The truth about serial killer Andrew Cunanan

Andrew Cunanan's childhood reads like a California dream come true. 

Born in San Diego in 1969, according to Biography, he had three older siblings, a deeply religious mother, and an extremely doting dad. As ABC reports, Cunanan's brother, Christopher, called him "my father's pride and joy." Gifted with intellect and an impressive memory, he read entire encyclopedias at around 10 years old. He inhaled facts and held them, airing his vault-like knowledge when asked. Life handed Cunanan advantages on a platter. His sister, Elaine, recalled, "My dad gave him a sports car. He had the master bedroom. He had his own bath and everything." He hobnobbed with rich kids, and the children of diplomats, at an elite institution called The Bishop's School. But even though he had the life equivalent of a royal flush, Cunanan wasn't satisfied with the hand he was dealt.

Evidently desperate to be respected and admired by wealthy peers, he sometimes tried to trick them into believing he was Filipino royalty. According to FBI criminal profiler Candice DeLong, when Cunanan didn't receive the acceptance he craved, "he was lost." It seems that when he got lost, he lacked the moral compass to go in a healthy direction, and instead, he tread the path to becoming a serial killer.

A pocket full of cash and a brain full of violence

Andrew Cunanan had an unusually trauma-free childhood for a serial killer, per Biography. But there were cracks in the smile of his happy family. As ABC details, his supportive dad abandoned the family when Cunanan was 19. He tried to stay with his father in the Philippines, but bristled at what he considered filthy conditions. After returning to California, he found a doting sugar daddy in Norman Blachford. Life was pretty sweet for Cunanan, who received a $2,500 monthly allowance, his own car, and credit cards. He stayed in lavish mansions and traveled Europe on Blanchford's dime.

Dating wasn't the only way he made money. As a teenager, Cunanan rented himself out as a prostitute, and lived out violent fantasies by acting in adult films. Whether these fantasies fueled his murderous streak is unclear, but reporters and detectives suspected that something sinister had been brewing in his mind a long time before he started killing people. One possible sign they highlighted was a quote he wrote in a yearbook: "Apres moi le deluge," Latin for "After me, the flood." The floodgates opened in 1997, when Cunanan committed his first murder. He went on to slay four more people, including fashion giant Gianni Versace. The sixth life he took was his own. As police prepared to arrest him aboard a houseboat, Cunanan shot himself.