Miami Beach, Gianni Versace and the mystery of the two dead in his villa

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Perhaps we will never know why Adam and Alexander met in the villa that belonged to Gianni Versace. Perhaps, we will never know the reasons why these two young men in their thirties died together on the bed of a suite. What really happened will remain in the limbo of the mysteries that surround «La Magione», also known as Casa Casuarina, the villa in front of whose gate the famous Italian designer was shot dead twenty-four years ago, for reasons still unknown, by a drug addict devoted to homosexual prostitution.

Gianni Versace with Elton John

Two bodies in one room
It all starts on the morning of July 15, precisely the day of the anniversary of the death of Gianni Versace. At the reception of the villa, which in the meantime has become a very luxurious boutique hotel, the doormen wait for a guest to check out. But the man does not show up. A housekeeper goes to check. Shortly after noon he knocks on the door of the suite. No one answers. The woman knocks again: on the other side, silence. Then the lady uses the key, enters and finds two corpses on the bed. There is blood, there is a gun, or rather two. The housekeeper screams. A few minutes later the police arrive and, for the second time in its long history, the shadow of yellow surrounds Casa Casuarina.

The killer of Gianni Versace
It was just after 8.30 in the morning twenty-four years ago in Florida. Versace, who had bought the beautiful mansion five years earlier and had renovated it making it wonderful, had arrived in Miami Beach a few days ago, in silence, in the utmost privacy. As usual, he had gone out for a walk taking advantage of the sun still low on the Atlantic. A coffee at the bar, a trip to the newsstand to buy newspapers. He was still holding them under his arm when, while pushing the gate of the villa with one hand to return, the killer in white shorts and a tank top pointed the gun to the back of his head. One shot, then another. The escape of the killer still with the gun in his hand, the blood flowing, the designer’s companion, Antonio D’Amico, who rushes to help him and calls for help. Then the police, the reporters, the cameras. And the images of that body hidden under a cloth that go around the world.

Mysterious bullets
Two pistol shots. D’Amico heard them loud and clear and looked out the window. She saw the man of her life, the designer she adored, collapse in her own blood and ran.
Two pistol shots. The same number of those that exploded on the night between 14 and 15 July last in the suite where Adam Rashap, 31, of Randolph, New Jersey, and Alexander Gross, 30, of York, Pennsylvania, they spent the night. This time, however, no one heard them, no one came to see what was happening. Why?

A strange “double suicide”
The Miami police have no doubts: “It was a double suicide. The two men both had guns in their hands. They killed each other next to each other“. Adam and Alexander would also leave notes. “The two men had a history of mental health diagnoses, including depression and anxiety,” police added. But the case is not closed. Yes, because there are so many unanswered questions. Were Adam and Alexander together? How long?
One from New Jersey, the other from Pennsylvania: where did they meet? And why meet in Miami Beach, in the villa that once belonged to Versace? Why kill yourself on the anniversary of the designer’s death? What united Adam and Alexander at Casa Casuarina and Gianni Versace?

The mysterious “suicide” of 24 years ago
Not that there aren’t any other suicides in this story. Even twenty-four years ago Andrew Cunanan, the 28-year-old who shot Versace, was found dead on a houseboat. It was July 23, eight days after the crime that shocked the world. “Suicide,” the police said, “Cunanan killed himself with a .40 caliber pistol.” Quickly buried, the case was closed. But had that really happened?

A dangerous serial killer
Of course, there is only that Cunanan, twenty-eight, after growing up in a good neighborhood in San Diego, California, and living lavishly for years by being supported by wealthy gentlemen, suddenly became a vicious killer. Thanks to the drug he had become addicted to, on April 27 he had hammered his close friend and peer into the head, Jeffrey Trail. He then fled to Minneapolis where, on May 3, he shot the architect with a .40 David Madson, five years older than him. The day after had tortured a 70-year-old construction developer, Lee Miglin, to death. Then, he had slaughtered the warden of Finn’s Point National Cemetery in Pennsville to steal his car.

An escape through the United States, chased by the police. Then nothing more, until July 15, when Cunanan suddenly appears in Miami Beach behind Gianni Versace. Why? What did the designer most loved by Hollywood stars have to do with him? By any chance the two had met or met before? It remained a mystery. “Envy,” someone said, “killed him out of envy because Versace had become a gay icon.” But is it really so?

Manhunt with mystery
For a week the police chased him. Then on July 23 a man sounded the alarm: “I hear strange noises coming from a houseboat.” The boat was surrounded, the police fired tear gas. But by the time the agents broke into the boat, Cunanan was already dead. “He shot himself in the mouth,” the police said. Or was he killed? Hard to say: the body was immediately cremated, making an autopsy impossible.

Adam lost his mother in 1997
The funeral has already been arranged for Adam and Alexander. “They were too young to have a connection with the Versace crime,” said one agent, “at the time they were only six years old.” Adam, however, in 1997, in October, had lost his beloved mother. Those were the months when the newspapers talked about nothing but Gianni Versace and his young and mysterious murderer Andrew Cunanan. Maybe those newspapers, those images on TV hit his child’s mind. Perhaps, he accumulated and in some strange way tied that affair to the pain of the loss of his mother. And when on 29 January his father Paul also left him forever, Adam must have thought back to those years, those images, that ancient pain. Was that when you met Alexander? Have they matured together the decision to end it or is there something else behind their story?
“Adam was a cheerful person, he was loved by everyone,” write his friends on Facebook. So why kill yourself in such a blatant way? We may never know. It will remain a mystery, like those that surround Casa Casuarina since it was built in 1930. It seems that the architect who commissioned it had one hidden within its walls “Time capsule” with a ticket dedicated to future generations. Who knows what it said. Who knows if it will ever be found.

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