Andrew Cunanan killed himself in Miami in 1997 after committing the five murders that were depicted over the course of The Assassination of Gianni Versace. But despite the fact that Cunanan's spree took him all over the country, he was originally from California. So where was he laid to rest when all was said and done? Where is Andrew Cunanan buried?
In Vulgar Favors, Maureen Orth's exhaustive account of Cunanan's life and crimes (as well as the inspiration for Versace), it was reported that there was some debate over where Cunanan would be buried because his parents disagreed. His father Modesto had relocated to the Philippines several years earlier after legal trouble led him to abandon his entire family, and he wanted Andrew to be buried there. Andrew's mother Mary Ann disputed that, and eventually it was determined that Andrew would be buried in California.
Andrew Cunanan's remains were, according to Orth, "interred behind a marble slab in a sunny mausoleum at the Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego." A picture of the marker can be easily located with the help of Find A Grave; it is undecorated, bearing only Cunanan's name, the years of his birth and death, and a small cross. Vulgar Favors stated that Mary Ann paid for his burial using money from a Hard Copy interview.
Orth's book opened with her account of a Mass for the Souls that she attended on August 29, 1997, a month after Andrew's suicide. Orth noted that 15 people showed up, including Mary Ann herself and Andrew's godfather Delfin Labao, as well as Andrew's old catechism teacher Sister Dolores. Andrew's three siblings and father were not in attendance.
It seems as though it was a quiet service and not much attention was drawn to Andrew specifically. His name was left out of the written announcement at the church, but was read aloud with one notable alteration. The priest read his name as "Andrew Cunanan Schillaci," using his mother's maiden name. A mass card in Andrew's memory bore his name and the expected dates (August 31, 1969 — July 23, 1997) as well as the following poem excerpt:
I'd like the memory of me / to be a happy one... / I'd like to leave an echo / of happy times and laughing times.
Just over a week after shooting Gianni Versace on the steps of his Miami home, Cunanan took his own life using the same gun. He had also used the gun in the murders of David Madson and William Reese, and had taken it from the apartment of his first victim Jeff Trail. Cunanan spent the days after Versace's death holed up in a Miami houseboat, where he was found hours after his suicide. At the time of his death, Cunanan was 27 years old.
It seems like the final days and moments of Cunanan's life will be depicted in the last episode of The Assassination of Gianni Versace, "Alone." No one knows exactly what he was doing during his eight days hidden in the houseboat, though a few clues left behind indicated that he was treating a wound on his stomach and still reading Vogue magazine.
So much of Cunanan's motivation and mindset remains a mystery because of his death; he will never be able to offer explanations, nor could he be brought to justice for what he did. Twenty-one years have passed since his death, and understanding why he did what he did isn't much easier, though Versace has done its best to imagine what might have led someone who could have had a promising life to instead leave nothing but destruction in his wake.
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