Michael Gargiulo, nicknamed “the Hollywood Ripper” because of his appalling crimes, was sentenced to death on Friday July 17th. In court that day, actor Ashton Kutcher was testifying. And for good reason, Ashley Ellerin, the murderer’s first victim, was his girlfriend at the time. She was only 22 years old, and a fashion design student. The night of the drama, at the end of 2001, the young woman had a meeting with Ashton Kutcher. Late to pick her up from her home, the actor saw a red stain on the floor through the window. If he believed in a wine stain, as BBC News explains, it was not. Ashley Ellerin had succumbed, a few hours earlier, to 47 stab wounds while she was in the hallway leading to her bathroom. Her executioner had almost beheaded her. It was her roommate who found the young woman’s lifeless body the day after the crime.
In 2005, Michael Gargiulo attacked his neighbor. Maria Bruno was 32 years old, and was the mother of four children. Her executioner stabbed her in her sleep 17 times, as reported by Paris Match. Prosecutors said he had “literally slaughtered” her. Michael Gargiulo was arrested three years after the second murder, after a new victim managed to escape him. “Spending the night alone” is now impossible for the latter, who also testified at the trial.
Death sentence pronounced for “the Hollywood ripper”
The one who is now called “the Hollywood Ripper” continued to proclaim his innocence during his trial. This did not prevent the court from sentencing him to death. “In this case, wherever Michael Gargiulo went, death and destruction followed,” commented the judge when announcing the sentence. However, it could be many years before the murderer is executed. Indeed, the last death in California took place in 2006 and, since 2019, the American state has observed a moratorium on executions.
Michael Gargiulo, known as “The Hollywood Ripper” © © Fox11