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USA TODAY

I had completely forgotten Andrew Cunanan. But now, Ryan Murphy’s latest offering in his anthology drama, American Crime Story, is dredging up the ugly memories. Thanks for that, Ryan.

If you know the name, it’s because Cunanan is the spree killer who assassinated Italian fashion prince Gianni Versace, who was shot at the gates of his Miami Beach mansion on July 15, 1997, as he returned from his usual morning coffee-and-paper run to the News Cafe just down Ocean Drive.

More: Darren Criss, far from ‘Glee,’ takes darker turn as Gianni Versace’s killer

Versace, who died at 50, was the last victim of Cunanan.

During nearly three months in the summer of 1997, Cunanan killed five men (besides Versace, they were Jeffrey Trail, David Madson, Lee Miglin and William Reese), then managed to elude stumbling law-enforcement agencies, including the FBI, while careening around the country in stolen cars.

They never did catch him; eight days after killing Versace, he was found dead at 27 in a Miami Beach houseboat. He had shot himself with the same gun used to kill Versace and two other victims.

I know all this because I was one of a platoon of USA TODAY reporters who covered the frantic madness that summer. I was a breaking-news reporter and spent a dozen years in San Diego, living near the gay-friendly Hillcrest neighborhood where Cunanan prowled. And I was fast, in that slower, pre-Twitter era. 

But it was 20 years ago, and a slew of other big-news headlines have broken since. I had to go back to the clips in the USA TODAY library to refresh my memory. All too soon, the details came rushing back.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace (premiering Jan. 17 on FX, 10 ET/PT) is based on journalist Maureen Orth’s 1999 book, Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History, based on her reporting for Vanity Fair.

The Versace family has dismissed the series…