July 19, 1997 in Nation/World

Many Report Seeing Suspect Cunanan’s Average Looks Have Hundreds Of Tipsters Convinced They Have Spotted Suspected Serial Killer

Saint Paul Pioneer Press
 

What if they held an Andrew Phillip Cunanan lookalike contest, and everybody came?

That’s the question that police in south Florida might be qualified to answer as they continue to field hundreds of calls from people who think they’ve seen the suspect in five killings.

The problem is that the 27-year-old Cunanan, described by his mother as a “high-class homosexual prostitute,” doesn’t seem to look the same way twice in the numerous photos released by police, flashed on television screens, and splashed on newspaper front pages and wanted fliers.

At the same time, Cunanan seems to look like hundreds of other men, especially in the Miami area.

The son of a Filipino father, Cunanan looks white in some pictures, and part Asian or Hispanic in others.

And Miami is an ethnic melting pot perfect for someone like that to hide. Here, French Canadians mix with Nicaraguans, and tourists from the Netherlands rub shoulders with Asians from Brazil and Peruvian Indians. The streets are teeming with men with dark hair and dark eyes, average height and average build.

With his nondescript face, he is a sort of Everyman, the poster boy of no distinguishing characteristics.

“Everyone says they saw the guy,” said one Miami Beach businessman, who was with a group of men who started shouting “Andrew! Andrew!” to a Pioneer Press reporter who they thought resembled the fugitive.

“The one where he looks very young, with the glasses, he kind of resembles our youth coordinator,” said Michael Heath, volunteer coordinator with the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in Fort Lauderdale, 20 miles north of Miami. “He looks like a friend of mine I left in Salt Lake. He looks like many people.”

“This kind of gives you an idea of why he’s been able to evade capture for so long,” said Detective Pat Brickman of the Metro-Dade Police Department. “And he does have that ability to change his appearance enough to look like someone else.”

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