While a lot of murders sadly go unsolved, authorities were able to tie serial killer Andrew Cunanan to the killing of fashion designer Gianni Versace in the summer of 1997. However, since the 27-year-old took his own life just a week after, much about the case remains unclear, including the biggest question: Did Versace and Cunanan actually know each other? No one knows for sure.
According to Maureen Orth, who wrote Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in US History — on which FX’s hit series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is based — the two did in fact meet prior to the day of the 50-year-old’s death. As seen in the drama, Cunanan, played by Glee‘s Darren Criss, reportedly met Versace (Édgar Ramírez) at a swanky, exclusive party in San Francisco — but the extent of their communication and relationship is unknown.
“I talked to at least, I’d say, five different people on the record who went to the party, who saw them talking,” Orth explained. “And then I also talked to one of Andrew’s friends who claims that Andrew was riding around in a white convertible with Versace… and Andrew had him bring the car over to the curb so he could introduce and make them see that he was with Versace.”
However, Versace’s family continues to claim he never met his killer. Since the situation is impossible to verify, producers of the drama shot a scene of their first encounter in a very distinct way.
“We frame the meeting through Andrew’s telling of the story, very deliberately and specifically,” Brad Simpson, an executive producer on the show told PopSugar. “He tells the story of having met Versace. The rest of our show is told without somebody framing the story, so we leave it up to the viewer to decide if they think they met or not. But certainly in Andrew’s mind they met.”
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