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Today In Gay History: Versace's Murder

Today In Gay History: Versace's Murder


It has been 16 years since the fashion designer was gunned down in Miami.

It was a sad day for more than just the fashion world when Andrew Cunanan, on a killing spree that began in Minneapolis and extended down the states, shot and killed Gianni Versace outside the fashion desginer's Miami home 16 years ago today. Versace had been coming back from grabbing his morning coffee, something he usually had his assistant do for him, when Cunanan fired.

No motive was given and no motive was ever uncovered after 27-year old Cunanan shot himself on a nearby houseboat eight days later. Nor is there any evidence Cunanan had ever met Versace, a man whose sartorial vision helped shape the 90s fashion scene.

Versace's funeral would be attended by thousands, including Elton John, Naomi Campbell and Gianni's good friend, Princess Diana, who herself would die within a few months.

Casa Casuarina, the opulent, $100 million mansion outside which Versace died, was purchased by telecom entrepreneur Peter Loftin in 2000, reopened as a boutique hotel in 2009, and closed its doors earlier this year. The property is currently in bankruptcy limbo.

Meanwhile, after Gianni Versace's murder, his sister, Donatella, took design control of the famous luxury fashion label and has grown it to even greater heights: the House of Versace saw 7.6% revenue growth last year and are considering a public option.

Here, Sky News's report on the night Versace was killed 16 years ago.

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Andrew Belonsky