Andrew Cunanan

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Andrew Phillip Cunanan

Famous As: American Spree Killer

Nationality: American

Birthday: August 311969

Died At Age: 27

Sun Sign: Virgo

Born In: National City

Died On: July 23, 1997

Place Of Death: Miami Beach

City, States, Provinces & Districts: California

Cause Of Death: Suicide


Andrew Cunanan was an American spree killer, who committed suicide after killing five people in a span of three months including the fashion designer Gianni Versace. He was a brutal murderer which is quite evident from the way he took the lives of his victims. His aggressive temperament and unpredictable behavior resulted in the horrible acts of murder he committed. He was an intelligent but dishonest child who grew up to be an unstable teen because of the dysfunctional relationship between his parents and his confusion regarding his own sexual orientation. With growing age he was drawn towards a lethal combination of sex and drugs; he took up the profession of a prostitute exploring his sexuality with older gay men and became addicted to drugs. He was an impulsive and jealous person, and his obsessive nature provoked him to execute the monstrous acts of murdering five people one after another without any sympathy or remorse. Some of his victims were his friends while some of them were just at the wrong place at the wrong time who became the victims of his madness. His motive behind claiming five lives still remains a mystery. His life was an unfortunate journey filled with unresolved desires and criminal activities which eventually ended with his suicide.

Childhood & Early Life
  • He was born on August 31, 1969 in National City, California, to Modesto Cunanan, a U.S. Navy serviceman, who later became a stockbroker, and his wife, Mary Anne Schillaci. He was the youngest of the four children in his family.

  • His father was a Filipino American, highly prestige-conscious in the society and his mother was an Italian American, a religious woman. His parents often engaged in fights which made him very upset during his childhood.

  • He attended the prestigious ‘Bishop’s School’ in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California. He was a brilliant student with the IQ of a genius and often talked about having a bright future ahead of him. He was fluent in speaking seven languages.

  • In 1987, he graduated from school and enrolled at the University of California, San Diego, to pursue major in American history, but later opted out of it.

  • When he was 19, his father abandoned the family to avoid arrest for committing fraud. The same year, his mother found out about his homosexuality leading to a heated argument that ended with an act of his madness. He threw his mother against a wall which dislocated her shoulder.

Offences and Incarceration

  • After opting out of his graduation, he settled down in San Francisco’s gay Castro district. He became a male prostitute targeting wealthy older men and also started committing thefts to provide for his drug addiction. He was also obsessed with violent pornography and also featured in some films.

  • His appearance changed over the years and he was transformed into an insecure and aggressive person. Most of the older wealthy men and his lovers left him and he exhibited symptoms of having AIDS, although it was later confirmed he was HIV negative. Slowly, he turned into a maniac which eventually gave rise to his murderous instinct.

  • In 1997, he committed his first murder by killing of one of his former lovers – Jeff Trail. It is believed that he became quite certain of the fact that Jeff was having an affair behind his back with another one of his lovers – David Madson. He confronted both of them and while they tried to convince him of their loyalty, he was overpowered by a fit of anger and obsessive jealousy and smashed Jeff’s head with a hammer.

  • After some days, he shot Madson in the countryside with Jeff’s gun which he had stolen. His body was recovered from the east shore of the Rush Lake near Minnesota with gunshot wounds to his head. Police also recovered Jeff’s body from Madson’s apartment and was able to make out a connection between the two murders.

  • His third victim was a 72-year old real estate developer of Chicago, Lee Miglin. He tortured him brutally and took his Lexus after running him over with it.

  • He reached Pennsville, New Jersey, and shot his fourth victim, a 45-year old caretaker, William Resse, and took his truck. After committing his fourth murder, he reached Miami Beach, Florida and hid for two months in a hotel.

  • He claimed his fifth and most well-known victim, Gianni Versace, the world famous fashion designer, by shooting him down with the same gun he used to kill Madson and Reese. This killing made him notorious and pressurized the police to arrest him.

  • Eight days after committing his fifth murder, he was located living in a houseboat in the Miami-beach harbor and the police surrounded his houseboat. Unable to run away and unwilling to be caught at the hands of police, he pulled the trigger of the gun on himself and ended his miserable life.

 Major Crimes
  • He was found guilty of committing five murders; three of them shot with a gun, one of them bashed with a hammer and another one stabbed in the chest after being brutally tortured. He knew three of his victims beforehand and is assumed to commit these murders out of jealousy, anger, necessity or enjoyment.

 Personal Life
  • He was a popular student who openly described himself as a gay and also earned the reputation of being a prolific liar among his friends. He also possessed the ability of changing his appearances according to situation.

  • He died by committing suicide on July 23, 1997.


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