Andrew Cunanan – 1997

By | November 12, 2016

“I take no joy in his death”


Versace’s blood stains the steps of his Miami Beach mansion


Andrew Phillip Cunanan was born into a middle-class family in San Diego, California on 31 August 1969. Gianni Versace was born at Reggio di Calabria, Italy on 2 December 1946. Both men were homosexuals and one was internationally famous while the other lived a good life, thanks to rich boyfriends and his own good looks.

They met in October 1990 in a San Francisco restaurant and Cunanan realized what fun life could be like with the gay jet set. In 1992 to please his boyfriend Cunanan appeared in two gay porn films; the same year Versace bought the house where he would die for $2.9 million. Cunanan met Jeff Trail, a handsome sailor, and they became firm friends in late 1995 when Cunanan had left yet another older, wealthy boyfriend but Mr Trail could not be persuaded to jump into bed with Cunanan.

In early 1997 Cunanan went to visit Mr Trail in Minneapolis where he was working. Returning to California, Cunanan worked as a transvestite prostitute to support himself.

On 26 April 1997 Cunanan returned to Minneapolis where, the next day at 9.55pm, he murdered Jeff Trail by smashing him over the head with a claw hammer. On 2 May he shot architect David Madson, another friend. Two days later, Cunanan killed property developer Lee Miglin, 72, in Chicago.

On 9 May 1997 Cunanan murdered 45-year-old caretaker William Reese and stole his pick-up truck. He moved to Miami where he became a regular on the gay scene. On 15 July 1997 Cunanan murdered Versace as the fashion designer returned from breakfast at the News Café. The two men argued and then Cunanan pulled a heavy .40 calibre pistol from his backpack and shot Versace in the head.

Versace fell to the ground and, to make sure that he was dead, Cunanan fired another bullet into the designer’s skull.


Casa Casuarina, 1116 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, USA


Tuesday 15 July 1997


On 23 July 1997, eight days after he murdered Versace, Cunanan shot himself in the head aboard a Miami houseboat moored at 5250 Collins Avenue, Indian Creek. The father of Jeff Trail said, “I take no joy in his death… Now nobody will be able to tell me why this happened.”


Casa Casuarina, the site of Versace’s murder, is now a members’ only club.

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