Home / Entertainment / An attempted murder in the coming years: 3 deaths, a suspected serial killer and the frightening reason Ashton Kutcher's knocking went unanswered

An attempted murder in the coming years: 3 deaths, a suspected serial killer and the frightening reason Ashton Kutcher's knocking went unanswered

  Michael Gargiulo, victim, Tricia Pacaccio, Ashley Ellerin, Maria Bruno, Michelle Murphy

AL SEIB / LA TIMES POOL / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

It's all too real.

On the night of February 21

, 2001, Ashley Ellerin just got out of the shower and wanted to prepare for a night when she was stabbed to death by a knife. Michael Gargiulo, prosecutor, has the main murder case Accused of murdering two women and attempting to kill another 43-year-old.

Gargiulo did not plead guilty on all counts.

Ellerin's body, which lay just outside the bathroom's entrance, was not found until around 9:00 am when her roommate Jennifer Disisto returned to the rented bungalow they shared on Pinehurst Road in Hollywood. The paramedics declared Ellerin dead at 9:28 am on February 22nd. She had been stabbed 47 times, with 12 of the wounds taken to be deadly. Her hands and right forearm had numerous defense wounds.

In a strange, only Hollywood-style twist, Khtcher which was to be seen at that time in That's 70s Show was her date for the previous evening been. He later told the police – and told the court on Wednesday – that he last spoke to Ellerin at 8:24 pm. to confirm their plans. They should attend a Grammy's after-party together. Shortly after 10 pm he called again. when he was on his way, but she did not take off. The actor knocked around 10:45 pm, he said. There was no answer. He peered in through the window, remembering what looked to him like spilled wine on the carpet.

Her car was in the driveway, but he thought she might be mad at him for coming too late and deliberately not answering, so he left.

"He thought he had gotten up at this point," Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon said in his opening statement when Gargiulo's trial began earlier this month. "We now believe that the evidence will show that it was indeed blood and Ashley was already murdered."

  Ashton Kutcher, 2001

Jim Smeal / Ron Galella Collection on Getty Images

Ellerin, 22, was a student at the LA Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) as well as a part-time stripper and after Kutcher's testimony she met the actor in December 2000 through friends.

"She had tons of friends," LAPD murder detective Tom Small narrated LA Weekly in 2010. "At this point, Kutcher was still on the scene – he had not yet established his main credentials It was a friendly affair, they went out a couple of times. "

Kutcher said in court that he had a date with someone else when he first met Ellerin, so he put her to a buddy in front.

He then went home to Ellerin, about two weeks before she died for a housewarming party and both singles Until then, they made plans to have dinner and drinks.

He was supposed to pick her up at 8 pm on February 21, 2001, but he was invited to see the Grammys at a friend's. He told the court that he called Ellerin around 7:30 am to let her know that he would be later than 8 and then called again to keep her informed of his whereabouts. He left a voicemail, then called back from her roommate Jen's phone and said the intercom did not work. It was 8:24 pm. She told him she had just got out of the shower and wanted to dry her hair, Kutcher recalled, so his delay was not a problem.

One of the first detectives at the scene later remembered having seen a hair dryer on the toilet seat.

  Michael Gargiulo, Ashton Kutcher's Witness Information

AL SEIB / LA TIMES POOL / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock [19659021] According to Kutcher, just after 10pm he called to say he was on his way and there was no answer. He decided not to go there directly, Kutcher said, because he did not want to show up without touching the base. But when he got there at 10:45, he thought she might be mad at him for being so late, so she would not come to the door. He tried the front door, he said, and she was locked.

When he spoke to the police the next day, he remembered that he was admittedly "freaking out" because he knew his fingerprints were on the doorknob and he tried every detail he could remember to share with detectives.

"Do not worry, you are not a suspect," defender Daniel Nardoni assured him on Wednesday.

  Ashton Kutcher, court

GENARO MOLINA / AFP / Getty Images

According to the prosecution, Ellerin crossed paths with Michael Gargiulo several months before her death. Gargiulo lived with a friend nearby, and he had seen Ellerin and a friend outside her home in the fall of 2000. Gargiulo came to ask her if he could help them fix a flat tire and gave them a business card to promote his air conditioner repair service.

