Michael Gargiulo

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Not to be confused television director Mike Gargiulo or his son, television news anchor Michael Gargiulo (journalist).
Michael Gargiulo
Born Michael Thomas Gargiulo
(1976-02-15) February 15, 1976 (age 41)[1]
Other names Hollywood Ripper
Chiller Killer
Known for Alleged serial killings
Criminal charge Murder[2]

Michael Thomas Gargiulo (born February 15, 1976)[1] is an American alleged serial killer who may have killed as many as ten women.

Description of alleged crimes[edit]

Gargiulo is accused of stabbing three women to death and attempting to murder a fourth.

He is a native of Glenview, Illinois,[clarification needed], where he allegedly stabbed his neighbor, 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio, to death at her home on August 14, 1993.[3][4] She was stabbed 12 times. Gargiulo moved to Los Angeles in 1998, allegedly to escape scrutiny from police in Illinois.[5]

Gargiulo is accused of three stabbings in Southern California between 2001 and 2008. On February 21, 2001, he allegedly stabbed Ashley Ellerin to death in her home in Hollywood. She was stabbed 47 times. Ellerin was dating Ashton Kutcher at the time and they had planned to go to a post-Grammy Award party the night she was killed.[6] He allegedly stabbed his neighbor, Maria Bruno, to death at her home in El Monte, California, on December 1, 2005.[2] She was stabbed 17 times. He is charged with the attempted murder of his neighbor, Michelle Murphy, in her home in Santa Monica on April 28, 2008.[7] She fought off the attack, and blood matching Gargiulo's DNA was found at the scene.[8]

Arrest and prosecution[edit]

Gargiulo was arrested by the Santa Monica Police Department on June 6, 2008.[9] Although Gargiulo is charged in the two California murders as well as the Pacaccio murder in Chicago, police have not linked him to any other murders.[3] Gargiulo allegedly told authorities in the Los Angeles County Jail that just because 10 women were killed — and his DNA was present — doesn’t mean he murdered anyone, leading investigators to believe that there are more victims.[3]

Media in Los Angeles dubbed Gargiulo the "Hollywood Ripper" as well as the "Chiller Killer."[9][10]

As of January 2015, he is being held at Los Angeles County Jail awaiting a capital murder trial.[11]


  1. ^ a b "LASD Inmate Information Center - Inmate Search". lasd.org. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Richards, Tori (undated). "Michael Gargiulo: Alleged Hollywood Ripper – El Monte". TruTv. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "LA detective: Suspect could have killed 10 women". Chicago Sun Times. Archived from the original on February 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ Staff (July 7, 2011). "Man Charged with Murder in Cold Case Featured on "48 Hours Mystery". 48 Hours. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  5. ^ "Michael Gargiulo to Be Charged with Killing Tricia Pacaccio". Chicago magazine. July 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  6. ^ Grad, Shelby (July 8, 2011). "Killing of Ashley Ellerin". L.A. Now – Southern California – This Just In (blog of the Los Angeles Times). Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  7. ^ Richards, Tori (undated). "Michael Gargiulo: Alleged Hollywood Ripper – ". TruTV. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  8. ^ http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/predators/michael-gargiulo/9-santa-monica.html
  9. ^ a b Pelisek, Christine (November 25, 2010). "The Chiller Killer – Michael Gargiulo, Accused of Killing Ashton Kutcher's Girlfriend and Other L.A. Beauties, Got Close as the Helpful Air-Conditioning Repairman". LA Weekly. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  10. ^ Staff (November 18, 2010). "Family Says 'Hollywood Ripper' Killed in Chicago Area First". CBS News (via WBBM-TV). Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  11. ^ Staff (undated). "Michael Gargiulo Under Arrest". CBS News. Retrieved August 3, 2012.

Further reading[edit]