Michael Gargiulo, the Hollywood ripper, was sentenced to death – Corriere.it

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Michael Gargiulo, the Hollywood ripper, was sentenced to death – Corriere.it

of Massimo Gaggi

The trial was also attended by actor Ashton Kutcher, who was dating Ashley Ellerin, one of the victims. The sentence will not be carried out, because Governor Newsom stopped the executions

A death sentence that will never be carried out because no one has been on the gallows in California since 2006 and two years ago the governor Gavin Newsom has decided to make this discontinuation permanent.

But also a series of murders, those of squartatore in Hollywood, which could have been avoided if Michael Gargiulo had been indicted for his first murder, committed when he was just 17 in Glenview, the Illinois town just outside Chicago, where he was born.

In 1993 Tricia Pacaccio, 18, was killed on the stairs of the house one block away from the residence of Gargiulo who was immediately suspected but never indicted, even after a DNA test that in 2003 had linked him to that crime.

But in the meantime Michael had gone to California where he killed at least two other women, in 2001 and 2005, without leaving traces. Instead, he left some in April 2008 when he was attacked in his sleep at his home in Santa Monica, Michelle Murphy who managed to react and put him to flight. Identified on the basis of DNA, he was arrested two months later. In 2011 also came the indictment for the Chicago assassination. But the difficulty of finding direct evidence e the knives with which the Californian victims were stabbed and quartered (the first hit 47 times, the second 17), postponed the trial until 2019.

A process made spectacular by the actor’s testimony Ashton Kutcher who was to spend a romantic evening with the 22-year-old Ashley Hands the very night she was killed.

Kutcher said that, having arrived very late at the girl’s house, he rang the bell for a long time. Then from a side window he saw a stain on the ground that looked like red wine. Convinced that the girl, irritated by the long delay, had gone out with others, the actor left. Then, having heard of the massacre, he rushed to the police fearing he would end up among the suspects: he never was, he had no motive, but there was also nothing that led to Gargiulo.

Which four years later killed the 32-year-old without a trace Maria Bruno, mother of four children. His guilt emerged from the DNA tests only after the failed attempt to kill Murphy as well.

The nickname of Hollywood ripper Gargiulo earned it for his ferocity – at Bruno’s he even cuts her breasts to extract plastic surgery prostheses – and for this cinematic connection, but also because, even without direct evidence, investigators suspect the serial killer is also responsible for other murders: he himself in the Los Angeles County Penitentiary said one day, without knowing he was registered, that the fact that traces of my DNA were found for ten women killed in California does not mean that I killed them all.

Now, while serving his sentence in California, Gargiulo will be temporarily extradited to Illinois where he will be tried for the 1993 assassination: he faces a minimum of 25 years to life in prison.

July 17, 2021 (change July 17, 2021 | 23:21)

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