By Mariano “Anong” Santos
PINOY Editor/Publisher


..."Revisiting Andrew P. Cunanan's 1997 serial murders

...continued from home page

Miami Beach police cordoned off the Versace mansion where Cunanan gunned down July 15, 1997 the fashion icon on the front entrance. Versace’s death attracted international attention to the serial murders.

Crime of opportunity

From Chicago, Andrew Cunanan drove east with Miglin’s vehicle. On May 9, he wound up at the Finn’s Point National Cemetery in Pennsville, New Jersey. Using Trail’s gun, he shot and killed the caretaker, William Reese, 45, who meet his death while watching a TV Christian program. Cunanan abandoned the stolen Lexus and took his fourth victim’s red pickup. Unlike the three previous murders, Reese’s murder was a simple crime of opportunity.


Cunanan drove down south to a tony section of Miami Beach, Florida. In the next two months, he would live without even an effort to conceal his identity. He checked in to inexpensive hotels signing his own name—just like when he pawned the gold coins he stole from Miglin. On July 15, 1989, Cunanan went to the mansion owned by renowned fashion designer, Gianni Versace. When the two met at the front steps of his home, Cunanan shot Versace twice and then he escaped on foot.

Police would later find the red pickup that Cunanan has stolen from the New Jersey caretaker. Inside were a passport, the clothes he was just wearing and newspaper clippings with accounts of his crimes. With the death of the celebrated Versace, Cunanan’s killing spree had taken in international attention, a fulfilment that Cunanan had longed for. The FBI and the police flooded the Miami area with leaflets showing half a dozen different mugshots of their fugitive.

Christian Apologist

On July 24, nine days after Versace was gunned down, a shot was heard from a second floor of a houseboat docked at Miami beach. Police would later find the half-naked body of 27-year old Andrew Cunanan in his bed with the latest Miami tabloids with bold headlines of his misdeeds. Using the same gun he stole from Trail and to shoot Versace, Resse and Madson, Cunanan put a bullet to his right temple. Police found an extensive collection of the books by Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis, leaving them a few clues on what motivated Cunanan to commit the five murders.

A dark path

Press reports speculated that Cunanan was taking revenge for being diagnosed with HIV. But an autopsy revealed he tested negative for the virus. Some said, his motive was his jealousy of Versace being the “gay-icon.” Twenty years after his killing spree, Cunanan continues to fascinate—ABC just aired on July 7 a prime-time one hour documentary. Law & Order devoted an episode based on his murders. A dozen films and books were produced about Cunanan. Intelligent, personable and youthful, Cunanan had chosen a dark path the led not only to his tragic end but to his five victims as well.

In death, Andrew’s family seems to have never completely dissociated from him. His cremated remains are interred in the Mausoleum at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in San Diego, California.





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