The Truth Behind Our Obsession With True Crime Stories
On the morning of July 15, 1997, Gianni Versace walked to a café not far from his Miami Beach mansion to buy an Italian newspaper.
An assistant usually ran such errands for him, but that day, the 50-year-old fashion designer went himself. Paper in hand, he strolled back to his home, Villa Casa Casuarina, on Ocean Drive, where, as he ascended the steps outside the front gate, he was gunned down in cold blood. Versace was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The shocking crime was all the more terrifying because of how brazen it was. For a major celebrity to fall prey to a random killer in broad daylight, in such posh surroundings, was almost unfathomable.
Though the list of people who’ve become posthumously famous because they were the victim of a grotesque crime is long and continues to grow, the list of people who were already world-famous when they were killed is relatively short.
But those deaths are considered the most “shocking” because, despite how preposterous it sounds… isn’t all that wealth and fame supposed to be able to shield a person from being slaughtered in her house, stabbed to death in a carport, fatally shot in a drive-by, or, like Versace, murdered outside his fabulous home?
As it would soon become known, though, the targeting of the Italian fashion designer wasn’t random to his deranged killer, 27-year-old Andrew Cunanan.
Michel Arnaud/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
With a clientele that included Princess Diana and a social circle that boasted Madonna, Elton John and Naomi Campbell, Versace was a member of the celebrity world that he dressed (perhaps never so memorably as when Elizabeth Hurley donned his safety pin dress in 1994,
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