Published: Fri, August 16, 2019

'Hollywood Ripper' Michael Gargiulo found guilty of double murder

'Hollywood Ripper' Michael Gargiulo found guilty of double murder

Jurors have found the man known as the "Hollywood Ripper" guilty of first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of two women, as well as premeditated attempted murder in the attempted killing of another.

The verdict was handed down at Los Angeles court on Thursday, NBC Los Angeles reported, more than two months after the actor testified against the 43-year-old defendant. If jurors believe he was sane at the time, the trial will move on to the penalty phase where Gargiulo could face the death penalty.

Garguilo's trial began in May. he had pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and an attempted-murder stemming from attacks in the Los Angeles area between 2001 and 2008, the year he was arrested.

Gargiulo was charged with the murder of 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin in her Hollywood home in 2001 on a night when she was supposed to have drinks with Kutcher.

Gargiulo's attorneys suggested that both women were killed by the last men who saw them alive: Bruno by her estranged husband, Ellerin by her apartment manager, with whom she'd had a sexual relationship. In 2011, he was charged in IL with the murder of Pacaccio. She dropped off a friend about 1 a.m. before heading home.

Prosecutors introduced evidence from Pacaccio's case to prove that Gargiulo was a serial killer.

Prosecutor Dan Akemon had told jurors that Gargiulo targeted the women in "frenzied knife attacks", referring to him as a "stone-cold serial killer who preys on women".

The jury found Gargiulo guilty of attempting to murder a third woman, Michelle Murphy, who survived a 2008 stabbing at her home in the coastal Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica.

Kutcher said he learned what happened to Ellerin the next day and freaked out after speaking with police because he knew his fingerprints would be at the scene.

Gargiulo first met Ellerin when he offered to help her change a flat tire. He said he arrived at her Hollywood home very late and assumed she had gone out without him when he got no answer at the door.

He "watched and waited" for "the ideal opportunity" to kill in "blitz-style knife attacks and then escape detection", Akemon said.

"Michelle Murphy, because of her strength and courage, allowed investigators to work backwards", Dameron said.

Testifying against her attacker, Ms Murphy said after she managed to kick him off the bed, he said "I'm sorry" as he fled.

Within weeks, Gargiulo was charged in connection with her 1993 death, as DNA evidence linked him to the case.

At the time, Murphy and Gargiulo were neighbours.

Prosecutors also argued Gargiulo killed his neighbour while living in IL in 1993.

Like this: