Gianni Versace Was Murdered by Mafia: Book Debts to the mob allegedly got designer killed By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Dec 7, 2010 9:43 AM CST 0 comments Comments Casa Casuarina, Gianni Versace's former residence before he was murdered is photographed August 15, 2001 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Getty Images) (Newser) – A new book alleges that Gianni Versace was murdered over Mafia debts—and that the Mafia even considered stealing his ashes from the cemetery in order to blackmail his family. The 50-year-old fashion designer was gunned down outside his Miami apartment in 1997 by Andrew Cunanan, but Metastasi, by former mafia member Giuseppe Di Bella, alleges that Versace's involvement with the mob is what actually got him killed, the Telegraph reports. The book maintains that a Mafia godfather was using Versace to launder money. Versace's family calls the claims "false and shameful," but an official in Rome says they are investigating.