Before the murder of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace, his eventual killer Andrew Cunanan had been on a cross-country murder spree. Though never brought to justice, Cunanan had, according to what authorities pieced together, brutally killed four people by the time he arrived in Miami in May 1997.
Cunanan’s first victim was his friend Jeffrey Trail, 28. The two met and became friends when Trail was stationed with the Navy in San Diego.
At the end of April 1997, Cunanan, then 27, bought a one-way ticket to Minneapolis from San Diego, where he had been living, to see Trail and Cunanan’s ex-boyfriend David Madson.
“Cunanan was going on this one-way trip to kill off his past,” said former FBI agent and ABC News contributor Brad Garrett.
After arriving in Minneapolis, Cunanan stole Trail’s .40 caliber Taurus semi-automatic handgun and a case of hollow point bullets.
“If Jeff Trail would’ve reported the gun stolen, all this never would’ve happened,” Lee Urness, the lead FBI agent with Minnesota’s FBI fugitive task force at the time, told ABC News. “Cunanan was the luckiest criminal I ever chased.”
Trail’s body was found that weekend at Madson’s apartment. He had been beaten to death with a claw hammer and struck in the head about 27 times. At the time, police investigated whether Madson might have been involved in the murder.
Two days after the murder, Cunanan and Madson left in Madson’s car and drove to an isolated area outside Minneapolis. On May 3, 1997, Madson’s body was found near East Rush Lake in Chisago County, Minnesota. Cunanan shot Madson three times in the head with Trail’s gun.