Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Andrew Cunanan: After Me, Disaster


"The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing."

Sigmund Freud

Gianni Versaces name was synonymous with a new line of nouveau clothing that he created; it bespoke glamour and brilliance. Born into poverty in Calabria, Italy, Versace brought a new concept of fashion as applied to the feminine form in its utter sensuality and grabbed the attention of cotoures worldwide. Because his styles tempted the erotic, he had his detractors aswell as his disciples. But, the feminists in spurning his low-cuts and leathers inadvertently brought Versace controversy that did little but increase awareness of and desirability for his work.

"Versace thumbed his nose at those who said his fashion was the height of bad taste as many did when he showed his sadomasochistic collection at one big fashion show," Wensley Clarkson attests. "His linebacker-shouldered, studded leathers and floral prints enthralled as many as it appalled. By the mid-1990s, the Versace label was dominating the world of fashion design. By 1995, Versace had profits of $900 million a year." Movie stars, royalty and rock icons wore his one-of-a-kinds at the largest galas. Many of them, such as Princess Diana, were his dearest friends.

Signor Versace had just completed a highly publicized and successful tour in Europe when he and his entourage of promoters and bodyguards arrived in Miami Beach on July 12. Worn down from a hectic schedule, Versace planned to "quiet down my life and enjoy more my privacy," as he told a business partner. He was 50 years old and desired downtime to enjoy the world.

Andrew Cunanan went looking for him in the upper-priced gay bars that Versace was known to frequent when wanting to relax. His favorite spots were The Twist, the KGB Club or Liquid. Every morning, it is believed, Andrew walked the pavements between Versaces iron gate on 11th Street to Ocean Drive, where, at the News Cafe, the celebrity often partook of his favorite gourmet coffee. On these trips, Versace was usually alone.

On the morning of July 15, 1997, Andrew caught up with Versace and followed him home from the News Cafe. What exactly he had against the celebrity is still anyones guess one theory in FBI files claims Versace had once turned Andrew down for a modeling job but as the luminary slid his key into the scrolled gate outside his mansion, Andrew stepped up behind him and pumped two .40 caliber bullets into his head.



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