After Maurizio Gucci was gunned down on the red marble floor of his Milanese office building early on March 27, 1995, the question was not just why he had been killed but who — among his enemies — had gone through with committing his murder?
Witnesses described the gunman as as stylish as the 46-year-old former fashion mogul, but much more deadly: After shooting Gucci in the back and shoulder with a 7.65-mm pistol, the hit man fatally shot him in the face.
“The killer was a professional,” says prosecutor Carlo Nocerino, who led the investigation.
In the new series People Magazine Investigates: Crimes of Fashion — premiering Monday night on Investigation Discovery and exclusively previewed above — those closest to the Gucci family and the case reveal shocking stories behind the scenes of the crime and what led the arrests for murder of Maurizio’s ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, and her four accomplices, including her psychic, who turned on her when they failed to receive a promised $300,000 sum.
“These three look like the protagonists of an Italian comedy,” says Nocerino of some of the associates of Regianni who were involved. “They were not criminals, they were the middle men, let’s not forget that.
“The killer, I remember, was a very frightening man.”
• Watch People Magazine Investigates: Crimes of Fashion premiering on Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery.
Though Reggiani was found guilty of murder in 1998 after a five-month trial and spent 18 years in prison before being released in 2016, she contends she was wrongly convicted.
Decades later, the case remains the bloodiest chapter in the history of the Gucci family itself, which has a long legacy of infighting, with many lawsuits and counter-suits stretching back between relatives.
At the time of his death, Maurizio Gucci was worth nearly $100 million — money he made after his mounting debts forced him to sell his shares of the iconic luxury brand, which his grandfather founded in 1921.
That same control of the company Maurizio liquidated to stay wealthy was gained in a Machiavellian move in which he ousted his three older cousins and his uncle Aldo from the Gucci board after secretly buying out their stock.
• For more on the greed, lust and secrets in Maurizio Gucci’s family, subscribe now to PEOPLE or pick up this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday.
Maurizio was not, as the New York Times reported in ’98, “deeply mourned” by his family upon his passing.
Still, his public slaying rattled the fashion world and beyond.
“I have a very clear recollection of the minute I found out that Maurizio had been killed in Milan,” his financial adviser, Andrea Morante, says now. “And my first reaction was: Why would somebody want to kill Maurizio?”
People Magazine Investigates: Crimes of Fashion, The Assassination of Maurizio Gucci airs Monday (9 p.m. ET) on Investigation Discovery.