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FBI warns friends of Cunanan They may be his next targets

By Tom BaykesAssociated Press Published: July 21, 1997 12:00 AM

Cunanan, a suspect in the slayings of fashion designer Gianni Versace and

four other men across the country, may be seeking revenge against those

he believes have crossed him, FBI spokeswoman Coleen Rowley said in today's

editions of USA Today.

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The FBI was reviewing interviews with people who knew Cunanan to determine

who should be warned. The agency was reportedly concerned he was working

his way down a hit list of wealthy gays and art patrons.

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"We want to see if he talked about other people," Rowley said.

"If we do come across those names, we would be remiss if we did not

convey that information to them."

Authorities have said they believe Cunanan, who could be posing as a woman,

is still in south Florida. The manhunt, however, is national.

More details have emerged about Cunanan's actions in the days before Versace's

slaying last Tuesday on the steps of his South Beach villa - including an

informal get-together at the mansion two days before the murder that was

apparently attended by Cunanan.

A Brazilian woman told authorities she has photos and video showing Cunanan

and Versace together at the July 13 gathering. USA Today quoted a Brazilian

police official who confirmed the woman's claim and said the photos have

been given to the FBI.

A friend of Cunanan's told the FBI that Cunanan had a crush on a member

of Versace's entourage, Time magazine reported. Authorities have tried to

determine whether Cunanan and Versace knew each other.

A week ago, a day before the July 15 slaying, security cameras at the News

Cafe recorded Cunanan about 30 minutes before Versace made his usual appearance

to buy magazines, Newsweek reported. The cafe is within walking distance

of Versace's home.

Before all of this, Cunanan had left a brazen trail across Miami Beach.

Two weeks ago, he walked into a pawnshop, used his real name and left a

thumbprint as he pawned a gold coin from one of the men he is accused of

killing. He also left a record of the hotel and room number where he stayed

until the day before Versace's slaying.

At the pawn shop, Cash On The Beach, clerk Vivian Oliva said she followed

Florida law requiring her to mail a copy of the receipt, thumbprint and

all, to Miami Beach Police within 24 hours.

It was not clear whether police received the receipt. Calls to Miami Beach

police and the FBI were not returned Sunday.

Oliva didn't talk to police until the day after Versace's killing, when

she called to tell them about the receipt she still had. They confiscated

the fingerprint card and the coin, which investigators said was stolen from

Lee Miglin, a Chicago developer Cunanan is accused with killing in May.

The pawn shop is within sight of the Normandy Plaza Hotel, where employees

said Cunanan stayed for the two months before Versace's murder. Manager

Roger Falin said Cunanan used an alias, flashed a French passport and went

from paying daily to weekly to monthly.

Even before Versace's slaying, the FBI was receiving reports of Cunanan

sightings from all corners of the country - boarding airplanes, at a laundry

in Oklahoma City, in the audience at the Geraldo Rivera show.

Now that his face is plastered on virtually every storefront in south Florida,

the supposed Cunanan sightings are pouring in.

He has supposedly been spotted in hotels up and down the beaches, with one

report putting him in a Fort Lauderdale hotel on Friday.

"I almost called the police the other day when I saw a guy who looked

like Cunanan on Sunny Isles," said retiree Eduardo Lara, 75. "But

I said forget it, I'm just imagining things."

On Saturday, Miami Beach police said Cunanan may be attempting to elude

authorities by shaving his body and dressing as a woman.

Besides being the prime suspect in Versace's death, Cunanan is wanted for

the slayings of Miglin, a cemetery caretaker in New Jersey and two men in

Minnesota, an ex-lover and a former friend.

In New York City, security was beefed up for today's shows as Men's Fashion

Week begins, The New York Times reported.

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