Book Review: Vulgar Favors Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace & The Largest Failed Manhunt In U.S. History

Maureen Orth’s Vulgar Favors: The Hunt for Andrew Cunanan, the Man Who Killed Gianni Versace (2010) is about the murder of Gianni Versace and his killer, Andrew Cunanan. I wasn’t interested in the news when Gianni Versace was killed. I didn’t know who he was; I only vaguely recognized his last name. I wasn’t into fashion back then either. When the show The Assassination of Gianni Versace in FX, I checked it out so I could understand what happened.

Downward Spiral

The show does an amazing job of describing the murderer, Andrew Cunanan. They took the audience through his life all the way to the murder. When the show finished, I thought all the information about Cunanan’s life must have been made up. After I read this book I discovered it wasn’t. The show did a great job in staying true to the source material. 

The Truth

Orth’s research is extensive and compelling. As I was reading the book I was tryong to understand what drove Cunanan to murder Versace. How much of it was nature and how much of it was nurture? That was the question constantly ringing in my head as I read. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way trying to find an excuse for Cunanan. I just find the argument a fascinating topic.

The Homosexual Community In Miami

To grasp what was going on in Cunanan’s head, Orth had to give the reader an inside look a the homosexual community in Miami at the time of the murder. Orth did a fantastic job of showing with clarity what was going on in Miami at the time of the murder. I felt like I was sitting next to her as she interviewed witnesses.

Final Thoughts

The show had to compress an immense amount of information to fit into a show format. They did an amazing job of it too. But if you want a holistic view of Gianni Versace’s death and his killer, you have to read this book.

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