A look back on the murder of fashion mogul Gianni Versace

A fashion genius at the height of his career was killed in cold blood in July 1997 outside his mansion at the hands of a serial killer.

Gianni Versacci was gunned down in broad daylight, shocking the world.

An intense manhunt for the killer quickly led authorities to Andrew Cunanan, a 27-year-old fugitive on the run for months. Cunanan was already on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.

Born into a middle-class family, the popular, openly gay teen was listed as “most likely to be remembered” in his high school yearbook.

Cunanan, a San Diego native, was known for his charm, sweet-talking and over-the-top personality. Those traits helped Cunanan get into some of the world’s most elite social circles.

He coveted the attention of older wealthy gay men to support his expensive tastes.

In April 1997, he snapped following a breakup with one of his wealthy lovers. He became jealous over a friendship between two of his former lovers –Jeffery Trail and David Madson. Cunanan flew to Minneapolis and murdered both men.

He then drove to Chicago, where he killed real estate developer Lee Miglin.

Cunanan killed a fourth man in New Jersey before heading to Florida, dodging police at every turn before arriving in South Beach.

On July 15, he shot Gianni Versace twice in the head as the Italian fashion designer returned home from a walk to a nearby café.

Eight days after the murder, police found Cunanan hiding out in a Miami houseboat. Before they could arrest him, he turned the same gun on himself.

It’s still unclear why Cunanan targeted Versace or whether they even knew each other. Cunanan often bragged about meeting and hanging out with the designer at a party, but some of Versace’s closest friends said the two never met.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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