To Our Readers: Jul. 28, 1997

Miami bureau chief Tammerlin Drummond was sipping coffee and scanning the wires last Tuesday when the bulletin flashed: Gianni Versace had been shot. Drummond dashed out the door and drove straight to the designer's South Beach villa, where his blood still stained the front steps. What she discovered there was more like a Versace catwalk than a crime scene. "It was totally surreal," says Drummond. "There was a squirrel on a leash perched atop a man's head. A dachshund wearing a necklace pranced about, and models were everywhere, mugging for the cameras."

The death of one of fashion's most energetic tastemakers,...

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