Boynton Beach, FL - Last Thursday, a man attempted to kill an older woman at the end of a 10-hour standoff in her home, but, the way he tells it, he was doing her a favor. After all, she was in the grip of supernatural forces.
The 66-year-old woman woke up to see 29-year-old Pierre Franchi standing over her and grabbing her wrist. He tried to choke her with his hands and with cords from the blinds in her bedroom and even tried smothering her with a pillow. Lastly, he hit her over the head with a hand-held mirror, according to police.
"I have to protect you," he reportedly told her. "I have to kill the demons."
After his three attempts at strangulation and one attempt at bludgeoning failed, the woman escaped to a neighbor's house while Franchi made an attempted escape in her car. The police caught up with him later in the day.
So how did these two wind up in this bizarre situation together?
The woman had actually hosted Franchi as a French exchange student 10 years ago, and the two became quite close. The police report describes that the woman has a "motherly affection" for him and absolutely accepted him back into her home in January when he abruptly came knocking for a place to hang his hat.
However, he has reportedly been erratic, prone to excessive chatter, weird rants, and bouts on uncontrollable laughter.
After he attempted to murder his landlady, he struggled with her until she fell to the floor, forced her to her knees, and demanded she bow to him. He also ripped off her necklace and bracelets and almost broke a rotary phone so she wouldn't call the police. She told him it was decorative, so he relented.
She locked herself in the bathroom and failed to escape through the window, so she waited for him to leave in her car before making her escape.
Gauging from the police report, she successfully managed to convince Franchi that she was not possessed by demons. But that's still doesn't make anything that followed any less strange.