While Gargiulo may have been a legitimate repairman, the Los Angeles Procuratorate claims he is also a "serial thriller with a sexual thrill," referred to in media reports as the "Hollywood Ripper" – whose murder in 1993 includes murder The 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio in Chicago, where the Illinois-born Gargiulo lived before he moved to LA

The 32-year-old Maria Bruno in El Monte, California, and [MurderAttemptof Michelle Murphy who survived being attacked with a knife, and the first witness of the indictment was when the trial began earlier this month after years of delays. He is also charged with murdering Pacaccio in Chicago and is expected to be brought to trial when it comes to an end.

Gargiulo has also denied the murder of Pacaccio.

He has been in prison since his arrest in June 6, 2008, for alleged assault on Murphy.

Gargiulo "was a kind of bouncer and bull artist," said Mark Lillienfeld, the LA County Sheriff's detective who investigated Bruno's death, LA Weekly in 2010. "He told a number of people that he was in the movies and was a high-end plumber for celebrities and friends with them, he would meet these women and make friends with them and be in a superficial relationship with them – and ultimately they would end up dead Mrs. Nightmare. "

Gargiulo allegedly even talked to Ellerin and her former roommate Justin Peterson about Chicago, who said he had once confronted Gargiulo the day after he had parked him outside her house in the early morning.

"He began to think about how the fact that he could not go home last night," explained Peterson 48 Hours "because the FBI was waiting for him in his house for DNA Collecting some samples from Chicago Any murder, his best friend's girlfriend was murdered red or whatever And I said, "Well, what do you have to hide?" And he immediately put his leg on the couch and started making a knife which, as you know, was strapped to his ankle, at which time I rushed him out of the house. "

The prosecutors are calling for the death penalty for the killings of Ellerin and Bruno. They claim that Gargiulo hid himself in the perfect guise – a permanent job, a wife and a child.

"For many years no one knew that Michael Gargiulo had a double life," complained Akemon.

  Ashley Ellerin

AL SEIB / LA TIMES POOL / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

] Ellerin's friends told police that Gargiulo, who lived a block away, repaired their heating after meeting them in one place, but then unbidden in the bungalow appeared and he parked several times outdoors and apparently was watching the place.

"Ashley knew I had an event with him and she knew how I felt," Justin Peterson later said LA Weekly reported in November 2010. " She did not seem to be worried, she was an amazing person who made friends with anyone. "

" Someone probably came to the door, "said Detective Tom Small," and the rest is history, she knew the guy, and the According to people who knew her, she would let you in if she knew you. "

" A sense of trauma just came over me, "said Jennifer Disisto to 48 hours in 2011, reminding how she found Ashley's body. "I thought the person might still be there, and I ran out and came to the car … and called from my cell phone, 911 … It still traumatizes me to this day."

After a hearing Court (Kutcher did not say so, a detective who interviewed him said what the actor told him), a judge ruled on June 30, 2010, that the case should be brought to trial. No date has yet been set, but no one thought it would take nearly nine years to get started. According to the Los Angeles Times the decade-long delay in considering this case is mainly due to Gargiulo switching several lawyers times and representing himself for about three years.

"[T] here was a … very tight time window for someone coming in and killing Ashley, and whoever that person was, must have watched," Akemon claimed in court. Kutcher's testimony was used to determine the timeline of suspected events. His was one of about 250 names on the list of potential prosecutors in the case.

Gargiulo's lawyer, Daniel Nardoni, countered in his opening statement that the prosecution could not provide physical evidence to which his client was bound Ellerin's death.

"The information we have is that [the suspect] [to the victim] imagined itself as a heating and air worker," said Small 48 hours in 2011. "Eventually, he received some extra Information able to find some photos and identify him as Michael Thomas Gargiulo. "

Four years after Ellerin's death, the criminal complaint alleges that Gargiulo" literally slaughtered "his neighbor Maria Bruno in her apartment in El Monte.

"In apartment number 20 Maria Bruno has lived," Lillienfeld told CBS News # 48 Hours 2011. "So he has a pretty clear attitude when he sees through the window up to her place.He has a very clear shot at her front door and both the living room window and the kitchen window. "

She had been killed in bed; her husband Irving Bruno, from whom she was separated, found her mutilated body. He told the 911 dispatcher that her breasts had been cut off and one of her nipples had been placed over her mouth.

The investigators found a blue surgical shoe on their doorstep with a few drops of Bruno's blood on it. They say that the DNA from the rubber band later agreed with Gargiulo, and they found similar boots that he apparently wore to work in the suspect's loft as they searched his home.

