The Tragic Story of Ashley Ellerin: A Victim of “The Hollywood Ripper”




Ashley Ellerin, the former girlfriend of actor Ashton Kutcher, met a horrific fate at the hands of Michael Gargiulo, infamously known as “The Hollywood Ripper.” In this article, we will delve into the details of Ashley Ellerin’s life, her tragic murder, and the recent developments in Gargiulo’s sentencing.

The Conviction

On July 7th, 2011, Michael Gargiulo, also known as “The Hollywood Ripper,” was convicted for the 2008 murders of Tricia Pacaccio, Maria Bruno, and Ashley Ellerin. The trial was marked by numerous delays, and Gargiulo remained in the Los Angeles County Jail until his pre-trial hearing in 2017.

Gargiulo’s Trial

After several delays, Gargiulo’s trial began on May 2nd, 2019, and it included testimony from Ashton Kutcher, who was dating Ashley Ellerin at the time of her murder. On August 15th, 2019, Gargiulo pleaded guilty to all charges, and his penalty phase commenced in October of the same year. The court ruled out any possibility of parole for the killer.

The Death Sentence

Initially, Gargiulo was set to face 25 years in prison, but in October 2019, the jury proposed a death sentence. After numerous delays, he finally received a death sentence in the latest hearing of the case. Judge Larry P. Fidler described Gargiulo’s crimes as “vicious and frightening,” and he noted, “Everywhere that Mr. Gargiulo went, death and destruction followed him.”

Gargiulo is now expected to face extradition to Illinois for the murder of his first victim, Tricia Pacaccio, in 1993.

Ashley Ellerin: A Brief Biography

Ashley Ellerin was a fashion design student at the Los Angeles Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. In addition to her studies, she worked part-time as a stripper in Las Vegas. Tragically, on February 21st, 2001, she was brutally murdered inside her Los Angeles apartment.

Gargiulo allegedly stabbed Ellerin a horrifying 47 times, ending her young life at the age of 22. Ashley Ellerin’s name became widely known when she was romantically linked to actor Ashton Kutcher.

Ashley Ellerin and Ashton Kutcher

Ashley Ellerin and Ashton Kutcher crossed paths in late 2000 through mutual friends and began dating in 2001. Her life was cut short just before she was set to attend a Grammy afterparty as Kutcher’s date.

Kutcher vividly recalled the night he discovered the gruesome scene at Ellerin’s apartment. He knocked on the door multiple times, but there was no response. Kutcher assumed she had already left for the night and that he was running late.

As he was about to leave, he noticed a “stain” on the floor, which he initially thought was red wine. He didn’t pay it much attention, as he had attended a lively party at Ellerin’s place a few days earlier. However, this stain turned out to be Ashley Ellerin’s blood.

The next day, after hearing the news of Ellerin’s murder, Kutcher found himself entangled in the case as detectives discovered his fingerprints on the doorknob.


The story of Ashley Ellerin is a heartbreaking one, as she fell victim to a ruthless serial killer. Her connection to Ashton Kutcher and the circumstances of her murder have left a lasting impact. With the recent sentencing of “The Hollywood Ripper,” justice has been served, and the memory of Ashley Ellerin will live on.

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