- Category : Passions-Criminal-Perpetrator-Homicide-serial
- Type : PE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Planning 3
Andrew Phillip Cunanan (August 31, 1969 – July 23, 1997) was an American spree killer who murdered at least five people, including fashion designer Gianni Versace, during a three-month period in 1997. On June 12, 1997, Cunanan became the 449th fugitive to be listed by the FBI on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. The killing spree ended with Cunanan's suicide. He was 27 years old.
A collection of photos from the FBI, showing the ease by which Cunanan could change his appearance.
Cunanan was born in National City, California, to Modesto Cunanan, a Filipino American, and Mary Anne Schillaci, an Italian American, the youngest of four children. Modesto was serving in the US Navy in the Vietnam War at the time of his son's birth.
In 1981, Andrew's father enrolled him in The Bishop's School in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California. At school, Cunanan was remembered as being bright and very talkative, testing with an I.Q. of 147. As a teenager, however, he developed a reputation as a prolific liar given to telling fantastic tales about his family and personal life. He was also adept at changing his appearance according to what he felt was most attractive at a given moment.
When he was 19, his father deserted his family to avoid arrest for embezzlement. That same year, his mother learned that Cunanan was gay. During an ensuing argument, he threw her against a wall, dislocating her shoulder. (Later examination of his behavior from reports indicate that he may have suffered from psychopathy, a personality disorder characterized by an abnormal lack of empathy.)
After graduating from high school in 1987, he enrolled at the University of California, San Diego, where he majored in American history. After dropping out, he settled in the Castro District of San Francisco. While there, he frequented high-class gay bars and sold sex to wealthy older men, and became involved in petty theft and drug dealing.
An official FBI wanted poster of Andrew Cunanan.
The first known murder was that of his friend Jeffrey Trail, a former US naval officer and propane salesman, on April 25, 1997, in Minneapolis.
The next victim was architect David Madson, who was found on the east shore of Rush Lake near Rush City, Minnesota, on April 29, 1997, with gunshot wounds to the head. Police recognized a connection, as Trail's body had been found rolled up in a rug in a closet in Madson's Minneapolis loft apartment.
Cunanan next drove to Chicago and killed 72-year-old Lee Miglin, a prominent real estate developer, on May 4, 1997. Following this murder, the FBI added him to its Ten Most Wanted list.
Five days later, Cunanan, who took Miglin's car, found his fourth victim in Pennsville, New Jersey, at the Finn's Point National Cemetery, killing 45-year-old caretaker William Reese. While the manhunt focused on Reese's truck, Cunanan "hid in plain sight" in Miami Beach, Florida, for two months between his fourth and fifth murders. He even used his own name to pawn a stolen item, knowing that police routinely check pawn shop records for stolen merchandise.
On July 15, 1997, Cunanan murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace. A witness attempted to pursue him but could not catch him. The vehicle he used, as well as the clothes he had just been wearing, an alternative passport, and newspaper clippings of his murders, were found in a nearby garage by the police who responded.
On July 23, 1997, eight days after murdering Versace, Cunanan shot himself in the mouth in the upstairs bedroom of a Miami houseboat. He used the same gun he had used to kill Madson and Miglin, a Taurus PT100 semi-automatic pistol in .40 S&W caliber, which had been stolen from the first victim, Jeff Trail. His cremated remains are interred in the Mausoleum at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in San Diego, California.
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.
In order to piece together a motive for his killing spree, police searched the boathouse where Cunanan died. However, Cunanan left behind few personal belongings, surprising investigators, given his reputation for acquiring money and expensive possessions from wealthy older men. Police considered few of the findings to be of note, except multiple tubes of hydrocortisone cream and a fairly extensive collection of the fiction of C.S. Lewis.
His motivations remain a mystery. Various theories include jealousy for Versace's role as a "gay icon", as well as necessity and opportunity in some of the other murders. Examination of his behavior from reports also indicates that he may have suffered from psychopathy, a personality disorder characterized by an abnormal lack of empathy.