BOSTON — Frosty the Snowman and two others died as the trio attempted to rob a local liquor store Monday night, Boston Police Department officials confirmed this morning.
“At this time we can confirm that Frosty the Snowman was indeed one of the three men killed Monday night inside Mulligan’s Liquors in Dorchester,” said Boston P.D. spokesperson Linda McCullers. “Frosty was no stranger to Boston police, and it seems his extensive history of brutal, unprovoked violence finally caught up with him.”
Born Fredek Snomanovich in Soviet-occupied Lithuania in 1949, Frosty the Snowman, his parents, Fyodor and Anka Snomanovich, and his three siblings emigrated from their homeland to escape the Siberian gulags in the spring of 1950. The family of five immediately settled in South Boston, only to be torn apart in 1953 when young Frosty witnessed his father’s murder on the front porch outside the family’s triple-decker home.
“Seeing what Frosty saw at such a young age is something no young snowman should have to see,” recalled Frosty’s late brother, Aleksandras, in his 1999 memoir, “No Jolly, Happy Soul: My Hyperviolent Life with Frosty the Snowman.” “And of course that laid the foundation for the brooding snowball of rage that Frosty would ultimately become.”
Overcoming his traumatic childhood, Snomanovich would rise to worldwide fame in 1969 when the American television network CBS first broadcast “Frosty the Snowman,” the beloved children’s special starring the then-unknown Snomanovich. Frosty would earn an Emmy Award for his gritty portrayal of a pipe-smoking snowman who magically comes to life and befriends several school-aged children whose absentee parents seemingly never object to their youngsters’ sudden and complete devotion to an especially friendly yet Svengali-like adult made of snow with few, if any, friends his own age.
“It was the role of a lifetime, but I definitely felt I had more to offer as an actor than just playing some irritatingly jovial, possibly pederastic snowman who may or may not be a product of several delusional kids’ warped imaginations,” Snomanovich lamented in an infamous, expletive-laden 1988 interview with television journalist Barbara Walters. “But that’s Hollywood. They never want the dancing bear to try juggling. They just want him to keep dancing.”
That interview would ultimately seal Frosty’s Hollywood fate, destroying what little was left of the then-39-year-old’s already fading career.
The ensuing years would prove scandalous for Snomanovich, who fathered eight snow children with seven different snow women, leading him to declare bankruptcy in 1991, when court documents revealed he was largely destitute and several years in arrears on his child support payments. But the bankruptcy court did not discharge his past or future financial obligations to his children, and Snomanovich soon found himself turning to crime to support himself and ostensibly his children.
“He said he turned to robbing people because he needed the money to pay his kids’ child support, but that’s nonsense,” said Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, who starred alongside Snomanovich in 1979’s ill-fated television special, “Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July.” “He robbed people because he got off on the violence and taking what other people had. I doubt any of the untold thousands he stole ever ended up with those kids or their mothers. Knowing Frosty, that money all went up his carrot nose.”
The next two decades would see Snomanovich fall even further out of public favor, as his crimes grew increasingly violent and desperate. That downward spiral culminated with a 2008 manslaughter conviction for the brutal Christmas Eve assault of Nathan Samuels, a young father who spotted Snomanovich leaving a Southie gentleman’s club and asked the strung out snowman to pose for a photo with his two children. The 2006 assault left Samuels in a medically induced coma, and he was ultimately removed from life support in late 2007.
Upon his release from prison earlier this year, Snomanovich insisted he had been rehabilitated, even acknowledging he hoped to return to acting, which he admitted was his first and only true love. But unlike the character he famously portrayed in 1969, the real-life Frosty the Snowman would not see his story conclude with a fairytale ending. Instead, Snomanovich leaves behind a complicated legacy of abundant joviality and staggering violence that parents will have a hard time explaining to heartbroken children all over the globe.
“My kids just watched ‘Frosty the Snowman’ for the first time last week,” said Colin Fitzgerald, a father of two from Brighton. “And now I need to tell them that Frosty is dead, he’s never coming back and that the world’s actually a far better place because of that.”