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FBI searching for new clues in Versace killing

Cuna July 21, 1997
Web posted at: 2:43 p.m. EDT (1843 GMT)

MIAMI BEACH, Florida (CNN) -- FBI agents say they are analyzing notes from dozens of interviews conducted over the past 10 weeks, looking for the slightest clue as to where Andrew Cunanan -- suspected of killing fashion czar Gianni Versace -- may strike next.

"There's no hit list," said FBI spokeswoman Coleen Rowley. "We don't have his address book."

But, Rowley told CNN, "We've done tons of interviews since May. What we're doing now is going back and thoroughly reviewing every interview to see if anyone made even an off-hand comment that could be helpful."

She said that as part of the investigation, agents would contact Cunanan's acquaintances when necessary. "I wouldn't call that a warning," she said.

Earlier reports indicated the FBI was warning people who have known Cunanan that they may be targets.

In its Monday editions, USA Today quoted Rowley as saying, "We want to see if he talked about other people. If we do come across those names, we would be remiss if we did not convey that information to them."

Hotline generates hundreds of new leads

FBI agents and Miami Beach police have been sifting through hundreds of new tips from people who believe they have seen Cunanan.

Phone number

The FBI's hot line in Washington -- 1-888-324-9800 -- has received more than 500 phone calls since it was set up at noon Sunday. One agent estimated that about a third of the calls were substantive enough for the FBI to follow them up.

However, one lead has hit an apparent dead end. A photo that a Brazilian woman took outside Versace's Miami Beach mansion two nights before he was killed does not show either Versace or Cunanan, police in Sao Paulo, Brazil, told CNN.

Over the weekend, the FBI sent an agent to Brazil after a woman there claimed she had taken a photo of the two men together at what she said was "an informal gathering" at the mansion.

But Monday, Brazilian police said the woman was simply attending a beach festival nearby and had taken a photo of two men outside the mansion. Neither man was Versace or Cunanan, Brazilian police said.

They said the FBI agent returned to Miami Sunday night. FBI agents said they had no comment on the Brazilian report.

Clerk: Cunanan 'didn't look like a killer'

A clerk who said she gave Cunanan $190 for a $50 gold coin earlier this month said Monday that the suspect "didn't look like a killer."

Vivian Oliva, who works at the Cash on the Beach pawn shop a short distance from the Normandy Plaza hotel where Cunanan stayed, said Cunanan did not appear nervous when he came in July 7. Oliva said Cunanan showed her his passport, signed his name and left a fingerprint on a form the state of Florida requires for such transactions.

"I said, 'Sign here and put your fingerprint.' He did it," said Oliva.

Oliva said she reported the coin transaction two days later, on July 9, as required by state law. The day after Versace was shot, she said, she called police to tell them Cunanan had come to her store.

Cunanan may be disguised in drag

FBI agents said they believed Cunanan was still in South Florida because they had no credible evidence that he had obtained another car to make a getaway.

In addition to Versace's death, Cunanan is also being sought in four other slayings in a spree that began in late April. Those slayings occurred in Minnesota, Illinois and New Jersey.

Miami Beach police said they believed Cunanan may be dressing as a female and might have shaved all his body hair to enhance his appearance.

The manager of the Pleasure Emporium, a Miami Beach adult book and video store, said he had seen Cunanan five or six times in his store. He said if Cunanan were dressing as a woman he would not stand out.

"This is Miami Beach," said Jeff Walter, the manager. "You see everything here." He said there was a large transvestite community in the area and if Cunanan were dressing as a woman he would "fit right in."

Versace was killed last Tuesday morning when a man police say was Cunanan walked up to him in front of his mansion and fired two shots into Versace's head.

 
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