Reality stranger than fiction as ASHTON KUTCHER will have a chance to put an alleged serial killer on death row!

The star is expected to testify in the trial of Michael Thomas Gargiulo, who’s accused of murdering Ashton’s then-girlfriend, 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin, on Feb. 21, 2001. Since then, the number of victims has grown to four, and cops suspect he may have butchered up to a dozen women!

Gargiulo moved to L.A. after living – and killing – in Chicago, according to evidence uncovered by The National ENQUIRER. He lived within 400 feet of Ashley. According to court documents, Gargiulo entered her home while she was showering, and stabbed her 47 times.

“He slashed Ms. Ellerin’s throat so violently [he] nearly decapitated her,” the docs said. “After she was murdered her body was left displayed in a … demeaning pose that was sexual in nature.”

Gargiulo’s next known victim, Maria Bruno, prosecutors said, was newly separated, and had moved into an apartment less than 100 feet from Gargiulo’s home shortly before her Dec. 1, 2005 murder.

According to court papers, “Gargiulo quite literally butchered her body – stabbing her multiple times, slitting her throat, slicing off her breasts, and staging her for family members and police to find.”

Still, it would take years and another horrendous attack before cops nabbed him.

In April 2008, Michelle Murphy cracked her living room window open for some air and went to bed. Gargiulo scaled her building and entered her home through that window, cops said. As the sicko stabbed her in the arms and chest, she kicked him. Gargiulo cut his wrist and fled, according to police.

His blood matched DNA at the scene of the previous L.A. attacks. After Michelle identified him as the assailant, he was finally charged.

The latest victim linked to Gargiulo was likely his first. Tricia Pacaccio, 18, was stabbed to death in Glenview, Ill., in August 1993. Like his other alleged victims, Tricia was left in a grotesque pose with no sign of sexual assault.

Prosecutors call Gargiulo “a serial, psychosexual thrill killer who engages in the systematic slaughter of beautiful women because he takes sexual pleasure from manipulating, stabbing and killing
his victims.”

Gargiulo’s trial is expected to begin in the next few months.