Transcript for Following the serial killer who murdered Versace
It's been nearly 20 years since the murder of world-renowned designer Gianni Versace, and still questions linger about any connections to his killer. On the surface it was a seemingly random run-in with one of the FBI's ten most wanted. But is it possible the two had met before? Here's my "Nightline" co-anchor juju Chang. Reporter: It was a cold-blooded crime sprooe that captivated the country. Murder in Miami. Reporter: A legendary fashion designer, an icon of style and glamour, known and adored around the world. Gianni Versace was murdered in broad daylight this morning. Reporter: And the charming party boy turned serial killer who executed him in broad daylight. Andrew Cunanan makes the top ten FBI list. Reporter: What led Andrew Cunanan to Gianni Versace's front door? Two decades later people are still trying to connect the dots. I have a beautiful house. I have a beautiful life. But that is the media. What I desire is more. Gianni Versace was at the pinnacle of his career in 1997. Reporter: Little did he know that 'killer at the center a nationwide manhunt on the top of the FBI's ten most wanted list was about to cut that career short. If you talk about fate, you had a man on the east coast of Miami beach who loved America because he thought it was safe. On the west coast you've got a dirt-bag street hustler who's making his way across the country. Reporter: Andrew Cunanan grew up in San Diego, the youngest of four children. He was the chosen one. He was the prince. He had an iq of 147. He was the kid that was going to succeed out of all their children. He was my father's pride and joy. He really was. He got everything that he needed. My dad gave him a sports car. And actually, he had the master bedroom. He went to a boarding school, the bishop's school. That school was status. That school had the children of diplomats, had the children of the rich and powerful. His life as a gay man I think began when he was at the bishop's school. In high school he's voted the most likely to be remembered. Reporter: He graduated and went off to college but later dropped out. Andrew was extremely bright, but he didn't use his brain for a profession. He used his body to get money. He started living by having very wealthy elderly men support him. And he became a pro at it. He was flown to Paris for dinner and aspen for skiing. $800an ounce caviar. Cases of champagne. Andrew thought he was using his victims, and to a degree he was. But they were using him too. Reporter: The turning point came after his last big break-up. He was dumped by his latest sugar daddy. He could not stand rejection. Reporter: Not long after Cunanan left San Diego. He bought a one-way ticket to Minnesota to visit an old friend and an old flame. That's where the blood trail began. The two people who knew him best were the first two victims, Jeffrey trail and David Madsen. He beat Jeff trail to death with a claw hammer, which is a very, very physical and personal type of homicide. David Madsen was supposedly the love of his life. David was Andrew's life. He said many, many times that he would give up everything and move out to Minneapolis for David. Did Madsen leave him? Madsen left him. He was devastated by it. I think David Madsen came to symbolize all the rejection that Cunanan had had those last few years. Reporter: After allegedly holding Madsen hostage for two days Cunanan drove him outside Minneapolis to an isolated lake. David Madsen was marched out on the banks of that lake and shot three times. Once in the back, twice in the head. Reporter: Cunanan left Minnesota, beginning a cross-country killing spree, murdering two more men along the way. Almost immediately investigators put together the pieces and began a nationwide manhunt. Every time a serial killer gets away with murdering someone they feel more and more invincible and godlike. "I can kill anyone." Reporter: The first big break, Cunanan was using a stolen car phone during his getaway. The cops are beginning to track him because it's pinging off of cell towers. They had tracked him as far as Philadelphia. And it got leaked to the press. They presume Andrew Cunanan has used the car phone in the Lexus twice in the past 24 hours. Unfortunately, he heard it on the news radio that we were tracking a cell phone. Andrew Cunanan heard that radio transmission and ripped the phone out of the car, which then meant they lost their ability to track. Now he's got a new vehicle. He's on his way south. Authorities admit that by now Cunanan could be anywhere. Reporter: He made it all the way to Miami. He was hiding in plain sight. Reporter: After nearly two months without a murder Cunanan was ready to strike again. His target -- Gianni Versace. July 15th, 1997. A sunny morning and the iconic fashion designer was walking back to his house after picking up a newspaper. As he's walking up the stairs, what we know now to be Andrew Cunanan comes up behind him and shoots him twice in the head at point blank range. So I run out the door, and Gianni was laying there. I check his artery. Nothing. He was gone. Oh, my god. There's blood everywhere. Please help me. Please! Tell me your location. I'm in front of the Versace house. 1100 block ocean drive. Please, dear god. I never saw his face. I don't want to look at his face. This is the man who killed my friend. Reporter: Cunanan got away again. He disappears. He's gone. He's underground. Now the FBI is hunting for him. Everybody's hunting for him. South beach was -- Shooting occurred on the front steps of his ornate mansion -- Reporter: Versace's murder kicked off a media frenzy. Hundreds of tourists and local residents continue a pilgrimage to the home of Gianni Versace. Reporter: That's me 20 years ago on one of my first big assignments for ABC news. There was also a frenzy of speculation over whether Versace and Cunanan could be connected. Our best witness, I would say, was his partner. He said that they never knew each other. In my heart I feel something must have happened at some point between the two. He supposedly met him at some sort of backstage or private cocktail party. It was very, very brief. And you know, it's very possible that they did have some sort of intimate relationship. So when you heard he was accused of killing Versace, what went through your mind? I wasn't surprised at all. Reporter: Eight days after the shooting investigators track Cunanan to a local houseboat. Shots fired inside of the houseboat. Subject, he may still be inside. I had a pretty good feeling that this is the break we needed. Kind of reminded me of the O.J. -- You know, the chase and all that. The world was witnessing this as it was happening. I have a visual on the front door. I went up the staircase and that's where we found Andrew Cunanan lying on the floor in the bedroom. Next to on the bedstand, his signature glasses. The gun was consistent with someone who had shot themselves in the mouth. Reporter: Andrew Cunanan took his motive to the grave. 20 years later it's still unclear what drove him to murder. Even if he had lived, I'm pretty sure he would have lied about why he killed Gianni Versace. Reign of terror brought upon us by Andrew Cunanan is over.
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