Alfredo Galán Sotillo (born April 5,
1978) is a Spanish serial killer who killed six people and wounded
three from January 4 - March 18, 2003.
Alfredo Galán was born in Puertollano, province
of Ciudad Real, Castile-La Mancha, Spain. Galán became class
president in high school, but was remembered as unremarkable and
introverted. In September 1998, he joined the Spanish Army and
became a corporal in the Parachute Regiment of Alcalá de Henares
and participated in humanitarian missions in Bosnia. He was sent
back to Spain during the Prestige oil spill.
Galán stole a car and was sent to the Gómez
Ulla Military Hospital in Madrid. He was diagnosed with neurosis
and anxiety and continued drinking. In March 2003, he began
working as a security guard at Madrid–Barajas Airport.
On January 24, 2003, Galán shot 50-year-old
Juan Francisco Ledesma in the head in front of his 2-year-old son.
On February 5, the body of 28-year-old airport
cleaner Juan Carlos Martín Estacio was found shot in the head with
an ace of cups nearby.
On March 7, 2003, 27-year-old Santiago Eduardo
Salas was shot in the face by Galán, but survived. Salas's friend,
29-year-old Anahid Castillo Ruperti, was able to escape unharmed.
A three of cups was dropped at the scene. It was not originally
his intention for playing cards to be his "signature". He only
began leaving cards after the media sensationalized the fact that
a card had been found by a victim's body.
On July 3, 2003, Galán surrendered at a police
station and confessed to being "The Playing Card Killer". It was
reported that in some of the murders, Galán had wished his victims
good morning and ordered them to kneel before shooting them. He
smuggled the gun into Spain by hiding it in a television set.
He was sentenced to 142 years and three months
Alfredo Galán Sotillo, better known as the "Murderer of the deck
of cards", is a serial killer
convicted to 142 years and three months for six murders and three
attempts of homicide.
He killed his victims with a Tokarev TT-33 gun he brought to Spain
from Bosnia when he
was a military, he is famous for his curious way of marking his
murders with playing cards.
Alfredo Galán Sotillo, native from Puertollano, was born on April
5, 1978, he studied the
Educación Básica General (Basic general education) in school and
later the Bachillerato
Unificado Polivalente (high school diploma) in an institute where
he was a representative
of his class. His teachers remember him as a none remarkable and
September 1998 he joined the army, where he turned into first
officer in the Parachutist
Brigade of Alcalá de Henares, he participated in two humanitarian
missions in Bosnia. In
2003, after the Prestige's catastrophe in Galicia, his unit was
moved from Bosnia and sent
to clean the oil spill.
After stealing a car, he started to have
problems with his superiors. He
was later sent to hospital Gómez Ulloa in Madrid where he was
diagnosed with neurosis
and anxiety, and even though his medication was incompatible with
alcohol, he kept
drinking, and during March 2003, he was definitively discharged,
the same month he
started working as a security guard in Barajas' airport, when
fights and discussions started
he knew his boss wouldn't allow him to stay too long in the army
and was already looking
Galán demonstrated to be a good marksman in his six murders and
three attempts. All of
his victims were killed at point-blank range, which explains why
they didn't react. He
always shot them in the head, the nape or the back.
His first victim (February 5, 2003) was a 18
year old man who was waiting for the bus in a station, near
Barajas. On his side he left an ace of cups and so he did in all
of his other murders. This was the signing that led to his name.
Forensics who intervened in the ninth session
of the trial agreed in something; the person who shot the victims
did it from a very short distance, almost at a point-blank range.
It is showed, in fact, that when you shoot from a point-blank
range the gunpowder burns the entrance orifice of the gun. There
also are metallic rests coming from the fulminating and, when it
touches the bone, produces a loud explosion in the skeletal area.
Furthermore, the smoke of detonation stains the area near the
Experts who made the autopsy of Juan Francisco Ledesma, agreed
that the bullet had
entered through the occipital region -the back part of the head-
and came out near the
right eye, which killed him instantly. The shot was carried out in
direction parallel to the
ground. Experts, reaffirmed that the shot could have been carried
out with the victim on
his knees, details that would have been given by the killer, when
he gave in on July, 2003. A
notch in the main square of the room, coming from the projectile,
Juan Carlos Martín Estacio was killed with the same modus
operandi. He died from a shot
in the head, performed by the back and a course parallel to the
floor. The murders from
Alcalá de Henares were also performed directly. The son of the bar
Rojas' owner, Mikel
Jiménez Sánchez, died by a shot that entered the temporal area,
went out through the
left area and embedded in the shoulder.
