Frances McCann was lovely, beautiful and one of the most exceptional artists.
She was murdered in the luxurious five-star hotel Bernini Bristol located on Piazza Barberini near the famous Tritone Fountain in the heart of Rome, the Eternal City. The famed Bernini Bristol in Rome was opened in 1874 housed in the stylish building of a former palace. The Bernini Bristol Hotel is the epitome of the glamour of a bygone era. This hotel is often chosen by celebrities, diplomats and politicians. Frances McCann was murdered in the soundproofed hotel room by Ernest Boxman.

Below is a transcript from the Pasadena Star-News dated March 16th, 1963:

ROME (AP) - Police Saturday found love letters from Ernest Boxmann to the American Opera singer he managed but they were unable to get any coherent information from Boxmann regarding her death.
Doctors said the 53-year-old New Yorker, who is lying in a hospital bed with a bullet in his temple, had become blind in one eye from brain damage. Boxmann used the same gun that riddled Frances McCann (41) in her luxury hotel room Friday to fire a slug into his own scull.
Police reported finding powder stains on his hand from the backflash of the shots. Doctors said if he survived his wound, Boxmann would probably be deranged as well as blind.
A deputy police chief and a city procecutor were told to leave the German-born manager's bedside after less than half an hour of attempting questioning.
The two officials said Boxmann, heavily drugged with morphine, muttered:
"It wasn't I . . . I don't know who it was . . . There were just the two of us in the room, the woman and I . . ."
Police said Boxmann murdered the Altadena, Calif., singer when his love for her went unfulfilled. Then he put the pistol to his temple and pulled the trigger, they said.
Miss McCann, mother of four children, used her maiden name in pursuing a career in Europe, Boxmann, a bachelor, traveled with her and managed her business affairs.
After Miss McCann's nightgown-clad body was found in her room at the Bernini-Bristol Hotel, police came across letters showing that Boxmann had fallen desperately in love with her during her travels.
"I know it's insane to want to hold onto someone who no longer cares for you . . . but for me you will always be the most beautiful, adorable woman that God ever created," Boxmann had written in one letter.
Just a month ago the stocky balding manager had written in another note:
"I am capable of dying for you - happily, with a smile, if necessary. I will die slowly from now on, since I must try to tear my heart away from you."
Police said one note was sigened:"Your little elefant".
Boxmann and Miss McCann had arrived in Italy from West Berlin four days before. He told the hotel they were on a business trip. She reportedly planned to make some recordings here.
She was at the peak of her career. After film and stage appearances in the United States she came to Europe seven years ago and since 1961 had sung regularly with the West Berlin opera.



copyright 2012
Joseph W. Rodgers,
Santa Cruz, CA