Kendall Francois (July 26, 1971 – September 11, 2014) was an American serial killer who murdered eight prostitutes in Poughkeepsie, New York between 1996 and 1998. He was eventually apprehended and sentenced to life in prison. He died while serving his sentence in 2014 at the age of 43.
Kendall Francois was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York. He lived at 99 Fulton Avenue with his parents, McKinley and Paulette, and his sister Kierstyn. After graduating high school in 1989, Francois joined the army and was stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma and later in Honolulu. In an interesting coincidence, the Honolulu Strangler, an uncaught serial killer, was active in that same area in the late 1980s. However, Francois and the unsolved Strangler case have not been connected.
In 1994, Francois was discharged from the army and returned home to Poughkeepsie, moving back in with his family at 99 Fulton Avenue. He got a job as a middle school custodian, later a hall monitor, at Arlington Middle School. Known for his poor personal hygiene, the kids began to call Francois "Stinky" because of his body odour. At the same time, Francois began to frequent Poughkeepsie's red light district and used the services of local prostitutes regularly. Several prostitutes in the area also began to refer to him by the nickname "Stinky" and also noted that he enjoyed rough sex.
On October 24 1996, Francois was driving around Poughkeepsie in his red 1984 Subaru when he spotted 30-year-old Wendy Meyers, a prostitute, standing on the corner of Jewitt Avenue and Main Street. Francois picked her up and drove her to his home where they had sex. However, when they were done and Meyers asked for her cash payment, Francois became angry and violent. He attacked Meyers and choked her death with his bare hands. Francois wrapped her body in a black plastic bag and hid it in the attic.
On the night of November 11, 28-year-old Gina Barone had a heated and acrimonious argument with her boyfriend Byron Kenilworth. Desperate for a drug fix, Barone took to the streets in search of a john. That john turned out to be Kendall Francois, who drove her to a secluded parking area and had sex with her. However, Gina was still irate over her fight with Kenilworth and exchanged harsh words with Francois when it came time to pay. Enraged by her words, Francois strangled her in the back seat of his car, then drove her body home and placed it in the attic next to the boy of Wendy Meyers.
Two days later, Francois brought 31-year-old prostitute Catherine "Cathy" Marsh to his house and strangled her to death. Marsh was not reported missing until March 7, 1997.
On January 15, 1997, 47-year-old prostitute Kathleen Hurley was reported missing. The following month, 29-year-old Mary Healey Giaccone, also a prostitute, disappeared. Both of their bodies would later be discovered in Francois' home. In September of that year, a 26-year-old prostitute by the name of Michelle Eason also vanished from the Poughkeepsie red light district. However, her body was never recovered from the Francois residence and Francois himself never admitted to killing her. While she matched the profile of Francois' other victims in that she was a prostitute, she was also black, while all of the other women killed where Caucasian. To date her body has not yet been found and no one has been charged in connection with her disappearance.