Juana Dolores Uclés was shot in the superior area of the right
eye. As with everybody else,
the shot was mortal. A marriage murdered composed by George y
Diona Magda, was
surprised in a dark passageway. The man was shot first from a
lateral of his back. His wife,
shocked, turned around and tried to protect herself with her left
arm. Alfredo shot her
three more times. Two of the projectiles reached her head with a
distance of four
centimetres. She died two days later. The course of bullets was
lightly downwards, as if
they were carried out from a high altitude.
Galán Sotillo is 1.90 m. The homicidal weapon is a Tokarev TT-33,
caliber 7.62. The convicted
man said that he threw it at some garbage dump in Puertollano.
Eduardo Salas turned out
injured, caused by a shot on his face on March 7, 2003, when he
was with a friend, Anahid C,
in Viñuelas de Tres Cantos avenue. Suddenly, a tall man approached
to them, he pulled out
a gun and shot him once in the face. The bullet entered through
his right cheek and came
out through the back part of his neck. The victim broke down to
the floor, bleeding
plentifully. Alfredo got closer to the victim's companion with the
intention of executing
another shot but the Tokarev jammed. The woman kneed and protected
her head with
her arms. Alfredo threw a Dos de Copas card next to his victim.
July 3, Alfredo Galán
Sotillo gave himself up during the afternoon where he confessed
that he was the
murderer of the playing cards.
Alfredo Galán's trial was full of irregularities, due to constant
changes in the declarations
of the accused. On September 10, he changed his version in front
of examining judge in
number 10 Magistrate Court of Madrid, exposing the reasons why he
had confessed being
the murderer; he did it just because a neonazi had threatened him
with killing his sisters if
he didn't blame himself. He claims that he sold the gun, before
the murders, to the group
of the aforesaid neonazi. This declaration wasn't considered by
confession, a cartridge coming from the gunshot that killed the
doorman was found.
Clothes wore for crimes were also found. The sudden stop of
homicides after his arrest,
the identification made by survivors and the fact that he had been
in Bosnia, where he
supposedly bought the weapon used in murders were all relevant
datum provided to trial.
Trial & Sentence
Madrid's Provincial Audience (Audiencia Provincial de Madrid)
Alfredo Galán to 142 years and 3 months in jail for killing six
persons, and three attempts, in
the Community of Madrid.
The tribunal accorded to take expected
sentences to the limits
due to evident disdain for human life exposed by the accused. At
any rate, and according
to the Spanish law, the "deck of cards murderer" will not serve
more than 25 years
imprison. To condemn Alfredo Galán, the sentence first starts
value" of confession made by the accused after giving himself up
to Puertollano's Local
Police on July 3, 2003, he later recognized the facts in front of
Examining Judge, but
denied them when he declared in number 10 Magistrate Court of
Madrid. He only admitted
buying the gun and illegally introducing it in Spain.
was found in his parents'
house, despite that he claimed to have sold it to someone he knew
on January, 2003.
According to Ballistics, projectiles did derive from the aforesaid
gun. Court considered that
these facts and confession of accused (besides other details that
have not been revealed
yet), incriminate the prisoner.
Furthermore, judges considered Galán's silence a
reaffirmation of his culpability. Sentence does not claim any type
of psychiatric pathology
in Alfredo Galán, and exempts the State of public liability. The
Court based the exemption
of the State in the fact that crimes weren't committed in a
establishment of state
ownership and that the weapon used wasn't the official nor the
perpetrated while he was in charge, just as the law requires.
According to the sentence,
Galán will have to compensate families of victims, including those
who survived, with a
total of 609.182 euros for moral damage and injuries. During the
trial, a policeman said that
Galán always wished his victims a "good morning" and asked them to
"please" kneel before
shooting them because "education is the first thing in life".
