A trial date has finally been set for the alleged serial killer accused of murdering three women, including the brutal stabbing death in 2001 of Ashton Kutcher’s then-girlfriend Ashley Ellerin.
Michael Thomas Gargiulo allegedly attacked Ellerin, who lived just 400 feet away from him in Hollywood, on February 21, 2001, while she was showering. According to police documents, she was stabbed 47 times and nearly decapitated.
On that fateful night, Ellerin and Kutcher reportedly made plans for him to pick her up to attend post–Grammy Awards parties. But Kutcher later told police that Ellerin was not answering her phone and did not come to the door when he stopped by at around 10:45 P.M.
He looked through a window and noticed what he believed was spilled red wine on the floor. He left the residence, never realizing that Ellerin was already dead, and lying in a pool of her own blood. Her roommates found her body the next day.Friends told investigators at the time that they believed local repairman Michael Gargiulo could have been involved. But it would be several years before he was caught.
He was arrested on June 6, 2008, and since then Gargiulo has been charged with three counts of murder.
Police were able to track him down after DNA evidence was recovered from the Santa Monica apartment of Michelle Murphy, who survived after he attacked her with a knife in April of that year.
He has confessed to killing as many as 10 other women, leading the media to nickname Gargiulo “The Hollywood Ripper.”
Although, in 2011, he was indicted for the murder of high school classmate Tricia Pacaccio in his Illinois hometown.
Due to countless delays, Gargiulo is still waiting for his day in court, but lawyers are now finalizing details to make sure the trial goes forward in October.
According to official court documents, the prosecutors described the accused murderer as “a serial, psychosexual thrill killer who engages in the systematic slaughter of beautiful women because he takes sexual pleasure from manipulating, stabbing, and killing his victims.”
Main photo: Ashley Ellerin [LAPD]