The third episode of ‘American Crime Story’ will focus on Andrew Cunanan’s horrific murder of Lee Miglin. Here’s what you need to know about the beloved Chicago tycoon.
1. He was a prominent real estate mogul. Lee Miglin, played by Mike Farrell on the FX show, had spent 50 years in the real estate business before his tragic murder on May 4, 1997. He “leased and developed millions of square feet of land and warehouse, manufacturing and office space” in Chicago and the surrounding area, according to his company’s website. Over the course of his career, he represented corporations such as General Motors Corporation, General Electric Corporation, Upjohn, Kimberly-Clark, American National Can, Robert Bosch, GmbH, and more. Before his death, Lee and his partner, J. Paul Beitler, were working on the Miglin-Beitler Skyneedle, which would have been the tallest building in the world. The Skyneedle was never built.
2. He was Andrew Cunanan’s third victim. Andrew went to Chicago after killing his friend, Jeff Trail, and former lover, David Madson. Lee’s body was found in his home in Chicago’s Gold Coast Historic District. His head was wound with masking tape, with only a hole under his nostrils to keep him breathing. He was also bound at the wrists and ankles. Lee’s murder was absolutely brutal. According to Maureen Orth’s book, Vulgar Favors, which the show is based on, Lee was stabbed multiple times in the chest, suffered over two dozen blows to his head, face, and chin, hit with two bags of heavy cement that fractured all of his ribs, and was nearly decapitated with a bow saw.
3. Andrew stole Lee’s car and went on the run again. After murdering Lee, Andrew stole his Lexus and headed east. While on the run, Andrew realized that the police could track him using the phone in Lee’s car. He made a stop in New York City and ended up at Finn’s Point National Cemetery in Pennsville, N.J. He dumped the Lexus, murdered the cemetery’s caretaker, William Reese, and stole his red truck. Weeks later, Andrew would murder Gianni Versace in Miami.
4. The police failed to find out why Andrew decided to kill Lee. In the immediate aftermath of Lee’s death, police desperately tried to find a connection between Andrew and his victim. Andrew had known his first two victims, so it was plausible that he could have known Lee. The FBI looked into a few claims that Lee and Andrew knew each other, but nothing was ever confirmed. The Miglin family has always maintained that Lee had no connection to the serial killer.
5. His wife has her own successful cosmetics line. Marilyn Miglin is best known for her signature fragrance, Pheromone. She still sells her line of cosmetics, skin care, and fragrance line on HSN today. Marilyn is played by Judith Light on American Crime Story.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.
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