Convicted ‘Hollywood Ripper’ serial killer receives death sentence

Photo: Public Domain Pictures

July 17 (UPI) — A convicted serial killer known as the “Hollywood Ripper” has been sentenced to death by a California judge.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler on Friday sentenced Michael Gargiulo, 45, nicknamed the “Hollywood Ripper,” to death at San Quentin State Prison for murdering Maria Bruno, 32, and Ashley Ellerin, 22, according to a sentencing memorandum obtained by E! News.

A California jury found Gargiulo guilty of the two murders in August 2019, and attempted murder of another woman, Michelle Murphy in 2008.

The case gained national attention in part because Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher had dated Ellerin, a part-time stripper and fashion student, whose body was found in February 2001. She had been stabbed to death in her Hollywood Hills home.

Kutcher had testified in May 2019 he went to her house to pick her up for a date to an after-Grammy party the night before her roommate discovered her body. Kutcher said the lights were on, but she did not answer the door. He looked through a window and saw what he thought were red wine stains on the carpet, then left, thinking she had already left with a friend.

“Mr. Kutcher looked in the window and saw what he thought was spilled wine on the floor,” Prosecutor Dan Akemon told the jury two years ago. “We believe that was actually blood, and Ashley had already been murdered.”

Akemon also pointed out that Ellerin had been stabbed 47 times.

Gargiulo moved on to El Monte, Calif., while Ellerin’s murder was being investigated, where he stabbed Bruno to death in 2005.

He was also charged separately in the 1993 killing of Tricia Pacaccio, 18, in Illinois, and is currently awaiting trial for that case.

Gargiulo allegedly used his job as a an air-conditioning repairman to enter victims homes and is believed to have stalked young women living near him for 15 years, prosecutors said.


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