Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Kendall Francois

The Beginning of the End

On Tuesday, September 1, 1998, at about 8:30 in the morning in the second floor bedroom of this same house, a young woman was quietly being strangled. She was a slightly built woman who had gone there to get paid for sex. The person who was trying to kill her was a very large man, whom she had seen before on the city streets late at night, cruising for girls. He had his huge hands wrapped around her throat, his thumbs pressed deep into her flesh while she fought against him with all the strength God could give her. Somehow, she wriggled free and convinced the man to let her go. He agreed to drive her back to Main Street where he had picked her up only a short time ago. They got into his white car and drove to a local gas station. But just before he pulled into the station, the girl jumped from the car and ran away. The man continued to drive down the street.

Newmaster Flyer Image
Newmaster Flyer Image

At the same moment and less than one block away, Detectives Skip Mannain and . Bob McCready were in their unmarked car preparing to hand out flyers asking the public for help in the Catina Newmaster disappearance.Within seconds, they saw the very large man in his familiar white Camry and waved to him. The man quickly waved back because he recognized Det. Mannain from previous contacts. It was Kendall Francois.

As the officers pulled into the same gas station that Francois just left, a man came up to the car and told the police that a girl, who was now walking away, said that she was just assaulted. Quickly, the cops located the girl, who confirmed the attack. She was brought into the police station where she filed a complaint against Francois.

Kendall Francois mugshot (The Poughkeepsie Journal)
Kendall Francois
(The Poughkeepsie

That same afternoon, the police returned to 99 Fulton Street to talk with Kendall Francois about this most recent attack. They asked him to come into the police department to discuss the report. He agreed and was taken to headquarters. Over the next few hours, Francois eventually made many admissions regarding the disappearance of the women. He was arrested and charged with a single count of murder in the death of Catina Newmaster on August 26, 1998. The police were elated. A search warrant was drawn up and signed. Then, on September 2, 1998, shortly after midnight, a team of detectives, the district attorney, EMS crews, crime scene processors and an army of cops drove over to 99 Fulton Street and entered into the house of horrors.

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