David Madson is at the center of the Feb. 7 episode of ‘American Crime Story.’ Before the episode, here’s what you need to know about Andrew Cunanan’s ex-boyfriend and second victim.
1. David Madson was in a relationship with Andrew Cunanan in the years before his death. David and Andrew’s relationship was a long distance one at first, Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth wrote in Vulgar Favors. They eventually broke up when David grew tired of Andrew’s lies. Andrew reportedly told friends that he had proposed to David, but David had turned him down. He also reportedly said that David was the “the love of my life,” according to TIME. That didn’t stop Andrew from killing him, though.
2. David was talented architect. He graduated from architecture school at the University of Minnesota and was awarded the President’s Medal as the architecture student with the most outstanding thesis in 1995. David traveled all over for his job and was a guest lecturer for an advanced urban planning course at Harvard. “David was an absolute joy to be around and an immensely talented person, on the precipice of becoming a leading designer in the world in his field,” his boss John Ryan told Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth.
3. Jeff Trail, a former friend of Andrew’s, was killed in his apartment. Jeff’s body was found on April 29, 1997. His body had been rolled into a rug on the floor. Jeff had been brutally beaten to death by Andrew with a claw hammer.
4. At first, police believed David was responsible for the crime. After Jeff was identified as the victim and David was nowhere to be found, police initially assumed he had taken part in Jeff’s murder. “My first thought: it’s Madson,” Minneapolis police sergeant Robert Tichich, of the homicide division, told Vanity Fair. “It’s his apartment. There’s a body in there. There’s no way to pin it on Cunanan as opposed to Madson.” It wasn’t until David was found dead that police realized they were wrong.
5. David’s body was found May 3 on shores of East Rush Lake in Minnesota. He had been shot three times — in the eye, head, and back. His only defensive wounds were in his fingers, likely a result of him trying to deflect the bullet to his face. Andrew used Jeff’s handgun to kill David, William Reese, and Gianni Versace.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.
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