The BBC Two series chronicles the tale of how the 27-year-old serial killer came to shoot fashion designer Gianni (played by Édgar Ramírez) on that fateful day in Florida in 1997 on the steps of his home.
Yet going back across the three months before Gianni’s death, psychopath Andrew (Darren Criss) made a number of other innocent people his victims, including Chicago real estate tycoon Lee (Mike Farrell) and former US naval officer Jeffrey Trail.
Creator Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of the historical events is based on a reported account by Vanity Fair reporter Maureen Orth, and the series has received critical acclaim since it was released on FX in the US earlier this year.
Yet some viewers picked up on the fact that producers had chosen to depict the circumstances around Lee’s death differently to how the book had told them.
Taking to Twitter, viewers debated their experience of the harrowing episode, with some confused by what they saw as a discrepancy in the storyline.
One person wrote: “I’ve found this episode of #ACSVersace particularly interesting because in the book which this is based on, Lee’s family adamantly deny that he ever knew Andrew so it’s actually quite shocking to see the show’s makers portray it otherwise.”
“I can’t cope with how brutal this is #ACSVersace,” another fan shared.
A third agreed: “Tonight’s episode is gruesome tonight!! Such a horrific murder #ACSVersace @BBCTwo.”
While a fourth praised: “Such hard viewing. But also that means it’s a very, very good show! #ACSVersace,” followed by: “#ACSVersace is like a horror movie tonight.”
During the episode, viewers witnessed how a heartbreaking lack of intimacy between married couple Lee and Marilyn Miglin (Judith Light) led to Lee reaching out to paid escort Andrew.
Lee had no idea that his heartbreaking goodbye to his wife would be his final one, but it added more meaning when he later said that kissing the psychopath made him “feel more alive than ever before”.
Marilyn had noticed that something was up with Lee, so she asked: “if you’re in one of your blue moods why don’t you come with me? I like it when you’re there.”
But the businessman made his last fatal mistake by giving her a smile and replying: “I’m very proud of you, you know that don’t you? But I could never stand in front of those cameras. I’m just being silly.”
Since its release, the FX series’ creators have had to deal with serious criticism from Gianni Versace’s family for their portrayal of his death.
Following a public squabble between Ryan and a spokesperson, the latter released a second statement and claimed that “there would be no further comment”.
It read: “As we have said, the Versace family has neither authorised nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace, which should only be considered as a work of fiction.
“The company producing the series claims it is relying on a book by Maureen Orth, but the Orth book itself is full of gossip and speculation. Orth never received any information from the Versace family and she has no basis to make claims about the intimate personal life of Gianni Versace or other family members.”
American Crime Story: Assassination of Gianni Versace continues Wednesday at 9pm on BBC Two.