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Two months before Gianni Versace was murdered on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion by Andrew Cunanan, award-winning journalist Maureen Orth was investigating a major story on the serial killer for Vanity Fair. Culled from interviews with more than 400 people and insights from thousands of pages of police reports, Orth tells the complete story of Cunanan, his unwitting victims, and the moneyed, hedonistic world in which they lived...and died.
In fascinating detail, she reveals how Cunanan met his superstar victim, why police and the FBI repeatedly failed to catch Cunanan, and why other victims' families stonewalled the investigation, as well as the controversial findings of the Versace autopsy report. Here is a gripping odyssey that races across America - from California's wealthy gay underworld to modest Midwestern homes of families mourning the loss of their sons to South Beach and its unapologetic decadence. Vulgar Favors is at once a masterwork of investigative journalism and a riveting account of a sociopath, his crimes, and the mysteries he left along the way.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Steve Horwitz on 10-29-17
ONE OF THE BEST TRUE CRIME BOOKS IN MY LIBRARY!
Journalist, Maureen Ann Orth wrote this great true crime story. She also happens to be the wife of the late and great reporter Tim Russert from CBS News. I'm sure everyone remembers the serial killer Andrew Cunanan who besides killing his ex homosexual lovers also murdered Gianni Versace, the famous designer. Ms. Orth traces the tragic life of Andrew and what led up to his horrible killing spree. I could not stop listening to this story, even though I followed it through live news outlets throughout the world twenty years ago. NOTHING IS DATED HERE!
If you are a true crime buff, add VULGAR FAVORS to your Audible Library. Do not let the original publishing date bother you. Sometimes I don't purchase a book for this reason. Keep in mind a great story will always be great. This book is timeless and ranks with THE STRANGER BESIDE ME and HELTER SKELTER, two of the best true crime books ever written. This is the third best true crime story I have ever listened to.
THIS IS A MUST READ!
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Dr. JSH on 03-12-18
One of the greats, with a couple of caveats
"Vulgar Favors" is among the best true-crime books I've ever read/listened to. I recall "the mysterious gay killer" wreaking havoc across the U.S., including where I lived, although his presence in SE New England turned out to be just a false sighting.
The author Maureen Orth takes readers along with her as she crosses the United States, contemporaneously reporting the deaths of Andrew Cunanan's first four victims. No one knew if, when, or where Cunanan was to strike next, but after she heard the news that Versace had been murdered, she was sent by "Vanity Fair" magazine to report Versace's -- and later Cunanan's -- death.
Although I did very much enjoy this book, the text is outdated in its mostly condescending tone regarding gay men. Orth describes gay men as shallow, vain, sex-hungry, drug-using, superficial, body-conscious, lesser-than individuals, who are either rich or money-grubbing. Some of this comes from the places where she did her interviews: Hillcrest (San Diego), Boysland (Chicago), South Beach, and San Francisco present a very narrow view of "a gay" (Orth's term, which is really bad phrasing; gay men never say, "Hi! I'm a gay!"). I would hope that if she were to revise the text one day, she would reconsider her judgmental categorization of gay men.
Also, Orth refers to Cunanan's case as the most bungled criminal investigation in U.S. history. That is not true. Here's just one example: the investigation into the Charles Manson family's killing spree was so disjointed that in hindsight it's amazing the defendants were found guilty, nevermind (originally) sentenced to death.
But -- despite these flaws -- I still recommend "Vulgar Favors" as engrossing and time well spent.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful