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 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 44-year-old killed Ashley Ellerin and Maria Bruno, in what could only be described as in pure rage, stabbing the former a total of 47 times while he stabbed the latter 17 times. In 2008, when he attempted to murder his neighbor, Michelle Murphy, in her home in Santa Monica; and she fought him off, he left a trail of blood down her stairs and on the concrete outside, which was ultimately his downfall.
Michael Gargiulo’s Trial
Michael was given “The Boy Next Door Killer” moniker because he lived near all the victims and posed to be the nice guy. During his trial, his defense attorney and a psychologist said that Michael, who has been described by associates as a quiet guy and someone who prefers to keep to himself, has a dissociative personality disorder, or better known as multiple personality disorder.
Ashley Ellerin, who was killed by him in 2001, had plans to go out with actor Ashton Kutcher on the night she was killed. Ashton testified and said that he had arrived late for their date, and when she didn’t answer, he looked into her house and saw what he thought to be wine stains before deciding to leave. Michael’s 2008 victim, Michelle Murphy, also testified during the trial and said that she has lived in fear for years because of what happened.
All of his Californian victims were attacked in their homes, where Michael lived so near that he could look into them if the women had their windows and doors open. Even after concrete evidence, though, his defense attorney said that other men committed the murders of Ashley and Maria, but admitted that Michael did attack Michelle in her home. However, he said that Michael was in a “fugue state” during it because of his personality disorder and had no idea 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, he was charged by the state of California for the killings of Ashley Ellerin and Maria Bruno as well. And in 2011, the Cook County State’s Attorney charged Michael with the first-degree murder of Tricia Pacaccio as well.
On August 15, 2019, Michael was convicted of all charges against him by the state of California, and in October, during the trial’s hearing, the jurors recommended a death penalty for him. The other alternative would have been a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole. He was scheduled for a formal sentencing hearing on February 28, 2020, but it has since been delayed because a defense motion has been filed, seeking a new trial altogether. 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 his first-degree murder charge in Illinois, Michael would go back to the state and have a trial there once his sentencing in California is done with.
Where Is Michael Gargiulo Now?
Michael has been held at the Los Angeles County Jail ever since his arrest, and that is where he still remains, awaiting the sentencing of his murder trial. By the way that he has spoken to the authorities in the jail, it seems like Michael has had other murder victims as well. And the number appears to be much higher, at around 10, but, as of yet, he has not been linked to any other cases. (Featured Image Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept.)
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