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Wife and baby killer Frank McCann ‘will pose grave danger to society if released’


Wife and baby killer Frank McCann will pose a grave danger to society if he gets out of jail, his victims’ family has warned.

The twisted swimming coach murdered his 30-year-old wife Esther and adoptive 18-month old daughter Jessica to cover up that he had fathered a child with a 17-year-old.

It has emerged the monster – who can now apply for parole – made at least three attempts on their lives before torching the family home in Rathfarnham, South Dublin, in 1992.

Esther’s niece and goddaughter, Esther Leonard, told an RTE documentary: “It’s very important for me… that I continue to fight for justice for them.

“I can’t imagine how dangerous the world would be with Frank McCann walking the streets and I just dread that becoming a reality.



RTE – The Crime I Cant Forget : Frank McCann Pictured : Esther Leonard

“There is no one in the world who can convince me that my family will be safe if he gets out.”

Fireball killer McCann was charged with the murders in 1993 and was convicted after a lengthy second trial in 1996.

He was given two life sentences, to run concurrently, and can now apply for parole and, if successful, release from prison.

Earlier this year, McCann’s sister-in-law Elizabeth Shorten begged the Justice Minister live on radio to keep him behind bars.

In The Case I Can’t Forget, which airs on RTE One tomorrow, sees Esther McCann’s nephew Thomas O’Brien reveal heartbreaking details of the family’s suffering.

He said: “It’s not something that will ever go away. It’s like it happened last week. There’s no turning the page or closing the book.

“It makes it harder to live with it, to know he can live his life, he’s deprived them both of their lives, and he can just continue as normal.

“He’s an evil, twisted, calculated person. No remorse, no nothing, never ever apologised.”

Thomas recalled visiting the scene of the fatal fire with his mother at McCann’s invitation and witnessing scenes that moved him to tears.

He added: “The shape of Jessica was still on the blanket of her cot, her dodie was there, her bottle.

“The rest of the bed was all black bar where she had lain.

“In the living room he said to my mum he was thinking of putting an ad in the paper for some charcoal for sale that nobody found amusing bar himself.”

McCann resolved to kill his wife and baby girl after the adoption board learned he had fathered a child with a teenager when he was her swimming coach.

The ex-champion swimmer was pals with paedophile Derry O’Rourke and complaints about O’Rourke made to McCann were kept hidden for a decade.

He made a full confession to gardai –which he later denied – in which he detailed how he took Jessica from her cot and cuddled her, before setting the blaze that killed her.

And gardai, who investigated the case, outlined how he had tried on several previous occasions to kill his wife and daughter. Esther woke up on one occasion to find a strong smell of gas in the house and had to escape the fumes.

Another time the car brakes were tampered and on a third she awoke to find an electric blanket in flames.

Thomas said: “Everything with him was calculated, devious. He was in control and he was going to deal with it the way he had to to keep himself squeaky clean.”

  • The Case I Can’t Forget airs on RTE One tomorrow at 9.30pm.





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