New American Crime Story series to examine how Gianni Versace's killer remained on the loose

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Gianni And Donatella Versace

A new series of American Crime Story will explore how the murderer of fashion designer Gianni Versace was able to remain on the loose, showrunner Ryan Murphy has said.

Filming on the follow-up to The People Versus OJ Simpson: American Crime Story is due to begin in April, while another series set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will be produced simultaneously.

Writer Ryan said he was "very moved and freaked out" by the murder of Versace, who was shot dead outside his Miami Beach mansion in July 1997.

Ryan Murphy
Ryan Murphy (Richard Shotwell/AP)

The 50-year-old Italian was the fifth victim of serial killer Andrew Cunanan, 27, who shot himself eight days after murdering Versace.

Ryan, appearing at Entertainment Weekly's PopFest in Los Angeles, said he believed Cunanan was able to avoid detection because "he was targeting gay people and people didn't care".

"I was always very moved and freaked out by the Versace assassination," he said.

Gianni Versace (David Cheskin/PA)
Gianni Versace (David Cheskin/PA)

"I thought that was really great story for American Crime Story to do because it's a manhunt season.

"He killed four people and then killed Versace when he was on the loose. We're exploring the reasons how he got away with being undetected.

"The tragedy of the Versace murder was it should not have happened. He should have been caught by then.

Ryan Murphy at the 2016 Emmys (Charles Sykes/AP)
Ryan Murphy at the 2016 Emmys (Charles Sykes/AP)

"He wasn't caught because he was targeting gay people and people didn't care.

"It's a tragic story. The thing that makes me cry most in the world is the lost potential and lost possibility.

"I think he was such an amazing force, taken too soon, for reasons which he shouldn't have been. That is a true crime story."

Gianni Versace with Elizabeth Taylor (Laurent Rebours/AP)
Gianni Versace with Elizabeth Taylor (Laurent Rebours/AP)

After it was suggested that Lady Gaga could portray the "perfect Donatella Versace," Ryan replied: "You think?"

Ryan said casting was under way for both series of American Crime Story, with the Hurricane Katrina drama due to start filming in June.

The People Versus OJ Simpson: American Crime Story won nine Emmys for its portrayal of the murder trial of former American footballer OJ Simpson.