The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, a Serial Killer and the Meaning of Murder
'Well, well, Claudia. Can I call you Claudia? I'll have to give it to you, when confronted at least you're honest, as honest as any reporter...You want to go into the depths of my mind and into my past. I want a peek into yours. It is only fair, isn't it?' - Kendall Francois..In September 1998, young reporter Claudia Rowe was working as a stringer for the New York Times in Poughkeepsie, New York, when local police discovered the bodies of eight women stashed in the attic and basement of the small colonial home that Kendall Francois, a painfully polite twenty-seven-year-old community college student, shared with his parents and sister...Growing up amid the safe, bourgeois affluence of New York City, Rowe had always been secretly terrified of the darkness, and soon became obsessed with the story and with Francois. She was consumed with the desire to understand just how a man could abduct and strangle eight women-and how a family could live for two years, seemingly unaware, in a house with the victims' rotting corpses. She also hoped to uncover what humanity, if any, a murderer could maintain in the wake of such monstrous evil. Reaching out after Francois was sent to Attica, Rowe and the serial killer began a dizzying four-year conversation about cruelty, compassion, and control; an unusual and provocative relationship that would eventually lead her to the abyss, forcing her to see herself and her own past-and why she was drawn to danger.
Claudia Rowe is a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist, writer and speaker. She is currently a staff writer at the Seattle Times, her work has been published in the New York Times and Huffington Post among others. Please do visit her website here http://claudiarowejournalist.com/.