Ashton Kutcher to Testify in Trial of Alleged Serial Killer 'Hollywood Ripper'

Ashton Kutcher is expected to testify Wednesday in the trial of an alleged serial killer, Michael Gargiulo, the so-called "Hollywood Ripper," Entertainment Tonight reports. Los Angeles prosecutors say Gargiulo murdered three women, including Ashley Ellerin, with whom Kutcher was set to go on a date on the night of her murder.

As a witness for the prosecution, Kutcher's testimony is expected to help establish the time of death for Ellerin. The two were set to attend the 2001 Grammys together on Feb. 21, 2001; when Ellerin failed to answer her cell phone earlier in the evening, the That '70s Show actor went to her Hollywood home and knocked on the door.

During opening statements, prosecutors told jurors that they believe she was attacked from behind by Gargiulo after she exited the shower that day. Around 10:45 p.m., Kutcher arrived to take her to a Grammys party, when he looked in the window and thought he saw wine spilled on the floor, deputy district attorney Daniel Akemon said.

"We believe now the evidence will show that was actually blood," Akemon said.

Kutcher allegedly told police that when Ellerin didn't come to the door, he left. The next morning, she was found by her roommate brutally stabbed to death.

Kutcher's testimony is expected to take only a few minutes, but it will be the first time we've heard him speak publicly about the case.

Prosecutors describe Gargiulo as a "methodical and systematic" killer, who is accused of attacking at least four women: three in California and one in Illinois.

The prosecution's first witness, Michelle Murphy, was allegedly Gargiulo's only survivor. Prosecutors claim Murphy battled for the knife Gargiulo used to stab her, cutting him and leaving his DNA at the crime scene — which matched from an attack on another victim, 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio, from three years ago and across the country.

Pacaccio's murder went unsolved from her death in 1993 until 2011, when two witnesses came forward after watching a 48 Hours Mystery report on the case. Gargiulo was indicted within a few weeks but has not yet been tried.

Pacaccio's family was called to testify in Ellerin's murder trial because of the similarities between Pacaccio's death in suburban Chicago and the three cases from Los Angeles County.


Photo credit: David Livingston / Contributor / Getty