Kendall Francois was born in the city of Poughkeepsie and grew up on Fulton Street. He attended Arlington High School, where the 6'4" teenager played football on the school team until he graduated in 1989. He joined the Army in 1990 and went to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for basic training. In 1993, Kendall attended class at Dutchess County Community College as a liberal arts major. He continued as a student on and off until 1998.
Although he was not working at the time of his arrest, he did have several jobs in the past. Kendall was employed at the Arlington Middle School from 1996-97, which is a few miles from Fulton Avenue, as a school monitor. Some teachers at the school complained about Kendall's behavior, especially toward the female students. He often played with the girls in an inappropriate manner, touching their hair and telling sexual jokes. Although he had a clean record at the Middle School, children had a strange name for Kendall. They called him "Stinky."
During the time span surrounding the disappearances, Kendall Francois lived at home with his mother, father and younger sister, who continue to deny any knowledge of the killings. Many people wondered how the parents could not have known what was going on? Especially Kendall's mother who was employed as a nurse for many years at the Hudson River Psychiatric Center in Poughkeepsie. Surely at least she should have suspected. But it was reported that Kendall had told his parents a family of raccoons had died in the attic and he was having trouble removing the carcasses. This explanation seemed to suffice. In a statement issued through their attorney, the family had this to say: "We find ourselves plagued by unimaginable circumstances. Our youngest son is suspected of committing grave offenses from which his life hangs in the balance. We have virtually lost everything, been dispossessed of our home and cast into the street with only the clothes on our backs....The family requests that under these extraordinary circumstances, the public and media respect the only two items we have now, our privacy and personal respect".