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#Sex#Crime :Trial begins for '#Hollywood-Ripper' ,suspect #serial-killer charged of murdering 11 #women begins in #Los-Angeles.

#Crime :


Trial begins for '#Hollywood-Ripper' ,suspect #serial-killer charged of murdering  11 #women begins in #Los-Angeles.

Hollywood Ripper Michael Gargiulo

Hollywood Ripper Michael Gargiulo

 Ashton Kutcher's then-girlfriend had 'consensual sex' with another man just hours before she was brutally murdered in 2001, Michael Gargiulo's defense attorney has told jurors.

Ashton Kutcher's then-girlfriend had 'consensual sex' with another man just hours before she was brutally murdered, accused Hollywood Ripper Michael Gargiulo's defense attorney has told jurors. 

The details surrounding the night 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin was brutally killed in February 2001 were brought up by Gargiulo's defense attorney on Thursday on the opening day of his murder trial in Los Angeles. 

Gargiulo, 43, is accused of murdering two women, including Kutcher's former girlfriend, and trying to kill another in the Los Angeles area between 2001 and 2008. 

He was separately charged with killing an 18-year-old Illinois woman whose father found her fatally stabbed on their family's doorstep with her house key still in hand. 

His defense attorney, Dan Nardoni, repeatedly tried to discredit the prosecutions case during opening statements by telling jurors that other men had better access or motive in the killings.

He said that Ellerin had sex with her apartment manager just hours before Kutcher was scheduled to pick her up from her Hollywood apartment. 




He told the court that Ellerin was supposed to go to a post-Grammy party with Kutcher the night she was murdered. 

When detectives interviewed the apartment's manager Mark Durban after the murder, Nardoni said: 'He claimed that he had consensual sex with Ashley earlier that night.'

Durban left Ellerin's apartment around 8.15pm and Kutcher showed up to pick her up at about 10.45pm, the defense attorney told jurors. 

Kutcher has previously said that when Ellerin didn't answer her door, he left, unaware her horribly mutilated body was lying inside.

Attempting to throw doubt on the prosecution's case, Nardoni said there was no sign of forced entry to Ellerin's apartment, meaning that either she knew her killer and let him in or somebody unlocked the door.

The defense attorney said that only four people had keys to the apartment: Ellerin, her room-mate, her former room-mate and Durban. He said the apartment manager was 'going to be an important witness in this case'.

Nardoni insisted that there is no physical evidence in the Ellerin murder linking to Gargiulo. 

'There are no fingerprints identifiable to Mr Gargiulo. From the body of Ashley Ellerin, there is no DNA identifiable to Mr Gargiulo,' he said. 

He also argued that there is no physical evidence against his client in the murder of Maria Bruno on December 1, 2005 - another woman he is accused of killing.

'There is no DNA from the body of Maria Bruno that is identifiable with Michael Gargiulo. There is no DNA from the window (where the killer entered the apartment), there are no fingerprints from the window,' Nardoni told jurors.



The defense attorney offered an explanation as to why Bruno had left her husband, Irving Bruno, and was living alone at the time she was killed. He said it was because she 'was physically abused for nine years in their relationship'. 

An altercation that led to Bruno's husband 'pushing her, throwing her on the ground and punching her in the face' was the 'last straw' that made her leave him.

Nardoni said that Irving told detectives that sometimes when he was abusive to his wife he would 'black out' and not remember hitting her.

Trying to further discredit the prosecution's case, Nardoni told the court that when detectives showed pictures of Gargiulo and four other possible suspects in Bruno's murder to another resident at her apartment complex, that person did not identify Gargiulo. 

After Gargiulo was arrested in 2008, following the attempted murder of Michelle Murphy, he was put in a cell for nearly two days with two other inmates, who actually were undercover homicide detectives.

'It was a subterfuge to get him to confess to killing these women,' Nardoni told the jury. 

'It was a 42 hour interrogation and I can assure you that during those 42 hours Mr Gargiuo did not admit to killing any of these women.'

During the prosecutor's opening statement on Thursday, the jury heard how Gargiuo would 'watch, shadow, stalk and hunt down' his victims before fatally stabbing them for sexual pleasure.

Prosecutor Daniel Akemon called the defendant 'the boy next door killer' and described his crimes as 'the methodical and systematic slaughter of women'. 

'What you will hear is that Michael Gargiulo for almost 15 years was watching, always watching,' he said. 'And his hobby was plotting the perfect opportunity to attack women with a knife in and around their homes.' 

