Michael Thomas Gargiulo, also known as the “Hollywood Ripper,” the “Chiller Killer,” or “The Boy Next Door Killer,” is a convicted serial killer. From 1993 to 2008, he has brutally and savagely stabbed and murdered three women, with the attempted murder of the fourth. He was a person of interest in all of the three killings, but, unfortunately, it took the attempted murder of the fourth for him to finally be caught.
Michael Gargiulo Crimes
Born February 15, 1976, Michael is a native of Glenview, Illinois, where he allegedly committed his first crime, stabbing and murdering 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio right outside her house. She was not only his neighbor but was also the sister of his friend. To escape from the scrutiny and the public eye, in 1998, Michael moved to Los Angeles, where he became the “Hollywood Ripper” by committing two other murders.
While he was there, the now 45-year-old killed Ashley Ellerin and Maria Bruno in what could only be described as pure rage, stabbing the former a total of 47 times, whereas he stabbed the latter 17 times. Then, in 2008, Michael attempted to murder his neighbor, Michelle Murphy, in her home in Santa Monica. Fortunately, though, she managed to fight him off, forcing him to leave a trail of blood down her stairs and on the concrete outside, which ultimately became his downfall.
Michael Gargiulo’s Trial
Michael was given the moniker of “The Boy Next Door Killer” because he lived near all of his victims and posed to be the nice guy. During his 2019 trial, his defense attorney and a psychologist testified that Michael – described as a quiet guy and someone who prefers to keep to himself by associates – has a dissociative personality disorder, better known as multiple personality disorder.
Ashley Ellerin, whom Michael killed in 2001, had plans to go out with actor Ashton Kutcher on the night she died. So, even Ashton testified and revealed that he had arrived late for their date. So, when Ashley didn’t answer the door, he peeped inside from the window and saw what he thought to be were wine stains before deciding to leave. Michael’s attempted murder victim, Michelle Murphy, also took to the stands and stated that she has lived in fear for years because of what transpired in 2008.
All of Michael’s Californian victims were attacked in their own homes — in a place so near to where Michael resided that he could see inside if their windows or doors were open. Even after concrete evidence, though, his defense attorney argued that his client had nothing to do with Ashley and Maria’s murders. And although he conceded that Michael did attack Michelle, he added that he was in a “fugue state” at the time because of his personality disorder and was not in control of what he was doing.
Michael Gargiulo Conviction
After his arrest by the Santa Monica Police Department on June 6, 2008, for the attempted murder of Michelle, Michael was also charged for the killings of Ashley Ellerin and Maria Bruno by the state of California. Then, in 2011, thanks to evidence and tips, the Cook County States Attorney’s Office in Illinois charged him with the first-degree murder of Tricia Pacaccio as well.
On August 15, 2019, Michael was convicted of all the charges against him in California, and in October, during the trial’s hearing, jurors recommended the death penalty for him. The other alternative is a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Michael’s formal sentencing hearing was scheduled for February 28, 2020, but it was delayed because of legal motions. A court date for the same is now set for July 2021.
The married man and father of two gave no reaction during his conviction, but whenever he has talked to the producers of CBS’s ‘48 Hours,’ he has maintained that he is “100% innocent.” As for the first-degree murder charge against him in Illinois, Michael will go back to his home state and face a trial there once his sentencing in California is completely done with.
Where Is Michael Gargiulo Now?
Michael has been held at a Los Angeles County Jail ever since his initial arrest in 2008, and that is where he still remains, awaiting sentencing for his heinous crimes. As per the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s official records, his current housing unit is Men’s Central Jail.
We should mention that in the way Michael Gargiulo has spoken to the authorities while behind bars, it has been speculated that his real victim count could be much higher, maybe even close to ten. However, he has not yet been officially linked to any other cases.
In early February 2021, Michael appeared in court once again to plead with the judge to spare his life and ignore the jury’s recommendation for the death penalty for having slain Ashley and Maria. But whether the judge was swayed or not, we’ll only find out in July.
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