| Crime |

Gianni Versace Murdered Over Mafia Debt Claims Ex-Mobster

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Gianni Versace's 1997 murder on the steps of his Ocean Drive mansion remains one of the most high-profile and bizarre killings in Miami Beach history. While the death was always believed to be the strange end to the spree of killings by Andrew Cunanan, an ex-mobster believes Versace's killing wasn't so random. He claims the murder was ordered over debts the designer owed to the mob. Of course, the guy has a book to sell.

Reports The Telegraph:

In the book Metastasi, [Guiseppe] Di Bella alleges that Versace was being used by Godfather Paolo De Stefano to launder money.

Di Bella told investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi:"There were rivers of money from drugs, extortion, protection rackets, loan sharking, mountains of money and it had to be made clean.

"Bars, restaurants, property and luxury goods were used but also clean businesses like that of Versace."

"We have opened a file into what Di Bella says -- he is an informer and his information in the past has always proved correct," says a member of Rome's anit-mafia department.

The report doesn't offer any information into how the crime family had any connection to Cunanan, which would be a piece of information so stunning we have a hard time believing it's true.

The Versace family has issued a denial that the business had mafia connections.

"The declarations from the informer are false and shameful," read the statement. "We reserve the right to protect the memory and reputation of Gianni Versace in court."

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