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Who were the other men murdered by Versace killer Andrew Cunanan?

The new series of American Crime Story will look closely at the murder of Gianni Versace – but serial killer Andrew Cunanan left other lives destroyed

Who were the other men murdered by Versace killer Andrew Cunanan?
Andrew Cunanan (Photo: FBI)

The much anticipated second series of American Crime Story debuts on FX this week

The show will explore the three-month murder spree undertaken by Andrew Cunanan in the late 90s. It culminated in the murder of fashion designer Gianna Versace in Miami, Florida.

Killing Versace ensured Cunanan worldwide notoriety. But the Italian designer was Cunanan’s fifth killing.

His other victims were largely overlooked by the media once Versace was slain on the steps of his mansion.

American Crime Story is based largely on the exhaustive account of Cunanan’s life and killings written by journalist Maureen Orth in the late 90s.

Reading Orth’s book, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: Vulgar Favors, one thing is clear. Cunanan’s murders ripped apart families and devastated lives. His other victims continued to be missed and should not be a forgotten part of the story.

Former Glee actor Darren Criss plays Andrew Cunanan in the new series of American Crime Story

Former Glee actor Darren Criss plays Andrew Cunanan in the new series of American Crime Story (Photo: FX)

Below are the four other men that have been definitely linked to Andrew Cunanan.

Jeff Trail

Trail grew up in De Kalb, Illinois. He was the only child of his parent’s marriage, but had four step-siblings from his mom’s first marriage.

Handsome, sociable and talented, Trail relocated to San Diego in the early 90s when he joined the navy. He served in the Gulf War. However, a growing awareness of his sexuality made him feel uncomfortable at a time when being openly gay in the military was impossible.

In fact, he gave an silhouetted TV interview to CBS in 1993 on the subject of being gay in the navy.

He became a close friend of Andrew Cunanan, who lived in San Diego, around 1992-1993. By all accounts, Cunanan had something of a crush on Trail but there was never a sexual relationship between the two.

Trail dropped out of the navy and relocated to Minneapolis. He remained on friendly terms with Cunanan but grew tired of his frequent and prolonged visits – as well as Cunanan’s neediness and persistent lies.

On 27 April 1997, in the Minneapolis apartment of a mutual friend, David Madson, Cunanan beat Trail, 28, to death with a claw hammer.

Neighbors heard arguing from the apartment. Trail’s body was wrapped up in a rug and left it in the apartment.

Cunanan, previously noted by friends and acquaintances for his erratic behavior and dishonesty, had crossed the line into murder.

David Madson

Madson was a talented young architect from Minnesota. He was the much loved youngest of four siblings. He and Cunanan had been lovers. They enjoyed a long-distance relationship in the mid-90s.

However, like Cunanan’s other friends, Madson had become disillusioned with Cunanan’s lies and sociopathic fantasies.

Their relationship had settled into a friendship, but again – like Jeff Trail – Madson had grown tired of Cunanan’s prolonged visits to spend time with him in Minneapolis.

It’s unknown what Madson, 33, may have known about Trail’s killing. Did Cunanan keep Madson away from the body? Did Cunanan spin him a story about acting acting in self-defense? Or did he hold Madson hostage at gunpoint?

These facts are likely to never be known, but at some stage in the days following the murder of Jeff Trail, Madson and Cunanan departed Minneapolis in Madson’s car. Cunanan took Jeff Trail’s gun with him.

After leaving the city, the two drove north. Madson’s body was discovered by fishermen on the shore of Rush Lake, near Rush City, Minnesota, on 3 May 1997. He had been shot in the neck and back. A coroner estimated he’d been dead for around day before being found

Cunanan had committed two murders within a week – killing the two men arguably closest to him.

Lee Miglin

Lee Miglin, 72, was a wealthy real estate magnate in Chicago. He lived with his wife, Marilyn, who sold her own cosmetics line on Home Shopping Network. They had two grown-up children.

Miglin’s body was found in his garage on 4 May 1997. His hands and feet had been bound by duct tape. He’d been stabbed 20 times and his throat cut by a hacksaw.

Police believe Cunanan spent some time in the house before the killing took place. Miglin’s wife had been away in Canada on business, and had raised the alarm when her husband failed to pick her up at the airport.

Miglin’s car was missing – stolen by Cunanan.

Not only was Miglin Cunanan’s third murder in just over a week, but it took place across state lines. This prompted the attention of the FBI, which placed Cunanan on its ‘ten most wanted’ list.

Until now, Cunanan had killed people he had known. There has been speculation that Miglin may have crossed paths with Cunanan at some stage prior to his death. This suggestion has been denied by his family.

Last year, on the 20th anniversary of his father’s death, son Duke Miglin gave an interview to abc. He said how much Miglin Snr continues to be missed and how the speculation over a relationship between his father and Cunanan hurt the family.

‘There was no relationship whatsoever. A lot of false things were brought up and they were very hurtful, very painful.’

William Reese

When Cunanan took Miglin’s car, he didn’t realize that the police were able to trace signals from its car phone each time he tried, in vain, to operate it.

However, radio news reports later alerted him to the fact the car might be being tracked. Authorities believe his next killing was carried out for no other reason than to dump Miglin’s ‘black jade pearl‘ Lexus and steal another, less conspicuous, vehicle.

William Reese was a 45-year-old caretaker working at Finn’s Point National Cemetery in Pennsville, New Jersey. He was, by all accounts, a devoted husband to wife Rebecca and father to nine-year-old son, Troy.

‘Bill was a Christian, and we take comfort knowing that he is in heaven, Rebecca told NY Daily News later. ‘He leaves behind a lot of people who loved him very much.’

Cunanan shot Reese in the basement of his secluded caretaker’s cabin on 9 May 1997. He then stole Reese’s red Chevrolet pickup truck. Cunanan made his way down to Miami, changing the truck’s license plates on the way.

He hid himself for two months in a cheap motel before stepping out of the shadows once again on 15 July to gun down Gianni Versace.

American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, begins 17 January on FX. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: Vulgar Favors, by Maureen Orth, has been re-printed to tie in with the series.

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