THE DEATH OF GIANNI VERSACE

FBI agents assume that Versace and Cunanan (Versace's murderer) had previously met in San Francisco.

By Balthazar Malevolent

THE DEATH OF GIANNI VERSACE

On July 15th, 1997, on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion, Gianni Versace was shot execution-style with a.40 caliber Taurus PT100 as he returned from a morning walk on Ocean Drive. He was later declared dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital, at 9:21 a.m. Versace was 50 at the time of his death. Normally he would have an assistant walk to get his morning press from his home to the coffee shop, but on this occasion, he wanted to go himself.

Gianni and Donatella Versace.

Versace was killed by a serial murderer, Andrew Cunanan, who had killed four other people earlier (including real estate investor Lee Miglin). Cunanan committed suicide eight days after the murder of Versace, on a houseboat.

Cunanan was obsessed with the designer and often boasted about his close "friendship" with Versace, although this was symptomatic of Cunanan's grandeur delusions: he often claimed to have met celebrities in a false manner. Nevertheless, FBI agents assume that Versace and Cunanan had previously met in San Francisco, but it is still a mystery what their relationship entailed. Maureen Orth published a 2008 article in Vanity Fair claiming that Cunanan and Versace had met briefly in 1990 (according to several eyewitness claims) at a San Francisco nightclub and may have communicated on other occasions because they were both interested in sex-for-hire circles in Miami and San Francisco. Yet the family of Versace has always steadfastly denied that the two had ever met. Investigators also said they don't know why Versace was murdered. "I suppose we will never know the answers," Miami Beach Chief of Police Richard Barreto said.

Versace's body has been cremated, and his ashes returned to the family estate near Cernobbio, Italy, and were buried at Moltrasio cemetery near Lake Como in the family vault. About 2,000 people, including Elton John and Diana, Princess of Wales, who got killed in a car crash just over a month later, attended the funeral liturgy of Versace, held at the Milan Cathedral.

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