According to court documents Michael Gargiulo killing spree may have started in Illinois where he may have stabbed his neighbor, 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio, to death on her back step
Michael Gargiulo would move to California and three years later would murder 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin who was stabbed multiple times causing her death. Ashley was suppose to go on a date that night with actor Ashton Kutcher
Michael Gargiulo would then murder 32-year-old Maria Bruno who was his neighbor. The two murders were three years apart. Three years after this murder he would attempt to murder another neighbor who would survive. However DNA found at the scene would tie Gargiulo to the other murders
Michael Gargiulo would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Michael Gargiulo Now
|GARGIULO, MICHAEL THOMAS|
|Current Location||San Quentin State Prison|
|Parole Eligible Date (Month/Year)||CONDEMNED|
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Michael Gargiulo Case
A convicted murderer nicknamed the “Hollywood Ripper” has been sentenced to death for killing two women in the 2000s.
Relatives of his victims wept as a judge gave Michael Gargiulo the sentence in Los Angeles on Friday.
Ashley Ellerin, 22, and Maria Bruno, 32, were both stabbed to death in their California homes.
Gargiulo was caught after another potential victim, Michelle Murphy, then 26, managed to fight him off.
He fled the scene, but left some blood behind – enabling police to track him down.
At Friday’s sentencing, Ms Murphy broke down, telling the court how “spending the night alone creates a world of fear in me” more than a decade later.
Gargiulo was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in 2019, but continues to insist he is innocent.
He is now expected to stand trial in Illinois, where he faces a separate murder charge over the killing of an 18-year-old woman in 1993.
The California murders attracted global attention because one of the victims, Ellerin, was about to go on a date with American actor Ashton Kutcher on the night she was killed in February 2001.
Testifying at the trial, he said he had knocked on the door of Ellerin’s Hollywood home. When she did not answer, Kutcher looked in her window and saw what he thought were wine stains on the floor, he said.
A roommate found Ellerin dead the next day with 47 stab wounds.
During the trial Kutcher told the court he was “freaking out” when he learned that Ellerin had been killed.
Gargiulo killed Bruno, a mother of four, in December 2005. She was a neighbour of Gargiulo, who “quite literally butchered” her with a knife while she slept, prosecutors said.
Three years later, Ms Murphy woke up in her Santa Monica flat with Gargiulo on top of her, stabbing her with a knife, but managed to fight him off.
She was a key witness in the trial.
As he announced the sentence, Judge Larry Paul Fidler said: “In this case, everywhere that Mr Gargiulo went, death and destruction followed.”
However, it could be a while before Gargiulo is put to death. The last execution in California was in 2006 and the practice has been banned since 2019 under Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom.