Ashton Kutcher Saw a "Wine Stain" Through a Window — That Turned Out to Be a Crime Scene

Ashton Kutcher went to the home of Ashley Ellerin on February 21, 2001 and saw a wine stain on the floor — but it wasn't wine

Emma Saletta - Author

Sep. 10 2023, Published 12:38 p.m. ET

Actor Ashton Kutcher went to go pick up Ashley Ellerin at her home to go out for drinks on February 21, 2001. The star's date's address was located within walking distance from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, incidentally. The lights were on, her car was in the driveway, but Ellerin wasn't answering the door.

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Kutcher peered through the window to see if she was around, but all he could see was a messy room, and what he thought was a wine stain on a rug. Ellerin did not answer his calls or her door, and the actor must have thought he got stood up! But that wasn't it at all.

Sadly, Ellerin was inside her home — but dead. One of her roommates found her the next day, having suffered 47 stab wounds. Kutcher eventually found out what happened, and was questioned by the police. It was during this time that he realized what the "wine stain" was, and life as he knew it would no longer be the same.

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What was the wine stain that Ashton Kutcher found? You already know the answer.

Kutcher, who thought he was looking into a messy room of Ellerin's home, complete with a wine stain, was actually looking at a crime scene and blood.

“I saw what I thought was red wine spilled on the carpet,” he said while testifying about the horrifying incident, albeit years later in 2019. “But that wasn’t alarming because I went to her house party [days before] and it was like a college party. I didn’t think much about it.”

However, at the time of the crime, he wasn't just freaking out about the blood stain. Kutcher knew police would find his DNA. As such, he'd taken it upon himself to reach out to the police before they could reach out to him.

“My fingerprints are on this door and I was freaking out,” he testified. “I told [an officer], ‘Let me tell you what happened.'”

He was ruled out as a suspect shortly afterward.

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Michael Gargiulo was responsible for the "wine stain" that Ashton Kutcher thought he saw.

Nicknamed the "Hollywood Ripper," Michael Gargiulo was on trial not only for the murder of Ellerin, but for the murder of Maria Bruno in 2005, and the attempted murder of Michelle Murphy in 2008. He pled not guilty to all of the crimes, including the Ellerin murder.

Gargiulo was eventually convicted on all counts in a California courtroom and was sentenced to death. He is currently on death row at San Quentin State Prison, but has yet to stand trial for the 1993 murder of Tricia Pacaccio. This killing took place in Illinois, and he could face a 25-year sentence in addition to his current sentence.

For his part, Kutcher has not spoken out about his proximity to the slaying since testifying. He and wife Mila Kunis got caught up in another scandal after writing character letters on behalf of actor Danny Masterson, who was found guilty of raping two women, and now faces a sentence of 30 years in prison.

The power couple's apology video released after the letters went public did not sit well with many fans.

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