Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Andrew Cunanan: After Me, Disaster


"What man was ever content with one crime?"


No one knows when Andrew Cunanan and his next victim had met that is, if they had ever met before the evening of May 3, 1997. But, on that day, less than a week after he left David Madson dead on a farmland in Minnesota, he wreaked another attack on an unsuspecting person in what appeared to be a combustive demonic fury. This next victim was 72-year-old Chicago-based realty developer Lee Miglin.

Lee Miglin (Sygma)
Lee Miglin (Sygma)

Miglin was raised in small-town Danville, Illinois, by hardworking Lithuanian parents. Working up from a blue-collar world, Miglin became a cornerstone in a succession of prime civic and business office space. Together with partner J. Paul Beitler, Miglin managed other high real-estate holdings as well. "(The firm) built the Chicago Bar Association Building and the 45-story Madison Plaza, the world headquarters for the Hyatt Corporation," explains Maureen Orth in Vulgar Favors. "Miglin himself built the world headquarters for National Can and developed much of the industrial park near OHare Airport. At their height, Miglin-Beitler managed over 32-million square feet of other buildings throughout the Midwest."

"Lee was a terrific, sweet, gentle guy," architect Stanley Tigerman apprises. "Very self-effacing. He was never the type to blow his own horn."

Lees wife, Marilyn, was and still is a recognized figure on the Home Shopping Network. American women throughout the country use her line of cosmetics and perfumes, which she sells on the air. Still today, the citys women frequent her makeup salon.

The Miglins were known fund-raisers for the city they lived in and loved. They resided in an upper-crust area of brick-and-iron early-century townhouses north of downtown. Neighbors found them warm and friendly.

On the evening of Saturday, May 3, Marilyn was out of town on a business tour. Lee was seen standing out front his home by a neighbor early in the evening; he was alone. It is estimated that Andrew must have been cruising the area and, perhaps induced by drugs, vented his seething hatred for mankind at the present on the first person he saw: Miglin. Perhaps he approached the realtor for directions; perhaps he stopped him to beg a favor. Whatever, what followed was ghastly.

He led Miglin, probably at gunpoint, into his garage adjacent to the townhouse. There, Andrew bound Miglins wrists, wrapped his face with duct tape (leaving only a space for his nose) and proceeded to put him through a series of tortures directly from what was said to be Andrews favorite "snuff" film, Target for Torture. Pummeling him, kicking him, he then drove a pair of pruning shears into the mans chest several times, muffling his screams. While Miglin still breathed, Andrew proceeded to slice his throat slowly with a hacksaw. Not yet satisfied, he deposited the sack that was Lee Miglin under his 1994 Lexus, rolling it back and forth over the body until it was mush.

As if to celebrate his success in ridding the world of another human being, the killer entered the Miglin home from the back. Inside, he helped himself to sandwiches, an apple and a glass of orange juice from the refrigerator, watched a couple home videos, then slept that night in the Miglin couples bed. In the morning, he stole some golden coins he found lying in the townhouse and left Chicago in the Miglins green, immaculate Lexus.

Andrew made absolutely no effort in Chicago to conceal his identity. Rather, he taunted. When the police discovered David Madsons Jeep Cherokee parked a couple blocks away from the Miglin home, the front seat was strewn with his own photos daring the police to pursue him.

The FBI entered the case and immediately put Andrew Phillip Cunanan on its Top Ten Most Wanted list. They distributed posters nationally. Because Andrew had been using the Lexus mobile phone, the bureau was able to trace his movements. When agents learned he was nearing Philadelphia, they warned the police there to stop the vehicle, labeling him as "armed and dangerous." Prowl cars hit the main roads, the back roads and the expressways throughout Philadelphia, but it was as if Andrew Cunanan had become invisible.

The many faces of Andrew Cunanan, (FBI Wanted Poster)
The many faces of Andrew
Cunanan, (FBI Wanted Poster)

From behind the wheel of the stolen car Andrew listened to the radio reports and laughed at the be-on-the-lookout-fors. Realizing his blunder with the car phone, he tossed it out the window, his salute, as he saw it, to the stupidity of the police.

Law enforcement agencies were baffled. How had they missed him? Where had he gone? But, Andrew Cunanan had found a haven where no one would look for a living person. A cemetery.


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