Gargiulo - dressed in purple dress shirt, with his head shaved and sporting a graying goatee and Versace glasses - occasionally whispered with his defense lawyer as he listened to the prosecution's opening statement detailing the charges against him, to which he has pleaded not guilty. 

Gargiulo was living a 'double life', the court heard. On the one hand he was a husband and father. On the other, 'he was attacking women and killing them and he was able to go undetected for almost 15 years,' said Akemon.

'He would identify a target living near to him. Then he would hunt them down and slaughter them. He watched and waited, then he pounced and killed them in blitz-type knife attacks.'

Gargiulo is currently facing two murder charges: the 2001 killing of 22 year-old Ashley Ellerin who was stabbed 47 times in her Hollywood home, with her head almost severed from her body; and the 2005 slashing death of mother-of-four Maria Bruno, 32, at her apartment in Monterey Park, east of LA. Both are capital crimes that carry the death penalty. 

He will be tried separately for Tricia Pacaccio's murder in Illinois in 1993. 

Gargiulo was a neighbor of each victim at the time of the attacks. 

Prosecutors say Gargiulo moved to Los Angeles in 2001 and targeted Ellerin, a model and student who was living in Hollywood and dating TV star Ashton Kutcher, who was aged 23 and starring in his first TV hit, That 70s Show. 

Gargiulo 'injected himself' into Ashley's life, changing a tire for her and fixing her furnace, said Akemon. 'He gatecrashed a party at her home and fixated on her. Somehow he got a copy of a key to her apartment and let himself in…then ran away.'

Ellerin's friends warned her that Gargiulo was stalking her, showing up at her home at odd times and watching her. And on the night of February 21, 2001, her friends' worst fears were realized. 

Ellerin, a model and student at the Los Angeles Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, was supposed to be going with Kutcher that night to an after-Grammy party. 

Kutcher showed up at 10.45pm to her apartment behind the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and knocked on the door, she didn't answer - even though her lights were on and her car was parked outside.

Kutcher looked through her window and saw what he thought was red wine spilled on the floor. He later told police that he figured she wasn't answering the door because she was upset with him for being late. So he left.

The next day Ellerin's roommate found her horribly mutilated body in the apartment. The stain Kutcher had thought was red wine was actually blood from the 47 gaping wounds - some up to six inches deep - inflicted on her neck, chest, stomach and back by a knife-wielding intruder who attacked her while she was taking a shower. 

'Ashley was stabbed to death in the hallway outside her bathroom,' Akemon told the jury. 'She was stabbed over 47 times…she was almost decapitated.'

Akemon noted that Ellerin was attacked from behind and her throat was cut from left to right, indicating that her killer was left handed. Gargiulo is left handed. 

Another victim in the case, 32-year-old Maria Bruno, was found stabbed to death in her apartment in suburban El Monte in 2005. 

'Gargiulo could see into Maria's apartment from his own,' Akemon told the court. On the night of her murder, 'he entered her apartment through a window, put on blue surgical bootees and stabbed Maria as she slept.

'He cut off her breasts and attempted to move her breast implants and place one of her breasts in her mouth.' 

Bruno's lifeless body was found by her estranged husband.

Akemon said that Gargiulo's DNA was found on one of the blue bootees found at the crime scene and a matching bootee was found in his apartment.

The former heating and air-conditioning repairman - called 'Mike the Furnace Man' by people who knew him - is also charged with the 2008 attempted murder of Michelle Murphy who, though stabbed multiple times at her Santa Monica home, bravely fought off and survived the attack.

She is expected to be the prosecution's star witness during Gargiulo's trial, which could last six months. 

It was the failed murder attempt on Murphy in April of 2008 that ended what police claim was a 15-year killing spree by Chicago native Gargiulo.

DNA evidence collected at Murphy's apartment not only led to his arrest in June 2008 for his alleged attack on her, but also linked him to the Ellerin and Bruno murders, say prosecutors. He was indicted for those killings just two months later

Cops also claim that those DNA traces from the Murphy crime scene also tied Gargiulo to Pacaccio's 1993 murder.

The teenager killed in Illinois had lived just down the street from Gargiulo in suburban Glenview. 

Gargiulo was a close friend of Pacaccio's brother and detectives had long suspected him in the killing. But they could never put together enough evidence to charge him with Pacaccio's murder - until the attack on Murphy 15 years later. 


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