The upcoming season of American Crime Story involves the 1997 murder of fashion icon Gianni Versace who purportedly was killed by bad boy Andrew Cunanan, and the show's creator Ryan Murphy "said he has cast Darren Criss to play Andrew Cunanan and Edgar Ramirez to play Versace" as reported by Towleroad.
Mob informants have accused the 'Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia as behind the July 15, 1997 execution-style murder of Gianni Versace outside his Miami Beach, FL mansion as reported by Andrew Malone and Nick Pisa for the Daily Mail:
[A]s he fiddled with the lock on the front gates of his palatial, art deco mansion, a stranger in a white shirt and grey shorts approached -- and gunned [Versace] down with two close-range shots to the head and neck. The killer then walked away calmly and climbed into a waiting car. * * * Bizarrely, a dead turtle dove was found beside Versace's blood-splattered body, which some speculated could be a professional killer's calling card.
The book Metastasi by investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi contains allegations -- extensively detailed in the Daily Mail article -- from two former "high-ranking mob hitmen, Giuseppe Di Bella and Filippo Barecca" who "have independently claimed that Cunanan was framed for the murder -- and that Versace was killed by the mafia," and "they also confirmed that the dead turtle dove beside Versace's body was indeed a calling card from his enemies."
Versace's surviving kin vehemently deny the allegations; however, Italian authorities have opened an investigation based on the previously-established credibility of the mobsters-turned-informers: "while it may be tempting to dismiss their testimony as far fetched, the two men are regarded as highly reliable by prosecutors and anti-Mafia investigators, who have relied on information provided by them to secure mob convictions for a series of murder cases, including that of a judge and the former head of the Italian State Railways."
Frank Monte, a private investigator who previously worked for Gianni Versace, similarly "says the mafia hired a hit man to carry out the shooting with the help of local nightclub owners and drug dealers," and "he believes Andrew Cunanan -- the man whom police believe carried out the murder was a 'patsy' or fall guy."
Both Versace and Cunanan had an affinity for the seedier side of gay life: the former enjoyed the company of rent boys, and the latter was a rent boy. Cunanan apparently attended the West Side Club on May 5, 1997 in New York City before travelling down to Miami Beach as reported by Somini Sengupta for The New York Times: "among Mr. Cunanan's belongings was a membership card from the West Side Club, a private establishment on the second floor of a Chelsea office building that provides a sauna, a handful of Nautilus machines, private rooms and, most important, a meeting place for men, some of whom are openly gay." However, no West Side Club employees had any recollection of Cunanan visiting the establishment as reported by William K. Rashbaum and Tara George for the Daily News. The West Side Club is one of many private clubs in which gay businessman Robert N. DeBenedictis had an interest.
According to FBI documents Andrew Cunanan launched his five victim killing spree as revenge "against anyone who could have given him AIDS" as reported by Chuck Goudie for WLS: "although never tested, Cunanan thought he might have AIDS in the late spring and summer of 1997 because of his lifestyle and told friends he was going to kill those with whom he had unprotected sex." Of course, the Versace murder does not comport with the revenge MO since there is no evidence that Cunanan previously had met -- let alone banged -- the fashion designer.