"She was a mother and a wife and a daughter and sister," Lillienfeld said about Bruno in 48 Hours . "She was all those things. She came to this country as a teenager from El Salvador … She met her husband and got married when she was a young woman … she had two year old twins and then I believe a 4 year old and 5 years old. "

  Daniel Nardoni, Michael Gargiulo, Ashton Kutcher

Al Seib Pool / Getty Images

Gargiulo was 17 when he killed Tricia Pacaccio in August 1993 on the doorstep of her family home in upscale Chicago suburbs Stabbing Glenview. Her father met her the next morning with sores on her neck, shoulders and chest. She had recently graduated from high school and was scheduled to begin a week after her death at Purdue University.

Once Gargiulo involved a friend in Tricia's murder, but later withdrew his testimony. A decade later, tests showed that DNA collected under Tricia's fingernails belonged to Gargiulo, who was a friend of her younger brother.

Although the DNA match was staged in 2003, Gargiulo was not prosecuted for Pacaccio's murder until 2011, when two witnesses came forward after seeing a 48-hour special about Gargiulo – an unsatisfactory one Turn for the girl's parents who made an earlier statement that the DNA alone was insufficient to arrest him because they could have come "casual contact." They suggested that Gargiulo would never have been indicted in Chicago if he had not been charged with murder first in LA, and that maybe two other women would be alive if more had been done. Husband and I both feel that Cook County, after finding DNA instead of pursuing Michael, made false apologies for why DNA weighed on her. How pitiful, "said Tricia's mother Diane Pacaccio to Chicago ] magazine in 2011.

" As long as he just murdered my daughter, they did not care. They did not do anything about it, "she said." They were ready to leave it forever. Again, how pitiful. "

[The Cook County detectives] this stuff actually went through again and did all they could," said Detective Small LA Weekly in 2010, before Gargiulo was indicted in Chicago. "It was the prosecutor who did not file a complaint … I'm not familiar with all the investigations, in the totality of the circumstances and the physical evidence out here we would prosecute that, honestly I think it's a series of Gimmicks. " but I can not say that.

  Michael Gargiulo

Santa Monica Police Dept.

Two witnesses identified as "Witness D" and "Witness E" at the time Gargiulo informed them that he had killed someone in Chicago According to information he allegedly confided in the late 1990s, when he worked with "D" and "E" at Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset Boulevard where he appeared as a bouncer, according to LA Weekly He was dismissed from this post he held in 1999 after meeting a client.

Arrest warrant for Gargiulo in July 2011 for murder of Pacaccio obtained from Chicago Tribune, saying that he had told "D" that he had stabbed someone and first said "E" that he had buried a body, but then said, "I'm just kidding. I actually left the bitch looking for dead. & # 39; "

Some of Pacaccio's family members are also on the witness list for this trial.

" The fight over this case continues forever with me, "Diane Pacaccio told reporters this month be it. "

  Daniel Akemon, Michael Gargiulo, Ashton Kutcher

Al Seib Pool / Getty Images

" All victims were young, open-minded women, all attacks occurred during the night, all victims suffered multiple stab wounds "All the victims were stabbed with the knife, every victim was attacked in or around their house and in the immediate vicinity of Mr. Gargiulo." 19659004] After Michelle Murphy in April 2008 in the bedroom of her apartment on Euclid Avenue in Santa Monica was attacked, the DNA collected at that location was matched against a national database of samples collected at the Pacaccio crime scene.

"About 25 days later I am being detained em criminologists informed that … we actually hit, a DNA hit, "said Santa Monica Police Sgt. Richard Lewis told 48 hours in 2011." A profile that was found to that I got a match. "

Gargiulo was arrested 24 hours later. He was later indicted in Ellerin's death and then in Brunos in December.

The suspect lived in Santa Monica in 2008 and shared an alleyway with Murphy. She told the police that they had occasionally greeted each other outside.

She slept about an hour on the night of April 28, 2008, when she was stabbed in her bed, Murphy said this month. She managed to fend off her attacker by grabbing the knife blade with both hands and kicking it away. At some point in the fight he cut his wrist, left some of his blood on her blanket and ran back into the alley. She remembered the man who said, "I'm sorry," as he ran away.

Her assailant had apparently climbed through an open living room window. After escaping through the front door, Murphy locked them, shut the window, called her boyfriend (now her husband), and then called the police. She was taken to the hospital where she needed sutures and surgery on her hand. She never stayed in this apartment again, Murphy said.

Photos presented in court showed her bloody handprint on the carpet as she stumbled out of bed as she stood up, her blood-spattered bathroom examining her wounds, and the blood-spattered cell phone calling her police ,

The prosecution has estimated that this process will take about six months.

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