Most people take setbacks in their stride – but not Andrew Cunanan...
The creations of Gianni Versace, 50, were adored by celebs and his huge success in the fashion world had brought him all the trappings of success. Like the mansion in Miami Beach which the designer shared with his boyfriend, Antonio D’Amico.
On 15 July 1997, Versace went out for newspapers. After walking to the local café, he wandered home.
But, waiting outside Versace’s mansion was a young man. Inexplicably, he shot Versace twice in the back of the head. Then fled…
But who could have murdered the fashion mogul? Finding a red Chevrolet truck nearby, the police knew.
The truck had been stolen by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, 27, from his last victim. He’d been on a killing spree for months, taunting authorities with sick cat-and-mouse games.
How had his life led him to this?
Cunanan was born in August 1969 to a wealthy San Diego family. His stockbroker father Modesto was obsessed with image, prestige, designer labels. While his mother, Mary Anne, was devoutly religious.
The couple would often argue.
Young Cunanan was blessed with charm, good looks and intelligence. But, by his teens, he’d become a compulsive liar.
Although he kept his sexuality a secret at home, at school he was openly gay, and by the time he was 19, Cunanan became a male prostitute, seducing older, wealthy men.
Then, facing embezzlement charges, his father fled to the Philippines, leaving his mother penniless.
Next, Cunanan’s mother discovered he was gay.
She was distraught and, in the row that followed, Cunanan threw her against a wall, accidentally dislocating her shoulder.
Although he apologised, his mother refused to forgive him – so Cunanan flew to the Philippines to find his father. But when he did find him, he was living rough. Disgusted Cunanan returned to the US, and became part of a San Francisco gay party scene.
Cunanan was in his element, seducing wealthy men, using a range of false identities. At one party, Gianni Versace arrived. And to Cunanan’s delight, he walked straight over…
‘I know you,’ Versace smiled. He thought they’d met before, in Italy.
‘That’s right,’ Cunanan lied.
Cunanan was disappointed when the meeting didn’t lead to a modelling career.
Afterwards, he discovered another world in California – gay bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism – BDSM – clubs. He went on to star in brutal porn films.
Then, in 1997, Cunanan became convinced – wrongly – that he was HIV positive. Aged 28, he was bingeing on food, drink and drugs. Deserted by his wealthy lovers, he was broke too.
In April 1997, Cunanan learned that two of his exes, Jeffrey Trail, 28, and David Madson, 33, were dating.
Jealous, he snapped and beat Trail to death, before shooting Madson too.
His killing spree had begun…
Days later, Cunanan randomly grabbed wealthy Lee Miglin, 72, at gunpoint. He bound, gagged then tortured him, re-enacting a sadistic porn film.
After cutting Miglin’s throat, he drove over his body.
Next, Cunanan shot dead caretaker William Reese, 45, to steal his car.
Then he headed for Miami Beach and evaded capture for two months.
That July day, he shot Versace, left Reese’s car and vanished again.
Eight days later, a caretaker found Cunanan in an empty boathouse and called police. Then he heard a gunshot.
The FBI found Cunanan dead. He’d shot himself in the head.
His game of cat-and-mouse was finally over.