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Italian film company buys rights to houseboat for Cunanan movie

August 10, 1997 GMT

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ The owner of the houseboat where Andrew Cunanan killed himself has turned the boat over to an Italian documentary producer, who plans to make a film about the suspected serial killer.

Police released the boat on Friday to owner Frank Matthias Ruehl, who gave it over to Enrico Forti, said Paul B. Steinberg, Forti’s attorney.

``He has the rights to the boat until the year 2000,″ Steinberg said.

Police initially thought German fugitive Torsten Reineck owned the boat, but he had sold it to Ruehl in June and the state was never notified.

Cunanan, wanted for the slayings of Gianni Versace and four other men, used the houseboat as a hideout until a caretaker stumbled upon him on July 23 and called police. When police arrived Cunanan was dead.

Reineck has since surrendered to German authorities to begin serving an 18-month sentence on the fraud charges, police said.