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'Hollywood Ripper' Michael Gargiulo Found Guilty of Murdering Ashton Kutcher's Ex

Ashton Kutcher testifying in Gargiulo’s trial.
Ashton Kutcher testifying in Gargiulo’s trial.
Image: Getty

Michael Gargiulo, a 43-year-old air conditioning technician known as the “Hollywood Ripper,” has been found guilty of murdering two Los Angeles women, one of whom was preparing to go on a date with Ashton Kutcher the night of her death, CBS Los Angeles reports. Gargiulo was also convicted of attempting to stab 26-year-old Santa Monica woman Michelle Murphy to death, back in 2008. He faces a possible death sentence.


In 2001, when Kutcher was 23 years old, the actor was dating a 22-year-old fashion student named Ashley Ellerin. When he went to pick her up at her Hollywood Hills home to attend a few Grammy afterparties that February, she was unreachable. He went to her home, received no answer at the door, saw what appeared to be spilled wine on the floor, and left. Gargiulo had murdered Ellerin by stabbing her 47 times.

Kutcher testified in the trial.

Gargiulo was also found guilty of murdering 32-year-old Maria Bruno, who was found stabbed to death with her chest disfigured, in 2005.


Gargiulo faces a separate charge of first-degree murder for allegedly killing 17-year-old Tricia Pacaccio in 1993. She was stabbed to death on her front porch in suburban Chicago, Glenview, Illinois.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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Why are we doing this in 2019?

The headline mentions the name of the murderer, and Ashley Ellerin’s boyfriend from 19 years ago. The female victims appear to be incidental in this narrative.