Gianni Versace murder files released
Versace was killed July 15
Family files suit to keep autopsy photos sealed
December 30, 1997
Web posted at: 3:40 p.m. EST (2040 GMT)
MIAMI BEACH, Florida (CNN) -- Miami Beach police on Tuesday released hundreds of documents on the Gianni Versace murder investigation, but
withheld autopsy photos pending court action on a lawsuit
filed by the fashion designer's family to keep them private.
More than 700 pages of investigative documents were released
Tuesday under Florida's Public Records Act.
As expected, Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Barreto said
police have concluded Andrew Cunanan murdered Versace. But
he said authorities have not been able to establish a motive
for the murder.
"Andrew Cunanan is the subject responsible for the
homicide," Barreto said, adding the suspected serial killer
had acted alone. (254K/23 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
The Versace family had reportedly been trying quietly to stop
disclosure of any of the designer's personal and financial
information. However, Lou Colasuonno, a Versace family
spokesman, said Tuesday the lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade
County Circuit Court was aimed only at keeping autopsy and
other photos private.
"We're just asking for respect for a guy who was a murder
victim," Colasuonno said. "Gianni Versace was the victim of a
maniacal serial killer. And we should treat him like a victim
-- with respect."
No court date has been scheduled in the suit filed on behalf
of Donatella and Santo Versace, the late designer's sister
and brother. Release of the photos is required by law unless
the court intervenes.
Cunanan was the sole suspect in the Versace murder
Police believe Cunanan, 27, shot Versace July 15 on the steps
of his Miami Beach mansion. Cunanan committed suicide a week
later on a houseboat about 2 miles north of the mansion.
Cunanan is suspected to have killed four other men in a
cross-country shooting spree.
Barreto said the Versace investigation was the longest and
most extensive probe ever undertaken by Miami Beach police.
Still, no solid motive behind the execution-style murder
could be found, he said.
He said police had received two uncorroborated reports that
Versace and Cunanan might have met in the past, but could not
establish that there was any relationship between the two
"The real answer to that went down with the ship, so to
speak, when Andrew Cunanan committed suicide," Barreto said.
The houseboat on which Cunanan shot himself sank recently in Miami Beach.