Cunanan's Last Laugh

Thirty Years Ago
Many years before For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf appeared at San Diego’s Fox Theatre, a little black girl named Paulette Williams lived in Trenton, New Jersey. Her father was a surgeon, her mother was a psychiatric social worker, she grew up in an integrated upper-middle-class neighborhood, went to Barnard College where she graduated with honors, and subsequently took an M.A. in American Studies at USC. After this deprived childhood and repressive education, truth was revealed to young Paulette by the Women’s Studies Program at Sonoma State College.

Only in America, the land of opportunity, could a coddled, Ivy-League-trained, rich girl from suburban New Jersey achieve success by turning herself into an uneducated lower-class Zulu.
“ENUF IS ENUF,” Jonathan Saville, September 21, 1978

Twenty-Five Years Ago
The 2000 oryx, antelope, deer, and buffalo at the Wild Animal Park have been entertaining some expensive little visitors of late.

Park curators estimate that the several hundred squirrels and rabbits are eating at least 5 percent of the $17,000 worth of food pellets fed monthly to the exhibit animals. Park guides who conduct tours along the Park’s Wgasa Bush Line monorail more candidly put the food losses at 10 percent, or some $1700 each month.

Twenty Years Ago
Oooh! Michael Praetorius, you Christian banner carrier, you! You dental smasher, you (“Letters,” September 15)!

Would that we could organize a sort of Christian police state. You write the laws, then you get to break the teeth of every noncompliant dimwit while proclaiming their degree of fecal overflow. Lord Jesus would love you for that, Michael.

And oh, by the way, the makers of The Last Temptation of Christ surely must want to thank you for losing your cool and singlehandedly drumming up another couple of thousand dollars of box office for the movie. Good job, Michael!
CITY LIGHTS: “ON A DENTAL PLAN,” Bernie Conrad, Golden Hill, September 22, 1988

Fifteen Years Ago
High over the Tijuana-Ensenada toll road, in the midst of bald, colorless hills, the orange stucco bridge of Real del Mar stands in antiseptic isolation. Square towers and a multitude of purple flags give it the look of a fortress, as do its deserted roads that wind their way uphill through ghostly rows of auctioned, vacant lots. Yet this is not a remote secret barracks of the Mexican army nor the long-abandoned set of some gaudy science-fiction movie. This is merely the unfinished beginnings of what will be Baja’s largest golf course.
“BAJA BOOM TOWNS,” Lawrence Osborne, September 23,1993

Ten Years Ago
You’re at www.tidalwave.net/~offwhite/, Andrew’s multi-faced picture comes up. Click here to enter the game. At the bottom, the four scores that tell you if you’re going to last as long as Cunanan did on the run: your life expectancy, your money supply, how close the police are, and how high your fame’s rocketing. You can spend money, hustle money, lie low, or live the glittering life, but everything you do has consequences.

You start off, as Cunanan did, in San Diego. You can travel, meet ex-lovers Jeffrey Trail or David Madson, or one of the celebs Andrew tracked, like Tom Cruise, Madonna, Geraldo, Sylvester Stallone, or designers like Jean Paul Gaultier or Cunanan’s last victim, Gianni Versace.
CITY LIGHTS: “CUNANAN’S LAST LAUGH,” Bill Manson, September 24, 1998

Five Years Ago
David and Michael Copley were both adopted by the late Jim Copley, owner of Copley Press and publisher of the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune. You probably know of David, now president of Copley Press, but it’s unlikely you have heard of Michael. Therein lies the story.
“ALL IN THE FAMILY,” Don McCullough, September 18, 2003

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