Alfredo Galán

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Alfredo Galán Sotillo
Alfredo Galán Sotillo

(1978-04-05) April 5, 1978 (age 41)
Other names
  • The Playing Card Killer
  • The Deck of Cards Killer
OccupationSecurity guard
Criminal penalty142 years and 3 months in prison
Span of crimes
January 4, 2003–March 18, 2003
Date apprehended
July 3, 2003

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.

Early life[edit]

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.[1]


On January 24, 2003, Galán shot 50-year-old Juan Francisco Ledesma in the head in front of his 2-year-old son.[1] 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.[2] 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.[1][3] 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.[4]


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.[1] He had smuggled the gun into Spain by hiding it in a television set.[3]

He was sentenced to 142 years and three months in prison.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "La parte oscura de la mente: Alfredo Galán Sotillo -El Asesino de la Baraja-". El Observador del Mundo (in Spanish). August 19, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  2. ^ "Varias hipótesis para un solo crimen". El País (in Spanish). Madrid: Prisa. February 10, 2003. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  3. ^ a b ""Buenos días, arrodíllese", pum, pum El Asesino de la Baraja en la Audiencia Provincial de Madrid". adeGüello (in Spanish). March 2005. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  4. ^ Arencibia, Frank A. (2003). Spain: Paradox of Values/Contrasts of Confusion: A Foreigner's Personal Perspective. iUniverse. p. 106. ISBN 9780595298808.