Andrew Phillip Cunanan

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FBI FUGITIVE
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TEN MOST WANTED FUGITIVE
[ WANTED BY THE FBI]
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Andrew Philip Cunanan

Andrew Philip Cunanan
Born:August 31, 1969
Rancho Bernardo, California
Age:27
Died:July 23, 1997
Miami Beach, Florida
Crime:multiple murder
Date Added:June 12, 1997 Captured
Number on List:#449
Deceased
Had been removed July 24, 1997
Had been located July 23, 1997[1]
Andrew Phillip Cunanan (August 31, 1969July 23, 1997) was an American spree killer who murdered five people, including fashion designer Gianni Versace, in a cross-country journey during a three-month period in 1997, ending with Cunanan's suicide, at the age of 27. In the middle of that spree, on June 12, 1997 he became the 449th fugitive to be listed by the FBI on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

Born in the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood of San Diego, California, Cunanan graduated from The Bishop's School in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, in 1987.

Murders

The first murder was that of his friend Jeffrey Trail, a former US Naval Officer and propane salesman on April 27, 1997, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. [2] The next victim was architect David Madson, who was found on the east shore of Rush Lake near Rush City, MN after the Minnesota Corrections Association Fishing Tournament on April 29, 1997 with gunshot wounds to the head. Police recognized a connection, as Trail's body had been found in Madson's Minneapolis loft apartment.

Cunanan next drove to Chicago and killed prominent real-estate developer Lee Miglin (notably the husband of Marilyn Miglin, a famous cosmetics executive and former model noted for her popular line of skincare and cosmetics on HSN), 72, on May 4, 1997. Five days later Cunanan, who escaped with Miglin's car, found his fourth victim in Pennsville, New Jersey, at the Finn's Point National Cemetery, killing caretaker William Reese, 45, on May 9, 1997. Cunanan apparently killed him for his pickup truck, while leaving Miglin's car behind. Following this murder, the first of a non-acquaintance, the FBI added him to its Ten Most Wanted list.

While the manhunt focused on Reese's truck, Cunanan hid in plain sight in Miami Beach, Florida, for months between his fourth and fifth murders. He went out to nightclubs, and made little attempt to disguise his appearance. Since he was of mixed race (his mother was white, and his father, Filipino), he blended in well in the diverse Miami Beach gay scene. He even used his own name to pawn a stolen item, knowing that police routinely check pawn shop records for stolen merchandise. Finally, for his fifth murder he chose billionaire fashion designer Gianni Versace, who was killed on July 15, 1997.

Eight days later, on July 23, Cunanan committed suicide in the upstairs bedroom aboard a Miami houseboat apparently to avoid capture by the police, who finally discovered Reese's stolen truck nearby and obtained tips from neighbors that someone resembling Cunanan was living in the houseboat.

The gun used by Cunanan for some of the murders was a Taurus semi-automatic pistol in .40 S&W caliber, which had been left behind in California by first victim Jeff Trail when he relocated to the Midwest.[2]

Motive

At the time of the crimes, there was much public and press speculation that Cunanan's motives were tied to a diagnosis of HIV infection; however, an autopsy found him to be HIV-negative. Cunanan was widely reported to have engaged in prostitution with older men.[3] Media speculation connected the fact that most of his victims were older gay men to Cunanan's prostitution, but after Cunanan's suicide it is impossible to identify motives with certainty.

What is known about Andrew Cunanan is brief. He spent money lavishly on himself (owing Neiman Marcus $46,000 at his death) and dealt drugs including cocaine and methamphetamine.

Cunanan frequented the gay neighborhoods in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Most who knew Cunanan described him as intelligent, articulate, vain, and charming. One partner described Cunanan's sexual tastes as "extreme." The same partner attested to Cunanan's like of violent and sadomasochistic pornography.

Notes

1. ^ [1] July 24, 1997
2. ^ "Andrew Cunanan: After Me, Disaster - Trail and Madson" (analysis), Crime Library.com, Courtroom Television Network LLC, 2005.
3. ^ "Who is Andrew Cunanan?", CNN.com, 17 July 1997.

Further reading

  • Three Month Fever, by Gary Indiana. ISBN 0-06-019145-7
  • Vulgar Favors, by Maureen Orth. ISBN 0-385-33286-6
  • The A-to-Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, by Harold Schecter & David Everitt. ISBN 0-671-02074-9
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Gianni Versace (December 2, 1946 – July 15, 1997) was an accomplished Italian designer of both clothing and theater costumes. He was influenced by Andy Warhol, Ancient Roman and Greek art as well as modern abstract art; he is considered one of the most colorful and talented
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