Inside crimes of passion that stunned the fashion world – from Gucci to Versace

It was a crime that rocked the fashion world – the murder of Maurizio Gucci arranged by his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani.

Now the pair’s doomed relationship is the subject of a new film House Of Gucci, starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, right.

But there have been other murders which shocked the style world.

Famed for his raunchy designs and colourful couture, designer Gianni Versace opened his first boutique in Milan in 1978.

He went on to build a global empire with sister Donatella, which was worth hundreds of millions and attracted celebrities including Elton John and Princess Diana.

Versace’s haven away from the spotlight was his Miami mansion. But it was on the steps of his South Beach pad that he was shot to death on July 15, 1997.

As he returned from a morning trip to buy magazines, a stranger appeared, dressed in a grey T-shirt, black shorts and white hat – and carrying a backpack.

He produced a handgun and shot two ­bullets into the back of Versace’s head.

The designer was taken to hospital but ­pronounced dead, aged 50. The culprit? Andrew Cunanan, who was already a serial killer by the time he ­murdered the fashion titan.

Befriending wealthy older men, the­ ­27-year-old “high-class” gay prostitute had killed four men, including real estate ­developer Lee Miglin.

After he shot Versace at such close range, eyewitnesses saw him running away.

A week later, authorities had tracked him down but as they closed in, Cunanan took his own life by shooting himself in the head on a Miami houseboat.

It later emerged Cunanan was obsessed with the designer.

FBI agents believe Versace and Cunanan had previously met in San Francisco, although what their relationship entailed is still a mystery – as is the motive for the murder.

Born Raymond Clark in Warrington, Cheshire, in 1942, Ossie got his nickname when his working-class family were evacuated to the Lancashire village of Oswaldtwistle during the war.

Moving to London during the Swinging Sixties, he soon became the darling of the fashion world, putting the Rolling Stones in velvet suits and designing elegant and perfectly-cut flowing crepe dresses for women.

The bisexual star married fellow designer Celia Birtwell and they had two children.

But they divorced in the late seventies, after which Ossie struggled with addiction and his clothes fell out of fashion as punk took hold.

By the early 1980s he was bankrupt, living in a London council flat and suffering depression.

Then on August 6, 1996, aged 54, Clark was stabbed to death in his flat by his former lover – Diego Cogolato.

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The Old Bailey heard Cogolato had suffered a psychotic episode in which he believed his ex-partner was the devil.

The 29-year-old Italian was convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility in 1997 and
jailed for six years.

Flamboyant designer Rudolph Moshammer built a reputation for the extravagant clothes he created and wore, and was well known on Germany’s celebrity circuit, with his clients including Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He always wore heavy eyeliner, face powder and a black wig in public and never went anywhere without his Yorkshire terrier Daisy. But on January 14, 2005, his body was discovered by his driver. He had been strangled to death with a telephone cable around his neck.

Using a DNA database, police tracked down 25-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker Herisch Ali Abdullah, who admitted murdering Moshammer after the designer picked him up for sex and then refused to pay up.

Abdullah was jailed for life. Daisy was found unharmed.

In 1995, Linda Sobek was a successful model in LA who had recently landed an audition for the sitcom Married With Children.

But when she failed to turn up, the alarm was raised.

Her mother revealed the last time they had spoken, the 27-year-old had told her she was heading to a modelling shoot in the Angeles National Forest.

She never returned and suspicion soon fell on freelance photographer Charles Rathbun – who led police to her remains eight days ­after her death on November 16. He claimed he’d accidentally hit her with his car during a photoshoot but evidence showed her injuries didn’t match his tale.

Linda’s official cause of death was asphyxiation, most likely from strangulation, while the coroner also found she had been sexually assaulted prior to her death.

During his trial, Rathbun changed his story, claiming he had strangled her by accident during an argument.

But the jury found him guilty of murder and sexual assault, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

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