According to the psychistric's
inform that examined the now convicted man, Alfredo Galán is "a
human predatory that
goes out hunting man to humiliate and kill them". Experts assured
then that this type of
behavior it is only seen in nature, so it should be studied by the
social branch, not
Source: Wikipedia en Español
Marta Morales Urcola - [email protected]
Alfredo Galán: the story of a Spanish serial
Killer that left a card from a deck next to each of his victims
April 29, 2014
Serial killer Alfredo Galán Sotillo faces
spending the rest of his life behind bars for gunning down six
people in cold blood.
The murderer picked his victims at random and
left a playing card on each of their bodies as Celia Alonso
Alfredo Galán Sotillo was born April 5 1978 in
He was an introvert child, never causing any
problems at school and went on to join the Spanish Army in
He became the Corporal in the Paratrooper
Brigade and later headed to Bosnia to do humanitarian work and was
happy helping people who had suffered in the Balkan War.
A turning point came in 2003, when Alfredo
Galan was sent with his fellow soldiers to help clean up the
Galician coast, which had been polluted following the sinking of
the oil tanker Prestige.
Apparently Alfredo Galan was unhappy about
doing this environmental work and it was in Galicia, where he
committed his first crime – stealing a car, which led him to be
chased by his superiors in the army.
In the same year, Alfredo was admitted to a hospital in Madrid,
where doctors assessed his mental state. They confirmed that Galán
Sotillo suffered neurosis and and anxiety and he was prescribed
medication. Unfortunately Alredo would mix this with alcohol,
which acted against his medication.
As a result, Alfredo was expelled from the
Spanish army, although he did quickly find a job as a security
guard at Madrid airport.
Soon after though, Alfredo became a serial
murderer – picking his victims at random, as if he was playing a
card game. His weapon of choice was a Tokarev gun that he had
brought back from Bosnia.
His first victim was an innocent 18-year-old
who was just standing at the wrong place at the wrong time – a bus
stop in Madrid. After shooting him dead, Alfredo left an “Ace of
Cups” card next to the body.
He used the same modus operandi with his second
victim, a man called Juan Carlos Martín Estacio, who he shot in
the head before leaving a playing card next to the corpse.
Later the serial killer went to Alcala de
Henares, perhaps to escape central Madrid, where the media were
talking a lot about the enigmatic “Murderer of the Card”.
It was here that Alfredo committed his most
heinous crimes – the murder of Mikel Jimenez Sanchez and Juana
Dolores Uclés, who was shot directly through her eye.
Alfredo then went on to kill Romanian couple
George and Doina Magda, shooting George first in the back before
shooting his wife at close range, while she cowered, covering her
Alfredo then tried to kill a further three
people, but his shots missed his intended targets and they
survived. Interestingly, the murderer left next to these people
who survived, several cards of “2 Cups”.
After this Alfredo, perhaps tired of killing or
feeling he had achieved his twisted goal, decided to surrender to
local police in his hometown of Puertollano. There he confessed to
being the famous “Murderer of the Card.”
Some days later after pleading guilty, Alfredo
continually changed his version of events, at one point saying he
had not killed anyone, and claiming that a Nazi had carried out
the murders and threatened to kill Alfredo’s sisters if he didn’t
take the blame – a statement which was not given any credibility
by the judge.
Alfredo “The Murderer of the Card” was
sentenced by the Provincial Court of Madrid to 142 years and three
months in prison for six charges of murder and three charges of
Spain's 'card deck' killer jailed
March 9, 2005
A Spanish serial killer known for leaving playing cards on the
corpses of some of his victims has been given jail sentences
totalling 142 years.
Former soldier Alfredo Galan, 26, was convicted of six murders
and three attempted murders, in shooting attacks around Madrid in
His killing spree lasted from January until March before he
turned himself in to police in July that year.
Galan, dubbed the "playing card killer" by the Spanish press,
Most of his sentences will run concurrently as the maximum jail
term under Spanish law is 20 years for non-terrorism cases.
Galan, who served as a Spanish peacekeeper in the Balkans, is
reported to have told police he wanted "to know what it felt like
to kill". In the event, he had felt only indifference, the court
He had initially confessed to the killings but later withdrew
the statement and tried to implicate two other men, claiming he
had sold them the murder weapon.
According to a police witness during the trial, Galan always
said hello to his victims and asked them if they could "please"
kneel down before he shot them, as he thought "politeness is most
important in life", El Mundo newspaper reported.
The paper says the court ordered Galan to pay 609,182 euros
(£422,983) to his victims' families.
Alfredo Galán Sotillo