that he was too heavy and that he was taking too long, so he choked her until she became silent and continued until he was finished. She woke up after he was done, so Kendall strangled her to death, put her in his trunk and discarded of her body in his attic.
1997, February: Mary Healey Giaccone - 29-years-old
1998, June: Sandra Jean French - 51-years-old
Kendall left Sandra"s dead body on his mickey mouse comforter and went to school.
1998, August: Audrey Pugliese - 34-years-old
1998, August 26: Catina Newmaster - 25-years-old
Catina was caught several dozen times with drugs and got away from jail by agreeing to wear a wire for the police. She was an addict that became an informant for the police and was sent to Main St. She was told not to get into Kendall"s car, but she did more than once, but officers always found a way to get her out of the car. Catina pointed at Kendall Francois who was being charged with assault during one court date in winter, 1998 and said "That"s him. That"s the killer," while giggling loudly. Catina was Kendall"s last victim.
Title: Body Dump: Kendall Francois, the Poughkeepsie Serial Killer.
Author: Rosen, Fred
Date: July 1, 2015
Open Road Media. ISBN 9781504022644
Title: The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, a Serial Killer, and the Meaning of Murder"
Journalist/Author: Claudia Rowe