Two men found dead in Versace mansion before anniversary of famous South Beach homicide

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  • Gianni Versace
    Gianni Versace
    Itailan Fashion Designer (1946-1997)

This story has been updated.

Two men were found shot to death inside a room on South Beach Wednesday on the eve of the anniversary of the city’s most famous murder — and in the very hotel where that homicide took place.

Housekeepers at Villa Casa Casuarina, or the Versace mansion, discovered the bodies in a suite just before 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, then notified police.

On Thursday, the men were identified as Adam Rashap, 31, of Randolph, New Jersey, and Alexander Gross, 30, of York, Pennsylvania. Some calls to their families went unanswered and were not returned. In two instances, family members said they didn’t want to speak.

Police, who initially didn’t say how the men were killed or say when they checked into the hotel at 1116 Ocean Dr., cleared the picture up slightly on Thursday.

Both men were shot in the head in the hotel’s “Villa Suite,” indicating an apparent double suicide, or murder/suicide, according to police department spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.

“I don’t know the order or sequence,” he said.

Police made no mention of a possible killer or motive. There didn’t appear to be a suicide note.

What also wasn’t clear: if the infamous Versace murder had any connection to the case. Still, the shooting deaths were a haunting reminder of a murder spree and hunt for a killer that riveted South Florida for more than a week.

On July 15, 1997, after returning from breakfast at the News Cafe just down the street, world-renowned Italian designer Gianni Versace, one of Miami Beach’s most well-known residents, was shot and killed on the steps of the mansion he owned at the time.

It was the fifth and final murder on a three-month spree by Andrew Cunanan, who killed himself on a Miami Beach houseboat as police closed in eight days later.

Miami Herald Staff Writer Charles Rabin contributed to this story.

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