‘Boy next door killer’ accused of murdering Ashton Kutcher’s ex-girlfriend | UK News
A man accused of murdering three women, including the ex-girlfriend of Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher, is said to have carried out the “systematic slaughter” of his victims.
Michael Gargiulo, an air conditioning repairman, would “watch, shadow, stalk and hunt” the women before fatally stabbing them for sexual pleasure, a Los Angeles court heard.
He was nicknamed the “boy next door killer” because he lived near to each of his alleged victims, the jury was told.
Daniel Akemon, prosecuting, said: “What you will hear is that Michael Gargiulo for almost 15 years was watching, always watching.”
He added: “And his hobby was plotting the perfect opportunity to attack women with a knife in and around their homes.”
Mr Akemon also described Gargiulo’s alleged “methodical and systematic slaughter of women”.
Gargiulo, 43, is on trial charged with the murder of Ashley Ellerin and Maria Bruno in Los Angeles, California, between 2001 and 2005.
He is also accused of the attempted murder of a woman in Santa Monica in 2008.
Gargiulo was separately charged with killing Tricia Pacaccio, 18, in Chicago in 1993.
The teenager’s father found her fatally stabbed on their family’s doorstep, house key still in hand.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Ms Ellerin, the former girlfriend of Kutcher, was found dead in her Hollywood Hills home in 2001.
The actor, who starred in Dude, Where’s My Car? and That ’70s Show, is among the witnesses expected to take the stand.
Kutcher told police he went to pick up the 22-year-old fashion student for a post-Grammy Awards party but she didn’t open the door.
He said he checked a back window and spotted what he thought were red wine stains on the carpet and then left.
Ellerin’s body was discovered the next day by a friend.
Ms Bruno, 32, was found stabbed to death in her apartment in suburban El Monte in 2005.
Her breasts had been cut off.
Gargiulo was arrested in 2008 after DNA evidence linked him to one of the killings and a non-fatal attack.
He was a neighbour of each of the women when they were targeted.
Ms Pacaccio lived just down the street from Gargiulo in suburban Glenview in Chicago, Illinois
The alleged killer, who was 17 at the time, was a friend of her brother.
Police later said DNA collected from Ms Pacaccio’s fingernails matched Gargiulo’s.
Gargiulo denies the charges.
His lawyer Daniel Nardoni said other men had better access or motive in the killings. He pointed out that no murder weapon has been found and no DNA evidence connected Gargiulo to the killing of Ellerin.
His trial is expected to take six months.