THE alleged Hollywood Ripper accused of stabbing Ashton Kutcher’s ex to death laughed as a court heard yesterday how he studied Ted Bundy.
Michael Gargiulo – who allegedly slaughtered three women in a crime spree dating back to 1993 – was described by prosecutors as a calculated murderer.
Alleged ‘Hollywood Ripper’ Michael Gargiulo laughs in court before a prosecutor gives chilling closing remarks comparing him to Ted Bundy[/caption]
Kutcher gave evidence during the three-month trial – at one point tearing-up as he described how he was late for his date with Ashley on the night she was killed[/caption]
In explosive closing remarks at his Los Angeles murder trial on Tuesday, Gargiulo – who faces the death penalty – was described as a sick disciple of the notorious serial killer.
He grinned as Deputy District Attorney Garrett Dameron said: “He researched other serial killers, like Bundy.
“He told people he knew how to leave no fingerprints.
“He knew how to avoid being seen exiting a crime scene covered in blood and with a bloody knife.”
Sadistic Bundy was behind the United States’ most harrowing rape and killing sprees in which at least 30 women were murdered across the country in the 1970s.
Gargiulo, 43, also learned how to hone his blood-lust with terrifyingly efficient attacks using instructions from a notorious guidebook, the DA added.
Mr Dameron told jurors: “The Anarchist Cookbook tells how to hold a knife, how to kill with one… how to cause death in a matter of seconds.”
STAR’S TEARFUL TESTIMONY
Among Gargiulo’s alleged victims was 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin – who was butchered in her own home as she waited for her actor boyfriend to meet her for a date.
The former Two And A Half Men star, 41, gave a tearful testimony during the three-month trial in which he recalled being “hours” late to pick her up.
Kutcher told jurors how he arrived at the Hollywood bungalow of fashion design student Ashley on the night of February 22, 2001.
But when he got there two hours late, then-21-year-old Kutcher said he found the lights on and the door locked.
Peering through the window he saw “what I thought was a red wine spilled on the carpet.”
A pained Kutcher added: “I didn’t really think anything of it”, adding that he “figured I screwed up” and that Ashley had gone out with a pal.
She had in fact been stabbed 47 times in a frenzied attack while she was in the shower – with her brutalised body found by a roommate the next day.
Gargiulo was arrested in 2008 after allegedly attempting to murder a fourth woman[/caption]
Ellerin was just 22 when she was slaughtered in her home in February 2001[/caption]
Kutcher told jurors how he thought blood stains on Ashley’s floor were red wine[/caption]
Gargiulo is accused of murdering three women and attempting to murder a fourth between 1993 and 2008[/caption]
SIMILARITY IN SAVAGERY
Prosecutors say that savage murder of Ms Ellerin was strikingly similar to three other attacks Gargiulo is accused of carrying out.
Mr Dameron said yesterday that the killings of three women and the attempted killing of a fourth who fought him off were all the unmistakable work of ruthless Gargiulo.
Among the alleged similarities put forward by prosecutors are that:
- All the attacks were at night
- They took place just outside the women’s homes
- The attacker had knowledge of the residences and the surrounding neighbourhood
- The killer studied the life patterns of the victims
- He had knowledge of how to kill quickly and cover his tracks
- Each of the victims had deep stab wounds
- There was no evidence of a fight or struggle in each case
- Nothing was robbed and the women were not sexually assaulted
- No murder weapons were found
- All the victims were left in the spot where they were killed
STRING OF MURDERS
The DA added: “Those similarities point to one man, one killer: Michael Gargiulo.”
Gargiulo is also accused of carrying out the 1993 Illinois murder of family friend Tricia Pacaccio, 17.
And he is alleged to have been behind the murder of Maria Bruno, 32, in an LA suburb 2005.
He is awaiting trial in Illinois for the killing of Ms Pacaccio – although prosecutors in California were allowed to present evidence from that crime to establish a pattern.
Gargiulo is also accused of the attempted murder in 2008 of Michelle Murphy, now 37, who managed to fight off her attacker.
A blood trail led detectives to arrest Gargiulo later that year – and connect him to the three brutal slayings dating back 15 years.
DNA matching Gargiulo was found via his blood on Murphy’s bed and under Pacaccio’s fingernails.
Samples also matched DNA found on a shoe-covering bootie – which Gargiulo used in his work – near Bruno’s apartment.
Dameron said: “These were monstrous, torturous attacks, all four.
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“This was someone that was going to take pleasure in plunging a knife into their victim over and over.”
Gargiulo has pleaded not guilty to all charges including special circumstances allegations of multiple murders, lying in wait before killing and using deadly weapon.
The defence lawyers will make their closing argument on Wednesday.
Alleged serial killer Michael Gargiulo laughs in court yesterday as jurors hear a chilling closing statement[/caption]
Gargiulo looks on smugly as the closing statement is delivered in court yesterday[/caption]
Maria Bruno, 32, was slaughtered in her own home in a Hollywood suburb in 2005[/caption]
Gargiulo could face the death penalty if he is found guilty[/caption]
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