MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s been nearly 20 years since the murder of world famous fashion designer Gianni Versace. The style icon was gunned down on the front steps of his Miami Beach mansion but there are still some unanswered questions.
Ahead of ’48 Hours’ which airs Saturday, we got back to the crime scene to investigate Versace’s killer, who also took the lives of four other people – including two of his friends.
Project Runway’s Tim Gunn says Versace’s murder at the peak of his career was shocking news to everyone, especially in the fashion world.
“A man’s been shot. It’s Gianni Versace,” you could hear a caller saying to a 911 operator.
On July 15, 1997, Versace was at his lavish Miami Beach retreat, Casa Casuarina.
At the time of Versace’s murder, Carlos Noriega was a lieutenant with the Miami Beach Police Department.
“On that particular morning, Gianni Versace decided to go over to News Café and it was on his return home, approaching the door, that he was shot and killed,” said Noriega.
Police were lucky. They got a break from Versace’s friend, Lazaro Quintana who was at the mansion. He heard the shots and followed the gunman.
“I yelled. Why did you do this? Why did you do this,” he said.
The shooter went into a parking garage and Lazaro found a policeman.
Lazaro never saw the gunman’s face but he did see his clothes.
Inside the garage, police found clothes that matched the description that Lazaro gave them. They were next to a stolen pickup truck and inside were documents. The gunman had vanished but police were able to get a name – Andrew Cunanan.
As it turned out Cunanan was already the focus of a nationwide manhunt.
Michael Williams knew him.
“Andrew was very pretentious, loud, you know always had to be the center of the party,” said Williams.
Cunanan was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List, tied to four other murders before Versace. The first two were his friends.
For more on the story, tune in to 48 Hours “Murder By Design” which airs Saturday at 10 p.m. on CBS4.