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FBI Got Tips on Cunanan Sightings in NC

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Fugitive Andrew Cunanan was reported to be in NC.
RALEIGH — It was as if he was everywhere and nowhere atall.Within a matter of hours Tuesday there were two heavily publicizedsightingsof Andrew Cunanan, first in New Hampshire and later in North Carolina.

FBI agents were sent to a sports store in Lebanon, New Hampshire tofollow up. A clerk there said a man fitting Cunanan's description boughtan item with cash, then took off in a gray Mercedes with Florida plates.

Later, an anonymous caller from Greensboro, NC told police his wifesaw Cunanan at a Wal-Mart late Tuesday night. The man drove off in areddish-orange sports car -- again, with a Florida license plate.

Neither lead panned out.

The FBI fielded tips from all over the country. Agents said theycouldn't have ruled out any possibilities, because they knew Cunanan hadto be somewhere.

That had the gay community on edge.

Most of the people WRAL talked to never thought Andrew Cunanan wasin North Carolina, but most were curious about hiswhereabouts. Never had there been such a high profile case involving a gayserial killer. Members of the Triangle's gay community were concernedand wanted todo what they could to help police catch the suspect.

Drew Rapp is the editor of Front Page, a bi-weekly gay newspaper inRaleigh. He says the nationwide hunt made waves here, but not becausepeople were scared.

Michael Penny owns a gay nightclub in Durham called Boxer's. He'shosting a large AIDS fundraiser Friday night. For a while, he saidthere was a little fear that Cunanan might have shown up. Penny says it'srare for violence to come from within the gay community.

Until Cunanan was caught, said Rapp, people in the Triangle stayedalert.

Meanwhile, people in San Francisco were especially nervous. Saturday,the city will host the biggest gay pride event of the year -- the Annual Gay and LesbianPride Parade.

Many worried that Cunanan might return to his hometown for the bigevent. Parade organizers said there was never any doubt the eventwould go on as planned.

About 100,000 people are expected to attend the parade.

Photographer:Joe Frieda

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