The macabre and frightening acts of a serial killer in Poughkeepsie, New York - Kendall Francois
In a small city just over an hour north of Manhattan, New York City, lurked a macabre and frightening serial killer between 1996 and 1998, Kendall Francois. Residents and police investigators from Poughkeepsie, NY in Dutchess County were being terrorized and mystified between 1996 and 1998 by the disappearances of eight women, Wendy Meyers, Gina Barone, Kathleen Hurley, Catherine Marsh, Mary Healy Giaccone, Michelle Eason, Sandra Jean French and Catina Newmaster, all thought to be prostitutes. Nevertheless, still human beings who had unknowingly become victims of a violent and terrifying demise by the hands of Kendall Francois within his house of horrors.
The pathology of serial killers can be categorized by investigative profilers as either Organized/nonsocial offender's, who usually have high IQ's similar to that of Ted Bundy and the Disorganized/asocial offender's defined by the serial murders of Kendall Francois. One universal element that should be noted when trying to look into the mind of a serial killer is their need for domination, usually in the form of a sexual manner. Here is how this true crime of a serial killer unfolded.
On a cold and dark December evening in 1996, Gina Barone walked the lonely and drug infested streets of downtown Poughkeepsie to unfortunately cross paths with her killer, Kendall Francois. As a few nights turned to days, Gina's Mother, Patricia Barone, reported her missing, as she had disappeared into the frightening night. Two months previous in October of 1996, Wendy Meyers had been reported missing, too. Then in January of 1997 a pattern had emerged with another disappearance of Kathleen Hurley, last seen on the mean streets of downtown Poughkeepsie. The FBI were then contacted.
As investigators followed leads and realized the possibility of a serial killer emerging, their focus seemed to lead to 99 Fulton Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY, the home of serial killer Kendall Francois and family just a few blocks away from Vassar College. Investigators biggest stumbling block was no apparent crime scene and due to lack of tangible physical evidence, a search warrant couldn't be issued yet. The disappearences continued as did the investigation..
In September of 1998 a prostitute reported a strangulation and was able to flee the scene of that crime located at 99 Fulton Avenue. This sparked investigators to apprehend and question Kendall Francois about that report and after a few hours of questioning, Kendall Francois confessed to the abductions and eventual murders of all eight victims. What he told investigators was truly disturbing and shocking. A warrant was obtained to search the residence and the mystery to these lost woman unraveled into the revelation of the macabre and insane acts of a serial killer, Kendall Francois.
When investigators obtained the warrant to enter the home and proceeded, they were greeted by the confused mother of Kendall Francois. When she opened the door, police were just about knocked over by the stench of death emanating from the home. As they entered, it was immediately apparent that these women were most definitely within the home and after a brief search, the house was taped off and deemed a crime scene. Most of the women found inside the home were located up in their attic covered with blankets and also showed evidence of the killer moving them around, as to make room for more victims. There was also evidence of necrophilia after forensic testing had been done a short time after. The cause of death determined by forensic evidence and the coroner's report was strangulation and blunt force trauma.
The most puzzling aspect to investigators was the obvious stench of death within the home and questions were raised as to how the rest of family members were unable to recognize something just wasn't right. Investigators did mention to local press that the home was very unkempt and quite filthy with garbage, household items strewn about and very unsanitary. Maybe their lifestyle prevented them from realizing what was really happening. Although it still seems very strange and disturbing. Through the course of their investigation, it was also revealed that Francois had contracted the deadly HIV disease and a theory had emerged. It's quite possible that these abductions and murders were an act of vengeance toward the prostitutes that he most often had encounters with. In any event, these victims died a horrible death and family members of the victims were extremely grief stricken beyond what any parent should have to face.
This monster had preyed upon the weak and impoverished people of the seedy underbelly within society. Another disturbing fact had emerged as well. Kendall Francois was employed at the Arlington High School, just a few miles from the city. He was a hall monitor that was well known for inappropriate conduct among students and eventually let go from employment at the school. One can only imagine what potential that implies. Kendall Francois was convicted of his heinous crimes and In August of 2000, Kendall Francois was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole at Attica correctional facility for the rest of his natural life.