‘Hollywood Ripper’ sentenced to death for killing Ashton Kutcher’s date in 2001


LOS ANGELES — For crimes he called “vicious and horrific,” a judge on Friday sentenced a prosecutor to death for the home-invasion murders of two women and the attempted murder of a third, called “The Boy Next Door Killer.” .

Family members of the victims cried as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry P. Fiedler sentenced 45-year-old Michael Thomas Gargiulo.

Throughout the day’s hearing, Fiedler said, “Wherever Mr. Gargiulo went, death and destruction followed him.”

Gargiulo’s case attracted more attention because one of her victims was about to go on a date with actor Ashton Kutcher, who testified at the trial.

Sentencing delays, due to procedural issues and the pandemic, came nearly two years after a jury found Gargiulo guilty and recommended hanging.

Gargiulo was convicted in 2001 of the murder of 22-year-old fashion design student Ashley Allerin while she was preparing to go out with Kutcher. At trial, Kutcher stated that he was late to pick up Alerin, who did not answer his door.

more:Man indicted in 2001 murder of friend of Ashton Kutcher

He looked inside to see blood stains that he thought had spilled wine. Prosecutors used her in their closing arguments, suggesting that Elrin was killed by someone else who was jealous of Kutcher.

Alerin was found with 47 stab wounds.

Her father, Michael Allerin, who had visited her daughter from Northern California a few hours before her murder, was one of the relatives of several victims who spoke at the hearing of their agony as they waited for years for justice. was.

more:Man indicted in 2001 murder of friend of Ashton Kutcher

He said he was tempted to imitate his wife Cynthia’s “mourning screams and groans after discovering Ashley’s murder”.

“It marked the beginning of a changed, dwindling, heartbreaking life,” he said.

Gargiulo was also convicted in 2005 of murdering 32-year-old Maria Bruno, mother of four, at her home in El Monte, east of Los Angeles. Bruno’s breasts were cut out and his implants removed.

And he was found guilty in 2008 of the attempted murder of Michelle Murphy, who fought him in his Santa Monica apartment, forcing him to flee and leaving a trail of blood that led to his eventual arrest for the other two murders. Murphy was the main witness in the trial.

Before sentencing, Murphy said in court, “To this day, spending the night alone has instilled in me an atmosphere of fear.”

She cried as she talked about meeting the families of the two women who had not survived their attacks.

“How is it fair that the act of one person can destroy the lives of so many?” he said.

Gargiulo is a former air conditioner and heater repairman, bouncer, and aspiring actor whose nicknames in media outlets include “The Chiller Killer” and “The Hollywood Ripper”, but was called “The Boy Next Door Killer” by prosecutors because He lived near the victims. chased then attacked their homes.

He spoke before his sentencing, complaining angrily that his lawyers prevented him from taking a stand in his defence.

“I am unfairly and unjustly going to the death penalty,” said Gargiulo, who sat in court in an orange prison dress and face mask and did not appear to react to his sentence. “I wanted to testify and my fundamental choice was blocked.”

He is unlikely to be sentenced to death any time soon. California has not executed anyone since 2006, and Governor Gavin Newsom has withheld executions as long as he is in office. But the courts are proceeding on the assumption that the hanging may one day resume.

Gargiulo is now expected to be extradited to Illinois, for the 1993 murder of Tricia Pacacio in her Illinois hometown. His California trial allowed prosecutors to present extensive evidence from that case as they sought to establish a pattern and present Gargiulo as a serial killer.

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