Who is Michael Gargiulo? Alleged 'Hollywood Ripper' and serial killer who is on trial for the murder of Ashley Ellerin

"HOLLYWOOD Ripper” Michael Gargiulo is on trial for the murder of Ashley Ellerin – an old flame of Ashton Kutcher.

But who is the alleged killer and what has he been accused of? Here’s what we know.

Who is the alleged “Hollywood Ripper”?

Michael Gargiulo, 43, has been accused of killing fashion student Ashley Ellerin in 2001.

At the time he was 24 years old and worked as an air conditioning repairman.

Gargiulo was also a former bouncer at the Rainbow Bar and Grill.

He met Ashley while she was dealing with a flat tyre and then later offered to fix her heater.

It soon turned into him showing up unannounced to her apartment.

What is Ashley's connection to Ashton Kutcher?

The young woman met Ashton Kutcher in December 2000 and they reportedly started a relationship in February 2001.

Ashley was stabbed 47 times in her apartment before Kutcher was meant to pick her up for a date.

The Hollywood actor was going to be taking her to a post-Grammys party.

What else has Gargiulo been accused of?

Michael Gargiulo has been accused of killing three women between 1993 and 2008 and of the attempted murder of another woman in the Los Angeles area between 2001 and 2008.

It is claimed Gargiulo stalked his victims before attacking them.

District Attorney Dan Akemon told the jury that Gargiulo had led a “double life” as a killer and a husband.

He described Gargiulo as "the boy next door killer," saying his crimes involved the "methodical and systematic slaughter of women".

Along with being accused of killing Ellerin is also accused of murdering his 18-year-old neighbour Tricia Pacaccio in August 1993 in Glenview, Illinois.

In December 2005 he allegedly stabbed his 32-year-old neighbour Maria Bruno to death at her home in El Monte, California.

Michelle Murphy, now 37, is thought to be the only woman to have survived an attack by the “Hollywood Ripper”.

She was woken by a hooded attacker who straddled, ambushed and repeatedly stabbed her with a serrated knife in her Santa Monica apartment in April 2008.

Gargiulo was arrested in 2008. He has pleaded not guilty.

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