Pics of Ashton Kutcher’s ex-girlfriend revealed ahead of murder trial
EXCLUSIVE: Ashton Kutcher’s ex-girlfriend lived an idyllic life revealed in rare high school photos years before her murder – as her grief-stricken parents are spotted ahead of the long-awaited trial of her ‘Hollywood Ripper’ killer
- Michael Gargiulo, the ‘Hollywood Ripper’, 43, will go on trial May 2 facing two counts of murder and one of attempted murder
- He is accused of fatally stabbing Ashley Ellerin, 22, in her home in 2001 – who at the time was dating actor Ashton Kutcher
- High school photos obtained by DailyMailTV show Ashley beaming as she grew up in the Silicon Valley town of Los Altos
- Her grief-stricken father Michael Ellerin, 67, and mother Cynthia Ellerin, 70, were spotted walking their dogs near their home ahead of the trial
- The family are hoping for closure in the long-awaited trial, where Kutcher has been named as a potential witness in the case
- Gargiulo is believed to have killed up to 10 women, including Maria Bruno, 32, in 2005 and 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio in 1993
- He was roaming free until 2008 when he allegedly attacked Michelle Murphy, who fought him off and survived after she was stabbed 17 times
- DNA samples from the attack connected him to the three murders and he was arrested in 2008 and has been awaiting trial
- Gargiulo has pled both not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity
Ashley Ellerin, 22, was fatally stabbed in her Hollywood Hills home in 2001. She was dating Ashton Kutcher at the time
Years before Ashton Kutcher’s former girlfriend was stabbed to death, Ashley Ellerin had an idyllic upbringing in the Silicon Valley town of Los Altos.
In rare high school photos exclusively obtained by DailyMailTV, Ashley is seen beaming for the camera, while her yearbook reveals she was a member of the swimming and waterpolo teams and served as class council treasurer during her junior year.
This is a sight that is utterly at odds with the horrific and untimely way in which she died in 2001.
The fashion student was just 22 when she was discovered by her housemate with 47 stab wounds – 12 of them fatal.
It took over seven years for air conditioner repairman Michael Gargiulo, now 43, to be identified as a suspect in Ashley’s killing.
And it has taken over 10 more years since then for alleged serial killer Gargiulo – dubbed the Hollywood Ripper – to finally go on trial Thursday charged with two murders and one attempted murder after years of legal wrangling.
Meanwhile, Ashley’s former newspaper executive father Michael, 67, mother Cynthia, 70, and brother Seth, 36, will be hoping the trial can bring them closure.
Her grief-stricken family were spotted near their Southern California home by DailyMailTV in the run up to the trial, revealing the toll that the long wait for justice has had on them all.
High school photos obtained by DailyMailTV show Ashley beaming as she grew up in the Silicon Valley town of Los Altos
Ashley’s grief-stricken father Michael Ellerin, 67, and mother Cynthia Ellerin, 70, were spotted by DailyMailTV walking their dogs near their California home
The parents are hoping for some closure ahead of the murder trial of Michael Gargiulo, now 43, who is identified as the prime suspect in Ashley’s killing
Ashley’s father (left) and brother Seth, 36, (right) have waited nearly two decades for justice to be served, as the murder trial for the ‘Hollywood Ripper’ begins Thursday May 2
In one poignant photo from Ashley’s yearbook she appears with glasses and looking inquisitive, alongside the caption: ‘FLASHBACK. Ashley Ellerin takes time out from her hectic schedule to talk with a friend during brunch.’
Michael Gargiulo, the ‘Hollywood Ripper’, 43, will go on trial May 2 facing two counts of murder and one of attempted murder
In another group shot she radiates with a smile while her arms are draped around her classmates.
But now her parents can be seen grim-faced as they go about their business and walk the family’s dogs.
The Ellerins will likely be anxious to hear what Ashton has to say about his role on the night that Ashley was killed.
On February 21, 2001, he had arranged to attend a post-Grammy Awards party with his girlfriend, who he had met through mutual friends.’
That 70s Show star, now a 41-year-old dad-of-two, is set to take the stand after being named as a potential witness for the prosecution during what is expected to be a mammoth six-month trial.
Legal experts believe he might be able to help the prosecution to establish the timeline of Ashley’s murder, but also sway the jury with his star power.
If he does give evidence it will be the first time Ashton has spoken publicly at any length about what happened to Ashley, who also reportedly dated actors Vin Diesel and Jeremy Sisto.
On the night of her murder, Ashton went to Ashley’s home just north of Hollywood Boulevard to pick her up but she never answered.
He told police at the time that he looked through the French windows and spotted a red stain on the floor but assumed that a pool of Ashley’s blood was spilled wine and left.
In their only interview – back in 2004, long before Gargiulo was arrested – it was claimed the Ellerins wished Ashton had tried harder to check if she was at home to give police a better chance of catching her killer.
