Ashton Kutcher Will Testify At the Trial For His Murdered Ex-Girlfriend, Ashely Ellerin

It’s shocking and terrifying enough to be a movie, but unfortunately this time it’s all too real.

Ashton Kutcher will testify at trial soon for a murder case that hits way too close to home. Kutcher’s former girlfriend, Ashely Ellerin, was found murdered in her apartment in 2001 and now the alleged murderer is about to have his day in court. The worst part? Kutcher was supposed to pick her up for a date the night she was killed.

This tragic case is just proof that you can never be too careful—and sometimes even the police can’t help you.

Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher | Ray Tamarra/GC Images

How did Ashely Ellerin get murdered?

Ellerin, 22, was a fashion student and model who also happened to be dating Kutcher at the time of her death. The That 70s Show star arrived at her apartment on the night of February 21, 2001, to pick her up and bring her to a Grammys party. When she didn’t answer the door, Kutcher assumed she was angry with him for being late. He peeked in the window and noticed red stains on the carpet but assumed they were just spilled red wine.

Sadly, the reality was much more sinister than that. Michael Gargiulo, 43, is being accused of murdering Ellerin that night. Nicknamed The Hollywood Ripper, he’s also accused of killing two other women besides Ashton Kutcher’s former girlfriend Ashely and attempting to murder a fourth woman who escaped.

Gargiulo met Ellerin while he was working as an air conditioning repairman and soon became obsessed with her.

Crime scene
Crime scene | Prathaan/Getty Images

How did the ‘Hollywood Ripper’ get away with it?

Ashton Kutcher thought he was looking at red wine stains, but really he was viewing the aftermath of a bloody struggle. Ashely Ellerin was found the next day by her roommate. She had been stabbed 47 times in a crime scene that investigators called unusually brutal.

Ellerin’s friends immediately knew who to name as a suspect—apparently they all knew Gargiulo was acting strangely, parking outside Ellerin’s apartment and staking out her home from his pickup truck. But even after her murder, there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him.

‘The Hollywood Ripper’ struck again

Michael Gargiulo trial
Michael Gargiulo trial | Al Seib/AFP/Getty Images

After close to two decades, there may finally be justice for Ashely Ellerin. Maria Bruno, another tenant living in the same building as Gargiulo, was stabbed to death in her bed on December 1, 2005. Her case went unsolved as well even though Gargiulo was a prime suspect.

But then came Michelle Murphy. When the Hollywood Ripper attacked her on April 28, 2008, she fought back and won. He managed to stab her 17 times, but she survived. The blood found in her apartment matched his DNA and eventually led to his arrest.

After Gargiulo was arrested, police charged him with the 1993 murder of 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio. According to the Daily Mail, prosecutors are calling Gargiulo “a serial, psycho-sexual thrill killer who engages in the systematic slaughter of beautiful women because he takes sexual pleasure from manipulating, stabbing and killing his victims.”

Gargiulo is pleading not guilty to all charges. Jury selection was completed this week and soon the prosecution and defense will deliver opening statements. Ashton Kutcher is expected to be called as a witness, and will hopefully help bring closure to this horrific case.