The Astrological Link Between Gianni Versace and His Killer

The Assassination of Gianni Versace

by Frank Clifford and Tony Howard

Late in 2017, Frank Clifford was visiting Miami just a stone’s throw from Gianni Versace’s former home and the scene of his tragic slaying. The area was abuzz with news of the miniseries American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which first aired January 7, 2018.

Versace’s shocking, high-profile murder at the hands of Andrew Cunanan occurred around 8:44 a.m. on 15 July 1997, with Venus rising in Leo exactly opposite Jupiter setting in Aquarius. Strikingly, both victim and killer were born with natal Mars out of bounds and placed at 18° Sagittarius.

Cunanan was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, having just murdered a handful of ex-lovers and other men before he reached Florida. Biographers have suggested Cunanan was a narcissistic sociopath who pursued older, wealthy men for the privileges of high society to which he felt entitled (note MC ruler Saturn conjuncts the Moon and Ascendant in Taurus, and squares Ascendant ruler Venus in Leo). Eight days after Versace’s murder, Cunanan committed suicide in a Miami house boat, surrounded by police and the world’s media.

Additional synastry aspects between the two charts (using a 5° orb for conjunctions and oppositions) include:

Versace Cunanan
MC 9° VirgoSun 8° Virgo
Eris 5° Aries; Neptune 10° LibraChiron 5° Aries; Mercury–Jupiter 5-8° Libra
Chiron 2° ScorpioDescendant 3° Scorpio
Ascendant 27° ScorpioNeptune 26° Scorpio

The Sun–MC connection at 8–9° Virgo is particularly apt: their names and reputations have been inextricably linked since the crime, which occurred just seven weeks before the Solar Eclipse at 9° Virgo (coinciding with the deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa). Cunanan’s natal Sun also opposes Versace’s Moon at 12° Pisces. The Solar Arc Sun of Versace’s life partner, Antonio D’Amico, had directed to 9° Pisces at the time of the murder.

During the time leading up to Versace’s murder in July 1997, Cunanan had transiting Jupiter retrograde back over his Solar Arc MC, and his Solar Arc Sun had reached the degree of his natal Mercury–Chiron opposition (5° Libra). Additional transits and Solar Arcs at the time – including SA Chiron–Mercury aligning with his Ascendant–Descendant axis – suggest Cunanan’s birth could be a few minutes earlier than stated on his birth certificate.

Versace’s Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Leo squares Cunanan’s Saturn-Moon conjunction in Taurus. Both have natal Saturn retrograde at 8° (Cunanan’s in Taurus and Versace’s in Leo). Cunanan was enamored with powerful people and celebrity culture. He likely saw Versace as the ultimate symbol of the seemingly glamorous world in which he so desired to be a player.

Perhaps most dramatic is the connection between their natal Mars placements, which includes Versace’s Mars-Uranus opposition triggering Cunanan’s natal Mars-Nodes square.

We know that death inextricably linked these two men together, and equally dramatic is the 8th house activity between the charts. Placing Cunanan’s chart in the inner wheel, we have Versace’s Mars conjuncting Cunanan’s natal Mars in the 8th, while Versace’s Uranus opposes it. This holds up in Placidus, Equal and Whole Sign houses.

Flipping the charts, with Versace in the inner wheel, using Whole Sign houses, we see Cunanan’s natal Mars opposite Versace’s Uranus in the 8th, correlating with an attack that was both a surprise and a shock, and that compelled the killer to take his own life.

Through his dark act, Cunanan ultimately succeeded in linking himself to the celebrity culture he longed to be a part of – even if in name only, and at a terrible cost. 

Chart Data
Gianni Versace
: 2 December 1946, 6:00 a.m. CET (-1), Reggio di Calabria, Italy (38N06, 15E39). Source: Grazia Bordoni quotes Versace’s birth certificate.

Andrew Cunanan: 31 August 1969, 9:41 p.m. PDT (+7), National City, California (32N41, 117W06). Source: Lois Rodden quotes Cunanan’s birth certificate.

Check out Frank Clifford’s talk The Ascendant and Midheaven in Combinations to learn more about the importance of the angles. 

Check out Tony Howard’s webinars on Mars Out of Bounds to learn more about this dramatic placement.

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