Twenty years of crime that left fashion and the world without Versace

Twenty years after the murder of Italian designer Gianni Versace at the gates of his mansion in Miami Beach, now a luxury hotel, the case, closed from the judicial point of view, still raises questions.

In the absence of tributes or commemorative events in Miami, television is the one that is refreshing the memory of a crime with an enormous repercussion in the whole world and an indubitable “hook” from the point of view of journalism and film.

The murderer, Andrew Cunanan, took to the grave the reason he fired two shots at point-blank range over Versace on July 15, 1997, as eight days later, while the police searched for him, he committed suicide in the houseboat where he had been hidden.

On the occasion of the anniversary, the big television channels of the United States have put in the air special programs where witnesses, police investigators, specialists in fashion or people related to Versace or with Cunanan appear.

The assassination of Versace, in addition, will be counted in a television series shot partly in Casa Casuarina, the mansion of 1930 bought in 1992 by the murdered Italian designer, today the hotel “The Villa”, with Edgar Ramírez, Penelope Cruz, Ricky Martin and Darren Chris as protagonists.

The series, a new installment of the program “American Crime Story”, will be released in 2018.

The Venezuelan Edgar Ramirez gives life to Versace, who was 50 years old and was at the height of his career when Cunanan ended his life on the steps of the entrance to his mansion on Ocean Drive, the street overlooking the famous South Beach.

The American Darren Chris is Cunanan, the Spanish Penélope Cruz embodies Donnatella, the designer’s sister and today design manager of his firm, and the Puerto Rican Ricky Martin of Antonio D’Amico, the groom of Gianni Versace, who never concealed his homosexuality.

Tourists walk in front of the Casa Casuarina Villa facade, home to Italian designer Gianni Versace today, Friday, July 14, 2017, in Miami Beach, Florida.

The real D’Amico, exmodelo, broke a silence of two decades ago only a few months ago.

“I heard the shot, my heart stopped beating, so I ran and then I saw Gianni lying on the stairs surrounded by blood,” D’Amico said in an interview with NBC’s Dateline show last April. .

In another program dedicated to Versace, Cunanan’s relatives, who when he killed Versace were already one of the ten most wanted criminals in the United States, had killed four men in different cities of the country.

Not only is it not known that led him to murder Versace. Another unanswered unknown is whether Cunanan, who was homosexual and was 27 years old on July 15, 1997, knew the Italian designer.

In the most recent program of all, broadcast by ABC and centered on the figure of the murderer, some witnesses, like a roommate of Cunanan, claim that he had met Versace in California.

ABC’s “20/20” program also echoes the thesis that Cunanan sought notoriety with his crimes and therefore chose as a victim someone like Versace.

Carlos Noriega, one of the policemen of the case, reported that at first it was thought that the Mafia was responsible, because next to the body of the designer was a dead bird and that is a mafia sign, but this line of investigation does not rennet.

After eight days of searching, police found Cunanan, who was the main suspect of the murder from the very beginning, in a houseboat not far from Casa Casuarina, but he was already dead.

Fernando Carreira, the man who took care of the house and took a succulent reward for bringing the police to the murderer, is 91 years old but still remembers “everything” what happened that day, according to the Miami Local 10 television channel.

Carreira reported that he entered the house and realized that there was someone inside, so he pulled out his pistol and took a few steps, at which point he heard the sound of a shot.

It was the one that Cunanan made himself with the revolver with which he had killed Versace.

Undated photo archive featuring Italian designer Gianni Versace sitting in a corner of his house in Miami Beach, Florida. EFE / John Watson Riley / ARCHIVE

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