Alfredo Galán: the story of a Spanish serial Killer that left a card from a deck next to each of his victims

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 reports.


Alfredo Galán Sotillo was born April 5 1978 in Puertollano, Spain.

He was an introvert child, never causing any problems at school and went on to join the Spanish Army in September 1998.

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.


Picture of Alfredo Galán

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.


Image of some cards as the ones that Alfredo used

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 head.

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.”

alf galan

Alfredo in his way to the court in a police car

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 attempted murder.


from Tside