The family also revealed back then that the Hollywood hunk had never got in touch with them following Ashley’s death.
Michael told In Touch magazine: ‘It would have been nice if he had contacted us or sent flowers. But that is a small issue.’
In Ashley’s yearbook she appears with glasses and looking inquisitive, alongside the caption that reads: ‘FLASHBACK. Ashley Ellerin takes time out from her hectic schedule to talk with a friend during brunch’
Ashley is pictured with the Los Altos High School water polo team in 1994, just seven years before her untimely death
In another group shot, Ashley radiated with a smile while her arms are draped around her classmates. She served as class council treasurer during her junior year
Ashley is pictured with the Los Altos High School swimming team during her sophomore year
A source close to the family, who asked to remain anonymous, said they were also deeply hurt by false claims made by a childhood friend about Ashley.
They told DailyMailTV: ‘Ashley’s been dead for 18 years and the family hasn’t had any sort of closure.
‘They have been through ungodly amounts of pain because of this. Especially because it has taken so long.
‘They have been dragged through the mud and Ashley’s credibility has been smeared.
‘While she may have done some of the stuff that was revealed it doesn’t make her a bad person.
‘It doesn’t mean that she deserved to be stabbed 47 times.
‘There’s a slant that this is the kind of thing that happens to immoral people and it’s totally not true.’
In a tell-all memoir Ashley’s childhood pal Carolyn Murnick wrote how her friend had been transformed from a small town middle class teenager into a Hollywood hell raiser.
In the book Murnick writes: ‘Ashley was beautiful and wild and teased men and used them and danger came knocking.’
The source added: ‘There was not necessarily a whole lot of good feeling towards Carolyn’s book.
‘The family were very upset about how she told the story because she was talking about things that you do in your youth that may not be wise.
‘She didn’t really paint a great picture of Ashley and a lot of it was inconsistent. There’s an issue with some of the details.
‘There was a lot of truth in Carolyn’s book but there were some facts where maybe Ashley misspoke or embellished.’
Asked if she wanted to respond to the source’s claims, Carolyn said: ‘I’m declining to comment on this.’
Ashton Kutcher has been named as a potential witness in Ashley Ellerin’s murder after he claimed to have gone to her home the night of the murder but she never answered the door
These court documents obtained by DailyMailTV show that Ashton Kutcher has been named as a potential witness in the case
Gargiulo earned the nickname ‘Hollywood Ripper’ for his alleged crimes, as police believe he has killed up to 10 women
In addition to Ashley’s murder, Gargiulo is also accused of stabbing his 32-year-old neighbor Maria Bruno to death at her home in El Monte, California, in December 2005.
He was arrested in Santa Monica in April 2008 after he allegedly attempted to murder his neighbor Michelle Murphy.
DNA taken at the scene allowed police to link him to Ashley and Maria’s deaths.
Gargiulo is also facing a first-degree murder charge in Illinois over the murder of his 18-year-old neighbor Tricia Pacaccio in August 1993.
Homicide detectives who worked on the case in LA believe that he may have been behind the deaths of up to 10 women.
Gargiulo has pled both not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges against him.
It means he denies the charges and, even if he did commit the crimes he is accused of, he claims he is insane.
Prosecutors are asking for him to be sentenced to death if found guilty.
Legal experts believe that Ashton may play a key role if he does take to the witness stand and may even have subpoenaed him to appear.
LA-based legal analyst Royal Oakes said: ‘Ashton could be helpful to the prosecution for their timeline and to put together the pieces of the puzzle.
‘Sometimes prosecutors want to humanize a victim and tell the story of their life, try to get the jury to appreciate the gravity of the alleged crime.’
Gargiulo is believed to have killed up to 10 women, including Maria Bruno, 32,(right) in 2005 and 18-year-old Tricia Pacaccio in 1993(left)
Gargiulo was roaming free until 2008 when he allegedly attacked Michelle Murphy, who fought him off and survived after she was stabbed 17 times
Oakes said: ‘To the extent that they had a relationship and he might say nice things about her, that might be of interest to prosecutors.
‘He might be able to add texture and make the whole thing resonate more for the jury.
‘The jury might have some folks on it that are fans of Ashton Kutcher. That’s a possible benefit to involving him.
‘I can see how the prosecution might have felt strongly enough about it to try to subpoena Ashton.’
Commenting on why there may have been such a long delay to Gargiulo’s case, Mr Oakes added: ‘It does seem strange that so many years have gone by.
‘Sometimes years go by without much happening because the authorities want to continue to investigate or the defense is not inclined to assist with a speedy trial.
‘Sometimes defendants want time to develop a defense or feel like that something might change.
‘It could have something to do with the defendant’s plea of insanity. That can take a long time with a long, drawn-out process of psychiatric evaluation.’
Source: Read Full Article