American Crime Story: Versace star Ricky Martin believes that Gianni Versace wouldn’t have been murdered in 1997 if police were more involved within the LGBTQ community in Miami. The 45-year-old singer plays the part of Versace’s boyfriend, Antonio D’Amico, and says that the fashion designer’s murder could have been avoided if police had done their job.
Martin Blames Police For Versace’s Murder
NY Daily News reported that Martin opened up about his role on the show during an interview with Haute Living Miami. Versace was assassinated at his mansion in Miami in the summer of 1997 by a man named Andrew Cunanan, who had already killed four gay men before Versace’s murder. Martin believes that police knew that Cunanan was in Miami, but did nothing to apprehend him because intolerance of the gay community was very high at the time. Even worse, Cunanan was on the FBI’s most wanted list at the time of the murder, yet police did nothing to stop his murderous rampage.
Cunanan Was Targeting Gay Men Before Murdering Versace
Prior to Versace’s death, Cunanan had gone on a murder spree that claimed the lives of four gay men. This includes Jeffery Trail, a natural gas salesman and former officer in the U.S. Navy, Trail’s ex-boyfriend David Madson, Lee Miglin, a real estate businessman, and William Reese, a cemetery worker.
Cunanan’s gruesome murder of Miglin – whom he stabbed some 20 times with a screwdriver and used a hacksaw to cut his throat – landed him on the FBI’s most wanted list. Despite the disturbing and high-profile nature of Cunanan’s murder, police in Miami did not act after they discovered he was in the area. For Martin, police could have prevented Versace’s death if they had simply done their jobs.
Versace’s Death Explores Larger Themes Within The LGBTQ Community
Although the series will explore Versace’s death in great detail, it is more about exploring the gay community in the 1990s. According to The Daily Beast, creator Ryan Murphy explained how the show deals with a lot of modern themes, including how it was hard being gay in the ’90s and the life events that led to Cunanan’s murder spree. The series will begin with Versace’s murder before working back in time and chronicling Cunanan’s early childhood.
Cunanan was an extremely intelligent sociopath who struggled with his sexuality. He was also jealous about his own misfortunes compared to other successful gay men, which is one reason he targeted Versace in the first place. After taking a hard look at Cunanan’s life, the series will end by documenting his demise.
Could Police Have Prevented Versace’s Murder?
This season of American Crime Story is based on a book by Maureen Orth, who studied Cunanan’s early life and murders. While Martin clearly has strong thoughts about Versace’s death, Orth believes that police weren’t necessarily intolerant of the LGBTQ community in Miami as much as they were ignorant.
In fact, Orth wrote that police failed to capture Cunanan before his fifth murder because they couldn’t infiltrate the gay community and understand what was happening. Either way, it is clear that police could have done a better job and had a chance to stop Cunanan before he murdered Versace.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is set to premiere on January 17.