The so-called “Hollywood Ripper” was sentenced to death on Friday (17/7) for the murder of two women in the early 2000s, one of whom was the girlfriend of actor Ashton Kutcher.
Los Angeles County High Court Judge Paul Fitler has convicted air conditioner handyman Michael Thomas Curciulo of being an “air conditioner killer”.
Curciulo confirmed his claim of innocence during the trial. But he was convicted in the murder of 22-year-old fashion student Ashley Ellerin, who was murdered at his Hollywood home in 2001 as he prepared to date Kutcher.
The star of the series “The Ranch”, “Two and a Half Men” and “That’s 70 Show” even testified at the 2019 trial, telling how he went to the victim’s home moments after he died.
Kutcher testified that he had arranged to go out with Eller on the evening of February 21, 2001, and that he had last spoken with her at 8 pm that day and had confirmed the meeting.
Police believe the young woman was killed shortly after hanging up the phone and was surprised by Curciulo when he came out of the bath. The accused is said to have stabbed the victim at least 47 times before fleeing.
At 11pm, the actor came to Eller’s house and rang the doorbell. Unanswered, he noticed that there were lights in the apartment and peeked into the living room through the window, where he noticed a red stain on the carpet, but thought it was red wine. “It did not surprise me because I went to a party at her house a few days ago. It was a mess. I did not think twice,” he commented in his testimony.
In fact, it was the blood of a 22-year-old man.
The next day, according to Kutcher, the police tried to search for him, as her roommate had found Eller’s body. The actor admitted that the police considered him a suspect and that he “went into panic”.
The murder investigation was recently completed when police discovered links between the crime and other attacks, thanks to DNA evidence pointed to by Michael Carcio.
Curciullo is accused of stabbing 32-year-old Maria Bruno in 2005 in El Monte, California.
Another victim, 26 – year – old Michael Murphy, was arrested in 2008 when he escaped from an attack on his home in Santa Monica, California.
Police still suspect he may have killed other women.