The newest season of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story anthology series recounts the horrific events around Andrew Cunanan’s 1997 spree killings. Over the course of the first half of the season, viewers have watched as Cunanan (played by Darren Criss) murder each of his five known victims: Jeff Trail, David Madson, Lee Miglin, William Reese, and Gianni Versace.
But more than two decades after Cunanan’s murder spree, many details remain unknown, as Cunanan took his own life just a week after killing Versace — leaving no note or indication of any motive behind.
While Trail has long been considered Cunanan’s first victim, many believe the killer actually murdered someone long before his spree began.
A month after Trail and Madson’s murder, Michael Williams, a friend of Trail’s who was also acquainted with Cunanan, revealed to the San Diego Reader that the crimes prompted him to revisit the murder of someone else Cunanan knew. In May 1995, a wealthy man named Lincoln Aston was found bludgeoned to death — not unlike Trail’s own murder. But while someone else, Kevin Bond, confessed and was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder, Williams told the newspaper that he thinks the murders of Aston and Trail could actually be connected.
Whether Cunanan’s claim that he found Aston’s body is real or just another of his many, many lies is unknown. However, the killer was a known acquaintance of Aston’s, as they ran in the same gay men’s social club. Cunanan — who was going by Andrew DeSilva at the time — was a member of Gamma Mu, a gay men’s social club made up largely of wealthy men. While the killer’s primary connection to the club was through Norman Blachford, the wealthy older man who served as Cunanan’s sugar daddy during the mid ’90s, Aston was reportedly another one of Cunanan’s lovers.
In a 1997 article, Joe Letzkus, who owned a bar frequented by Cunanan, told the New York Daily News that Cunanan and Aston’s relationship was public knowledge. He said, “It was well known about their relationship. They went to parties and events together. They would get on a plane and fly to Spain because Gamma Mu would have a party in Spain.”
Due to Bond’s confession, Cunanan was never a person of interest in Aston’s murder, but in the wake of his 1997 murder spree, many have begun seeing Aston’s murder in a different light. While many now suspect Cunanan of being behind the Aston murder, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever be deemed a person of interest as San Diego police continue to accept Bond’s confession — and Cunanan didn’t leave any indication that he was behind the murder.