SANTA MONICA—The jury recommended the death penalty for Michael Gargiulo after on Friday, October 18 at 1:30 p.m. inside a Los Angeles courtroom.
The jury which was made up of 6 men and 6 women deliberated for hours before coming to a decision on the case. Gargiulo who has been dubbed “The Boy Next Door” and “The Hollywood Ripper” is scheduled to be sentenced in the Foltz Criminal Justice Center on February 28, 2020 in Department 106.
In August 2019, a jury found Gargiulo guilty of two counts of murder in the first degree, lying in wait, and other special circumstance allegations of multiple murders.
Gargiulo was also convicted of one count of willful-deliberate premeditated attempted murder and escape.
The defendant plead not guilty on one count of attempted murder and two counts of murder. Evidence of DNA connected him to all three crimes. Prosecutors gathered additional evidence to support allegations that lead the jury to find him guilty.
The Hollywood Ripper preyed on women living in Chicago, Illinois, and areas of Los Angeles between the ages of 18 and 32.
Gargiulo, 43, a resident of Santa Monica, worked as an air conditioning repairman and lived next door to the victims he murdered. He observed their every move before he took their lives. He was charged with one count of attempted murder for attacking and stabbing 26-year-old Michelle Murphy who was his only victim who managed to escape. Murphy’s escape led to Gargiulo’s arrest.
He was charged with killing a teenager, Tricia Pacaccio in Chicago in 1993. She was stabbed to death on her front porch by Gargiulo who was a friend of her sibling. Another one of Garguilo’s victims was identified Maria Bruno, 32, a resident of El Monte. Gargiulo was Bruno’s neighbor and killed her while she was asleep in December 2005.
On February 21, 2001, Ashley Ellerin, 22, a fashion design student, was stabbed 47 times while in her Hollywood Hills home. She was preparing to go on a date with actor Ashton Kushner the night of her murder. In 2008, Defense Attorney Daniel Nardoni indicated Kushner was not a suspect in the case. More witnesses came forward when the show “48 Hour Mystery” discussed the murder on TV.
Officials notified Canyon News in an email that the case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and El Monte, Los Angeles and Santa Monica Police Departments.