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5 true crimes that shocked the fashion world

There's blood on the catwalk

5 true crimes that shocked the fashion world There's blood on the catwalk

That the fashion world has dark sides is well known, but there are some pages of its history darker than others. The fashion system has a long list of tragic deaths. Some of these were suicide, as in the case of Alexander McQueen and Kate Spade, both of whom hanged themselves in their respective homes; others are unexpected incidents, such as that of the founder of Blumarine, Gianpaolo Tarabini Castellani, killed in Zimbabwe by two elephants during a safari or the fatal car crashes of Nicola and Francesco Trussardi. But some of these deaths have become real news stories or because of the high profile of the characters involved or the mystery that surrounds them.

Below are the five most famous and violent episodes in which the tragic reality of death burst into the muffled world of catwalks, wealth and glossy magazines. 


The Versace Murder

The story of the Versace murder is famous. On the morning of July 15, 1997, Gianni Versace is returning to his opulent Miami mansion after buying some newspapers on newsstands during a walk on Ocean Drive. Usually, the designer would send an assistant to buy newspapers but that day he chose to go in person. As he walked on the steps leading to his gate, two shots fired from a Taurus PT100 .40 calibre hit him in the back of the head. At 9:21 that same morning, Versace was pronounced dead in hospital. Near the crime scene, police found the stolen car of William Reese, the cemetery keeper killed by Andrew Cunanan, a violent spree killer (which is slightly different from a serial killer, in criminal terms, as the killings take place in a short two or more different places) that was already on the FBI's most-wanted list. He's on the manhunt, with no results. Eight days later, Cunanan's body is found on the second floor of a boat. He had apparently killed himself with the same gun he used to shoot the designer and another of his victims.


Patrizia Reggiani and the Gucci case

1995. Milan, Via Palestro, 20. Maurizio Gucci, former president of the fashion house, is entering the office. He's still in the hall when a man gets out of the green Renault Clio parked behind him, pulls out a .32 calibre and shoots him three times. Two bullets hit the back, one the buttock. Maurizio Gucci slumps to the ground, still alive, when the man fires a fourth shot, this time aiming at his left temple, killing him. The investigation is underway. After discarding various hypotheses, the investigators think of a passionate motive and look to Patrizia Reggiani, the millionaire's ex-wife. There is no evidence and the investigation continues for two years. Then comes the word to the police that a suspect named Ivano Savioni has boasted of the murder. The latter turns out to be friends with Pina Aurimma, a tarot reader near the Reggiani and often a guest in her penthouse in San Babila. The police intercept their phones, the two accomplices practically confess themselves, implying in the crime also Patrizia Reggiani as the principal. Reggiani ended up in San Vittore sentenced to 26 years but came out in 2018 after 18 years. With her, all her accomplices were imprisoned.


The disappearing of Vittorio Missoni

For many months no one knew what had happened to Vittorio Missoni, his wife, a couple of friends and two pilots. In January 2013 they had all boarded an old touring plane, a Britten-Norman Islander, and had taken to the skies from Los Roques, an archipelago of Venezuela, bound for Caracas. They never made it to their destination. For six long months, the plane and its passengers were searched in vain. They really disappeared into thin air. No one had any idea where to find them until an American ship, the Sea Scout, equipped for oceanographic research and looking for another plane that disappeared in 2008, did not identify, 900 meters below the water level, the silhouette of an aircraft that was later recognized by the serial number. Five bodies were recovered in the wreckage, and if the body of the designer's wife and the two pilots were identified, Vittorio Missoni's was never identified. To add an epilogue of mystery to the story, a bag belonging to the missing man was found on the island of Bonaire, almost 180km away from the crash site and much further east than the plane's route. Of Missoni, nothing was heard.


Terry Broome's smoking Smith & Wesson 

In 1980s Milan, hedonism was in the air. The most hedonistic of all was Francesco d'Alessio, heir and playboy, patron of the Nepentha club. It's four o'clock in the morning in his house on the mezzanine floor of Corso Magenta, 84 when Terry Broome, a 26-year-old model with whom d'Alessio had had a bad relationship, shows up at the door. often humiliated her in public and sexually harassed her. The two go into the bedroom, start bickering and drinking one glass of whiskey after another, at one point cocaine also pops up. D'Alessio would like to sleep with Terry, but she doesn't want to. Then the fatal words: "If I'm not enough, I can call friends." Alluding to a fairly osé episode that took place in a villa brianzola, the frequent setting for the orgies of the Milan upper class. The quarrel begins, d'Alessio continues to insult her with cruelty and Broome, exasperated, pulls a Smith & Wesson .38 special from the bag and shoots twice. Still alive, D'Alessio drags himself out of the bedroom where another model was waiting for him in the living room. In front of the young woman's terrified eyes, Terry Broome emerges from the bedroom, gun in hand, and ends his victim with three more bullets. The ensuing trial, which uncovered Milan's sordid undergrowth from drinking fuelled by sex and cocaine, ended well for Broome who obtained semi-mental infirmity and, thanks to the reductions in the sentence, served only two years in prison before returning in the United States, where he retired to private life.


Death of a Playmate

Dorothy Stratten is young and beautiful. At the age of 18, she moved from icy Canada to Los Angeles after a local pimp, Paul Snider, with whom she ended up getting married, sent Playboy photos that made her noticed by Hugh Hefner himself. A year later, Dorothy became Miss August 1979, works as a bunny in the legendary Playboy Club in Los Angeles and Hefner, who has great confidence in her, promotes her acting career by procuring small television parts waiting for the great Occasion. Neither Hefner nor Dorothy's friends like Snider, an unpleasant figure of a petty criminal, who, after his divorce from Dorothy, becomes a real stalker. In 1980 Dorothy is about to make the big leap: she is elected Playmate of the Year and her new boyfriend, director Peter Bogdanovich, is about to make her the protagonist of a high-end film. But Paul Snider, in the throes of depression, persecutes her and continues to see her under the guise of divorce proceedings. On the evening of August 13, 1980, Dorothy's roommate returns home, sees the parked cars, and thinks she and Snider have reconciled and are now in the bedroom. In the meantime the hours pass, no one leaves the room. The girl goes to check and discovers the naked corpses of Dorothy and Snider in the room, a murder-suicide carried out with a shotgun. Dorothy was in her early twenties, the entry point of the 12-gauge bullet was just above her left eye, her body showed signs of violence.