Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History

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9780440225850: Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History
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Read the true story of the manhunt that inspired The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, the latest chapter of the acclaimed FX series.
 
On July 15, 1997, Gianni Versace was shot and killed on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. But months before Versace’s murder, award-winning journalist Maureen Orth was already investigating a major story on Cunanan for Vanity Fair. Culled from interviews with more than four hundred people and insights gleaned from thousands of pages of police reports, Vulgar Favors tells the complete story of Andrew Cunanan, his unwitting victims, and the moneyed world in which they lived . . . and died. Orth reveals how Cunanan met Versace, and why police and the FBI repeatedly failed to catch him. Here is a gripping odyssey that races across America—from California’s wealthy gay underworld to modest Midwestern homes of families mourning the loss of their sons to South Beach and its unapologetic decadence. Vulgar Favors is at once a masterwork of investigative journalism and a riveting account of a sociopath, his crimes, and the mysteries he left along the way.
 
“The breadth and thoroughness of [Maureen] Orth’s research are often staggering.”—The New York Times
 
“Fascinating . . . ripe with chilling detail.”—Entertainment Weekly

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Review:

Vanity Fair was Andrew Cunanan's favorite magazine, so there's a certain synergy to Maureen Orth's engrossing and meticulously researched account of Cunanan's 1997 cross-country killing spree, which left celebrated designer Gianni Versace and four others dead before Cunanan took his own life. Orth, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair and an award-winning investigative journalist, had just filed a story on the homicidal young poseur when Versace's murder grabbed headlines across the nation. As the media scrambled to make the connection between high-profile victim and shadowy assailant, it was Orth who broke the news that Cunanan claimed to have known the fashion superstar--perhaps more intimately than Versace's handlers were comfortable admitting publicly.

Vulgar Favors, Orth's first book, is the story of a monster obsessed with social climbing. From his earliest childhood, Cunanan's severely dysfunctional parents programmed him with a sense of entitlement but gave him no means of entrée into the glittering world of wealth and privilege he so desperately desired. At first, Cunanan's youthful, exotic good looks and magpie intelligence earned him access to the upper echelons of San Diego's fabulously decadent and closeted gay rich, but as drugs and dissolution exacted their toll, the doors closed tight and Cunanan's rage and frustration took a murderous bent. The most interesting parts of Orth's tale, however, are not the lurid details of depravity but the revelations on how Versace's celebrity status influenced the investigation into his murder. Even in death, it would appear, the rich are very different from you and me. --Patrizia DiLucchio

From the Back Cover:

Two months before Andrew Cunanan murdered Gianni Versace on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion, Maureen Orth was investigating a major story on the serial killer for Vanity Fair. Now the award-winning journalist and Vanity Fair special correspondent tells the complete story of Cunanan, his unwitting victims, and the moneyed, hedonistic world in which they lived and died, culled from interviews with over 400 people, and details from thousands of pages of police reports.

In chilling detail, Maureen Orth reveals how Andrew Cunanan met his superstar victim...why police and the FBI repeatedly failed to catch Cunanan...why other victims' families stonewalled the investigation...controversial findings of the Versace autopsy report, and more. Here is a late-century odyssey that races across America from California's wealthy gay underworld to modest midwestern homes of families mourning their slaughtered sons to the celebration of decadence that is Versace's South Beach. It is at once a landmark work of investigative journalism and a riveting account of a sociopath, his savage crimes, and the mysteries he left along the way.

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