'Hollywood Ripper' trial: Jury recommends death penalty for serial killer Michael Gargiulo

LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles jury has recommended the death penalty for the man dubbed "The Hollywood Ripper" who was convicted of the killings of two women and the attempted murder of a third.

The jury's decision in the case of 43-year-old Michael Gargiulo was read in court Friday afternoon.

In August, the same jurors convicted Gargiulo of the killings including the 2001 murder of Ashley Ellerin on a night she was to go out with actor Ashton Kutcher, who testified at the trial.

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A Los Angeles jury has recommended the death penalty for "Hollywood Ripper" serial killer Michael Gargiulo.



The surviving victim and Gargiulo's teenage son were among those who testified in the penalty phase.

Prosecutors also assigned Gargiulo the "Boy Next Door Killer" moniker because he lived near all the victims and watched them.

During trial, the prosecution portrayed the 43-year-old repairman as a psychopath who posed as a nice guy.

"He doesn't give a damn about anyone. That is Michael Gargiulo," said prosecutor Garrett Dameron.

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A suburban family is speaking out about the conviction of so-called Hollywood Ripper Michael Gargiulo in California Thursday for the murder of two women and the attempted murder of



Gargiulo was married, had a family, and knew the difference between right and wrong as demonstrated by his techniques to hide evidence. The father of two ingratiated himself to young women who lived nearby, then returned with a knife to kill and mutilate them.

The number of wounds were displayed from the coroner's report. Ellerin was stabbed 47 times. Maria Bruno, a mother of four, was stabbed 17 times.

The destruction of the victims' families punctuated the prosecution's points.
"Ashley Ellerin now sits in an urn on their mantle thanks to Michael Gargiulo," stated Dameron.

The defense urged sympathy for Gargiulo's son who testified he still needs his dad and claims that while Gargiulo is sane, that he suffers from a personality disorder.

"I think we lose something of our humanity if we execute the mentally ill," argued defense attorney Daniel Nardoni.

Prosecutors say the defendant understood what he was doing and used gloves and booties over his shoes to hide his trail. He was caught after he was cut during a 2008 attack in Santa Monica. His DNA linked him to the 1993 murder of Glenview teenager Trisha Pacaccio.
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