CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–July 7, 2011. A man currently awaiting trial in California for the murders of two women and a violent attack on a third has been charged with the murder of Tricia Pacaccio, an 18-year-old Glenview resident who was stabbed multiple times outside of her north suburban home in 1993 in a murder case that became the focus of a long-term cold case investigation by the Cook County State’s Attorney and the Cook County Sheriff, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced today.
Michael Gargiulo, now 35, lived in unincorporated Glenview just one block from Tricia Pacaccio when the murder took place 18 years ago. He has now been charged with First Degree Murder in connection with her brutal slaying by way of a criminal complaint filed by Cook County prosecutors late Wednesday.
Cook County authorities have been investigating the slaying of Pacaccio since it occurred in the early morning hours of Aug. 14, 1993 when she was found murdered outside the side entrance of the family residence in unincorporated Glenview. She sustained 12 stab wounds to her chest and torso area in the violent assault and her body was discovered by her father on the driveway of the family’s home the following morning.
Prosecutors have been investigating Gargiulo as a potential assailant in the crime for many years and had developed evidence in the investigation, but were unable to secure sufficient DNA and corroborative evidence that could exclusively link him to the crime and enable prosecutors to bring charges and prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In May of 2011 the State’s Attorney’s Office, as part of efforts in the continuing cold case investigation, participated in a CBS 48 Hours Mystery television investigative episode which profiled Gargiulo’s crimes in California and his potential link to the Pacaccio homicide in Cook County. As a result of the airing of the television program, two new witnesses came forward who had worked with Gargiulo at a bar and grill in Hollywood California in the late 1990s.
According to prosecutors, the witnesses indicated that Gargiulo had admitted that he killed a girl in Chicago and that he made several statements regarding the murder of Tricia Pacaccio, including that he had “stabbed up the girl,” and “left the bitch on the step for dead.” The additional third-party admissions, coupled with the existing evidence, enabled prosecutors to bring the charge forward, according to Alvarez.
“We have never given up on Tricia Pacaccio or her family and their search for justice in this case,” Alvarez said. “It has been a very difficult and challenging investigation, but we are extremely pleased to be finally bringing this charge and hopefully providing some measure of closure to a family that has been devastated by a violent crime that no one should have to endure.”
Gargiulo is currently incarcerated in the Los Angeles County Jail after being arrested by Santa Monica authorities in 2008 for the stabbing and attempted murder of a woman there. He is also charged with the murders of two women in California which occurred in 2001 and 2005.
Alvarez thanked the prosecutors from the State’s Attorney’s Cold Case Unit for their dedicated service and committed investigation of the case.