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Publisher's Summary

The inspiration for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, the second season of FX's Emmy-winning FX series

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.

©2010 Maureen Orth (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"[An] exhaustive deconstruction of Andrew Cunanan's five murders.... The breadth and thoroughness of Orth's research are often staggering." ( The New York Times)
"A fascinatingly detailed account." ( USA Today)
"An exceptionally good account of suspected serial killer Andrew Cunanan's spree in 1997.... Orth tells this twisted story with grace and courage." ( Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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

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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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Very well done!!

I enjoyed this audiobook immensely, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in Andrew Cunanan. It served as the basis of Ryan Murphy’s television show, and I enjoyed finding out so much more!

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Couldn't Stop Listening

Hearing all of the details that were not present in the movie makes this book a must listen even if you already saw the movie.

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Skip to chapter . . . say 18.

It's ok for a story to give you background into how something (in this case the killer) evolved . . . but 18 or so chapters is overkill. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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Great Book

I love the detail that was put into this expose on Andrew Cunanan. I feel that it allows us to really get inside his head and almost understand why he did what he did even though we’ll never truly know for sure. My only complaint about this is the forward read by Maureen Orth. Her performance is just terribly bland and boring. The rest is great though.

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Book is too long.

If you are interested in the daily life of Cunanan this is your book. I think the story could be told in half the pages.

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Solid Read

very engaging read with lots of details that were previously unknown. good narration too. twado thumbs up

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Sad.

all of us know at least one person like Andrew cunanan. The one who has done everything seen everything who won ups every story you tell. It just so happens this one turned out to be more of a spree killer than a real serial killer. I don't believe that he not killed Gianni Versace that too many people would know his name but it is a very interesting story the parts about his childhood or a little Bland but the middle and end of the story Earth incredibly well written and very engrossing

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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5 minutes and I wanted to kill the author.

Unbelievably biased and insulting to Gays , Cops and Crystal users ALL IN UNDER 5 minutes. Her Mother was WRONG Not any damn fool can write a book. This was probably the worst naration , plot outline and surefire lack of any true investigation into her subject. I hope she NEVER tries again .

2 of 12 people found this review helpful