The Feb. 14 episode of ‘American Crime Story’ will focus on Jeff Trail, the first man Andrew Cunanan killed. Here’s what you need to know about Jeff before the episode.
1. Andrew Cunanan started his killing spree by murdering Jeff Trail. Andrew killed Jeff on April 26, 1997. He bludgeoned Jeff to death with a claw hammer in David Madson’s apartment in Minneapolis. Jeff was only 28 years old. Jeff’s body was found rolled up in a rug and wasn’t identified correctly until his body reached the coroner’s office. Police initially believed the body was David’s or Andrew’s. Andrew shot and killed David days later. His body was found in Rush Lake, Minnesota.
2. Andrew and Jeff were friends. Andrew considered Jeff to be his best friend and called him “my brother,” according to Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth. A month before he was killed, Jeff told a friend that Andrew had asked him to help him in illegal business. Jeff claimed he refused to help Andrew. He later told his friend Michael Williams that he had “a big fallout with Andrew and never wished to see him again.”
3. Jeff was a former naval officer. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He served in the Gulf War.
4. Andrew supposedly used Jeff’s gun to kill David and possibly more. David was shot in the head, face, and back with Jeff’s gun, which contained Golden Saber .40-caliber bullets.. Andrew’s fourth victim, William Reese, was also killed with Golden Saber .40-caliber bullets.
5. Jeff went on 48 Hours to discuss his life as a gay man in the military. He did the interview in silhouette, and correspondent Richard Schlesinger said that Jeff was “taking a tremendous risk with his career” because this was still the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” days. “He had absolutely nothing to gain by doing the interview. Yet he took the risk and spoke out. My colleagues and I left San Diego very impressed with Ensign Trail,” Richard said.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.
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