Hollywood Ripper Michael Gargiulo guilty of butchering Ashton Kutcher's girlfriend and mum-of-four after studying Ted Bundy

A NIGHTCLUB bouncer dubbed the Hollywood Ripper has tonight been found guilty of stabbing to death Ashton Kutcher's former girlfriend and a mother-of-four after studying Ted Bundy.

Michael Gargiulo, 43, was convicted of murdering Ashley Ellerin, 22, and Maria Bruno, 32, and attempting to kill Michelle Murphy, 26, in the LA area between 2001 and 2008.

The court heard how the twisted killer "took pleasure in plunging a knife into his victims over and over again, leaving them to die and be found by their loved ones."

Gargiulo may now face the death penalty if he is found to have been sane at the time of his murderous crimes.

The jury deliberated for three days before handing down their verdict in a trial that saw testimony from almost 100 experts and witnesses, including Hollywood star Kutcher.

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 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.

His girlfriend 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.

She had wounds of up to six inches deep over her chest, stomach, neck and back, a coroner later revealed.

Prosecutors told how twisted Gargiulo had "injected himself" into Ashley's life after helping her change a car tyre.


Neighbours reported seeing Gargiulo parked outside her home while staring at her windows.

Gargiulo was also found guilty of the 2005 murder of Maria Bruno in her El Monte home and the 2008 attempted murder of Michelle Murphy in her Santa Monica apartment.

Murphy fought off her attacker and caused him to cut himself and leave a trail of blood – sparking the chain of events which eventually led to his arrest.

During the murder trial, sick details emerged about the calculated murderer researched serial killers like Ted Bundy and even read a book about how to kill people

In explosive closing remarks at his murder trial Gargiulo 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 also learned how to hone his blood-lust with terrifyingly efficient attacks using instructions from a notorious guidebook, the DA added.

Gargiulo has also since been linked to the murder of a third woman.

He is currently awaiting trial in Illinois for the 1993 killing of Tricia Pacaccio when he was 17 and a pal of the alleged victim's younger brother.

Prosecutors were allowed to present evidence of that case in his LA trial to help establish a pattern between the killings.

Chicago-born Gargiulo dreamed of being an actor and was working as an air-conditioning repair man and bouncer at the time of the bloody attacks.

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