Kendall Francois Murdered 8 Women In The 1990s But Never Showed Remorse
In the late 1990s, serial killer Kendall Francois murdered eight female sex workers in and around Poughkeepsie, NY. In 1998, authorities brought Francois in for questioning after he beat a woman named Christina Scala, but he ended up giving police a shocking confession:
Francois confessed to eight murders police had been trying to solve, and when authorities entered his home, they found bodies hidden in the attic and basement. Francois strangled most of his victims and drowned one.
Kendall Francois was convicted of eight murders and received life in prison. While serving his life sentences at Attica Correctional Facility, Francois told a reporter, “I could have kept going, it would have gone on and gone on, and they never would have found a thing.” He also showed no remorse while the victims' families read their statements, even reportedly “giggling” during some of their remarks.
Francois Murdered Eight Women Between 1996 And 1998
Beginning in October 1996, Kendall Francois murdered eight women: Wendy Meyers, Gina Barone, Kathleen Hurley, Catherine Marsh, Michelle Eason, Mary Healey Giaccone, and Sandra Jean French.
All of these women were sex workers and believed to be dealing with drug addiction. Most of the women were white and had dark hair. They were also all significantly smaller than Francois, who was 6'4" and weighed over 300 lbs.
When asked about the killings during his murder trial, Francois told the prosecutor, “Killing seemed easier than getting into a relationship.”
Francois Worked At A School Where Students Called Him 'Stinky'
Kendall Francois was born and raised in Poughkeepsie and left home to join the Army after graduating high school in 1989. After being discharged from the Army, Kendall Francois got a job at a local school.
He worked at nearby Arlington Middle School as an aide, patrolling the halls and making sure everything was in order. Some students began calling him “Stinky,” a nickname authorities later learned referred to the odor stemming from Francois's filthy living conditions and the decomposing bodies in his home.
Teachers also noted Francois spent too much time talking to the middle school girls. In addition to playing with their hair, Francois was said to tell the girls vulgar jokes in an effort to get their attention.
Francois's First Victim Was A Local Sex Worker Named Wendy Meyers
Wendy Meyers was a 30-year-old sex worker, and Francois was one of her repeat clients. One night in October 1996, while Meyers was at Francois's home, he reportedly became enraged and began choking her on his bed.
When Meyers didn't immediately die, Francois took her unconscious body to the bathroom, where he placed her face-down in the tub and turned on the water. Once Francois was certain Meyers was dead, he carried her body up to his home's attic and hid her.
Francois Murdered Gina Barone A Month Later
Kendall Francois was one of 29-year-old sex worker Gina Barone's regular clients. On November 29, 1996, they were in his car at 11:30 pm, parked on a quiet Poughkeepsie street. There, Francois strangled her with his bare hands before shoving her body under the front seat of the car.
Once he got back to his house, Francois parked his car in the garage and left Barone's body there overnight. The next day, Francois stuffed her body in a trash bag and stashed it in the attic with Meyers's body, which had been placed there a month prior.
Debbie Annan Got Away And Went Straight To The Police - But They Did Nothing
During Francois's murder spree, he attacked and attempted to strangle a sex worker named Debbie Annan. Annan managed to get away from Francois and went to police, whom she had previously assisted in undercover drug stings.
Despite giving them all of Francois's information, police reportedly did not follow up on Annan's claims. It was reportedly not uncommon to see women fleeing Francois's home, although he was arrested in some instances.
Another sex worker also said she went to police after Francois attacked her in November 1996, the same month he murdered Gina Barone. The woman said Francois began strangling her, then stopped and said, “Oh my god, I almost did it again.”
Francois Hid His Victims' Bodies Throughout His Home
Kendall Francois hid his victims' bodies in and around the three-story home he shared with his parents and sister at 99 Fulton Avenue in Poughkeepsie near Vassar College. At first, Francois placed bodies in the attic, then began shoving them into the crawlspace that connected to the basement where Francois's father, McKinley, spent much of his free time.
Not only did Kendall Francois keep his victims' bodies in the attic and basement of his house, he placed some of their skulls in a plastic kiddie pool that he kept in his attic as their bodies decayed.
When police finally searched the home in September 1998, they would have to wear hazardous waste suits and masks due to the bodies' extensive decomposition. They found five of Francois's victims in the attic and three in the basement crawlspace.