Three Month Fever: The Andrew Cunanan Story
Novelist and essayist Indiana (Resentment, 1997; Rent Boy, 1994; etc.) combines fictional and journalistic techniques in this true crime ``hybrid of narration and reflection,'' which is, in his words, ``a pastiche'' that is ``fact-based, but with no pretense to journalistic ``objectivity.'' Andrew Cunanan caught the media's full attention with the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace, an act that was the culmination of a rampage in which Cunanan apparently killed four other men before Versace and himself afterward. Indiana dismisses the media's hypercoverage at the time as largely fanciful: Cunanans life was transformed from the somewhat poignant and depressing but fairly ordinary thing it was into a narrative overripe with tabloid evil. Indiana bases his own portrait on interviews with Cunanan's childhood friends, school reports, numerous of his acquaintances in San Diego, and FBI and local police reports. The portrait that emerges from this in-depth probe is of a smooth, clever pathological liar, a well-known, well-dressed, but not especially well-liked member of San Diego's gay subculture. Indiana portrays Cunanan as having a penchant for sadomasochistic sex in which he was the dominating figure. Sometimes kept by an older man, sometimes peddling prescription drugs, Cunanan generally lived well, but in 1997, things took a turn for the worse. With his credit maxed out, he headed for Minnesota to visit two former colleagues, Jeff Trail and David Madson, neither of whom was pleased to see him. Indiana lets his imagination loose on the known forensic data to create the ghastly scenes in which Cunanan murders first Trail (furiously) and then Madson (cold-bloodedly); his brutal S&M slaying of Lee Miglin, a wealthy older man; and his shooting of a cemetery caretaker whose truck he stole. As Cunanan's life spirals downward, Indiana portrays his psyche taking a nosedive, too. In his version of Versace's shooting, he has the fugitive Cunanan hearing voices that direct his actions. It may not be the truth, but it all seems quite plausible. A vivid and gripping account.