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Gay Internet sites join hunt for Cunanan

pridemedia July 19, 1997
Web posted at: 10:45 p.m. EDT (0245 GMT)

(CNN) -- The hunt for suspected spree killer Andrew Cunanan has gone into cyberspace, as a number of Internet sites aimed at gay audiences urge viewers to be vigilant.

PlanetOut, America Online's OnQ site, The Advocate magazine's online pages, Gloradio and PrideMedia -- among other sites -- are all giving the Cunanan story prominent play, complete with photos of the suspect and links to the FBI's Web site. There, viewers can obtain more information and leave tips.

"WatchOut! and Beware: Cunanan" reads the bold headline on PrideMedia's site.

Cunanan is gay, as were at least three of the five people he is suspected of killing during a four-state crime spree that began in April. The last of those slayings was Tuesday's shooting of fashion designer Gianni Versace on the steps of his oceanside mansion in Miami Beach.

Law enforcement authorities consider it possible that if Cunanan has left South Florida, he may travel to a city with a large gay population. The FBI has been working with gay community groups in eight cities to distribute fliers warning about Cunanan.

Through the Internet, gay online media sources also are trying to reach an audience that may not have much connection to the organized gay community.


"Many of the closeted people ... do use the Internet, because of the anonymity afforded by e-mail address," said Tom Reilly, chief executive officer of PlanetOut. "We're hoping to reach people who may not hear all the fuss."

"There's a lot of [gay] people who don't hang out in gay places, and we wanted to get his picture out there to them," said OnQ's vice president, Jim Wayand.

"The point is to keep the story in front of gay people as much as possible so they are aware," says John McMullen, Gloradio's president and executive producer.

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