Birthday: August 31, 1969
Died At Age: 27
Sun Sign: Virgo
Also Known As: Andrew Phillip Cunanan, Andrew DeSilva, Andrew Phillip DeSilva
Born Country: United States
Born in: National City, California, United States
Notorious As: Serial killer
Spouse/Ex-: Mary Anne Schillaci
father: Modesto Cunanan
mother: Mary Anne Schillaci
siblings: Christopher Cunanan, Elena Cunanan, Regina Cunanan
Died on: July 23, 1997
place of death: Miami Beach, Florida, United States
education: The Bishop's School, University of California, San Diego
Who was Andrew Cunanan?
Andrew Cunanan was an American serial killer, who committed suicide after killing five people, including fashion designer Gianni Versace, in a span of three months. 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 that 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. As he grew up, 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 act of murdering five people one after another without any sympathy or remorse. Some of his victims were his friends, while some were just at the wrong place at the wrong time and thus 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, USA, 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, who was conscious of his reputation in the society, was a Filipino American, while his mother, a religious woman, was an Italian American. 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 pushed his mother against a wall which dislocated her shoulder.
Later examination of his behavior indicated that he might have suffered from antisocial personality disorder, characterized by a lack of remorse and empathy.
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Offences and Incarceration
After opting out of college, he settled down in San Francisco’s 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 became 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 that 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 one of his former lovers, Jeff Trail. It is believed that he became certain of the fact that Jeff was having an affair behind his back with an architect named David Madson, who was Cunanan’s former lover. He confronted both of them and while they tried to convince him of their loyalty, he was overpowered by anger and smashed Jeff’s head with a hammer and left his body rolled in a rug in a loft apartment belonging to David Madson.
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 vehicle after running him over with it.
He reached Pennsville, New Jersey, and shot his fourth victim, a 45-year-old caretaker, William Reese, and took his truck. After committing his fourth murder, he reached Miami Beach, Florida and hid himself 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 murder made him notorious and pressurized the police to arrest him.
Eight days after committing his fifth murder, he was located 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.
Cunanan's cremated remains were interred in the mausoleum at ‘Holy Cross Cemetery’ in San Diego.
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. It is assumed that he committed these murders out of jealousy, anger, necessity, or enjoyment.
He was a popular student and a self-proclaimed gay. He also earned the reputation of being a prolific liar among his friends. He also possessed the ability to change his appearances according to the situation.
He died by committing suicide on July 23, 1997.