Versace Murderer Starts His Killing Spree


Serial Killer travels the country killing in 4 states.

Andrew Cunanan was always the life of the party.  Voted “least likely to be forgotten” in his California high school, he was a flamboyant and talkative young man.  Very smart, but also very troubled, he developed a reputation as a pathological liar who often dated wealthy older men. 

By the time Cunanan was 21 he was bouncing from one wealthy paramour to another while selling drugs and creating violent pornography to fund his lavish lifestyle.  He was known to get high on his own supply and developed a serious drug problem. 

By April of 1997, Cunanan’s life was falling apart.  Drugs and alcohol abuse were a part of his daily life and had maxed out all his credit cards.  Getting out of California would start him a new life.  He travelled to Minneapolis to meet up with his friend, Jeff Trail.  Trail was not particularly excited about this idea and relayed to several people that Cunanan made him nervous. 

In Minneapolis, Cunanan was bouncing back and forth between Trail’s apartment and the home of a former paramour, David Madson.  Madson appeared to be equally nervous about Cunanan and told several people that he thought he was shady.  This living arrangement could not last long. 

Trail apparently kicked Cunanan out of his apartment, on April 26, 1997.  Cunanan left but removed a firearm from Trial’s place on the way out.  He later called Trail from Madson’s home, telling him to come by to retrieve the weapon. 

Going to meet Cunanan on April 26th was the last mistake Jeff Trail would make.  He was found dead, rolled up in a carpet and placed behind a sofa two days later.  Madson and Cunanan were nowhere to be found until May 3 when Madson was found dead on the shore of Rush Lake with gunshot wounds from Trails stolen firearm. 

Cunanan was now on the run.  On May 3 he killed wealthy real estate mogul Lee Miglin in Chicago.  Miglin was severely beaten and had his throat cut with a hacksaw.  Moving east, Cunanan struck again on May 9 when he shot 45-year-old William Reese while Reese was working at a cemetery.  Despite being on the FBI 10 most wanted list, Cunanan hid in plain sight in Florida for the next two months.

He struck for the last time in epic fashion.  He approached Gianni Versace, the Italian fashion magnate, in front of his Miami mansion.  He shot him once in the back of the head and fled the scene, eluding responding cops. 

On July 23, 1997, Cunanan’s body was found on a luxury houseboat in Miami.  He had killed himself with a single shot to the head.  His motive for the homicide spree was never fully understood. 

Christopher Flanagan


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