Four strikingly similar attacks on women in California and Illinois were all planned and executed by a skilled serial killer who studied the lives and homes of victims who lived near him before savagely stabbing them, a prosecutor said Tuesday. In his closing argument, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Garrett Dameron tried to establish that the killings of three women and the attempted killing of a fourth who fought him off were all the unmistakable work of 43-year-old Michael Gargiulo, the AP reports. All the attacks were bold but stealthy, Dameron said, coming at night inside or just outside the women's homes by a man with knowledge of the residences and the surrounding neighborhood, knowledge of the life patterns of the victims, and knowledge of how to kill quickly and cover his tracks. "Those similarities point to one man, one killer: Michael Gargiulo," Dameron said.
The killings involved dozens of deep stab wounds delivered by a strong man, Dameron said. In none of the cases was there evidence of a fight that preceded the stabbing, nor were the victims robbed or sexually assaulted, though prosecutors alleged that Gargiulo got a sexual thrill from the brutality of the killings. A murder weapon found in none of the attacks, and all victims were left in the spot where they were killed. "These were monstrous, torturous attacks, all four," Dameron said. "This was someone that was going to take pleasure in plunging a knife into their victim over and over." Dameron said Tuesday that some evidence is lacking because Gargiulo was an expert at getting rid of it, and had researched the subject, according to former friends, girlfriends, and co-workers who testified during the trial. (One victim was murdered just before her date with Ashton Kutcher, who testified in May.)