Alfredo Galan Psychology: Why Did He Become Killer?

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The chilling tale of the Playing Card Killer, which unfolded in early 2000s Spain, continues to captivate and mystify to this day. Despite a confession, the authorities faced a challenging task in proving the guilt of the perpetrator beyond a reasonable doubt. The absence of a clear motive behind the killings presented a significant obstacle, making it difficult for law enforcement to apprehend the elusive killer. This article delves into the perplexing case, examining the evidence, discrepancies, and various theories surrounding the accused, Alfredo Galan Sotillo.

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The series of murders began with the discovery of a victim near a bus stop in Alameda de Osuna on February 5, 2003, followed by another killing that same day in a bar in Alcala de Henares. Alfredo Galan, who ultimately became the prime suspect, initially confessed to the crimes but later recanted, asserting that he was coerced into taking the blame. According to Alfredo, he provided weapons to the actual perpetrators, who threatened harm to his sister if he did not assume responsibility for the murders. This assertion cast doubt on his guilt and raised questions about the true nature of his involvement.

Inconsistent Evidence

Alfredo’s trial resulted in a sentence of 142 years in prison, yet upon closer examination, discrepancies within the presented evidence emerge. While a cartridge found at Alfredo’s residence matched the bullet retrieved from one of the crime scenes, his DNA was conspicuously absent from the victims. Additionally, the ink used to mark playing cards, which Alfredo claimed to have employed, did not match the markings found on the cards associated with the murders. The most significant missing piece of evidence was the gun allegedly used by Alfredo, a Tokarev firearm he claimed to have stolen during his time in Bosnia. Despite an extensive search, the weapon was never recovered, leaving room for uncertainty.

The Possibility of Conspiracy

The notion that Alfredo might not have acted alone or that he merely supplied the gun to others involved cannot be entirely discounted. Governments, eager to dispel conspiracy theories and uphold public confidence, often seek to ensure the capture of a singular perpetrator. In the case of the Playing Card Killer, while a specific motive could not be definitively determined, exploring Alfredo’s personal history provides potential triggers for such predatory behavior. It is worth noting a story he wrote from prison featuring a character who was bullied due to his homosexuality. This narrative suggests the possibility that Alfredo himself may have experienced bullying, potentially leaving deep-seated anger and resentment that manifested later in life. The psychological impact of his military service and mental health issues, including anxiety and aggression, further compound the complexity of the case.

Psychological Profiling

Psychiatrists involved in the investigation noted Alfredo’s predatory instinct, complete disregard for human life, and narcissistic tendencies. They opined that the killer exhibited personality traits incongruent with Alfredo’s known profile, leading them to believe he may have been truthful in denying direct involvement in the murders. Nonetheless, they concluded that Alfredo suffered from some form of mental disorder. Psychometric and projective tests revealed a stark contrast between how he perceived himself and the reality of his life, indicating a deep-seated resentment stemming from unfulfilled aspirations. There were also suggestions that Alfredo’s association with individuals espousing far-right ideologies may have influenced his perspectives, although a direct link to the victims and their conflicts with his beliefs remains unestablished.


The case of the Playing Card Killer, embodied by Alfredo Galan Sotillo, remains a perplexing enigma. Despite a confession, doubts persist regarding his actual role in the murders and the presence of additional perpetrators. Inconsistencies within the evidence presented, along with Alfredo’s psychological complexities and potential external influences, contribute to the ambiguity surrounding the case. Ultimately, the true motivations and extent of Alfredo’s involvement in the heinous crimes may forever remain shrouded in uncertainty, leaving us to grapple with a haunting tale of a notorious killer and the mysteries that surround him.

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Author: Youngistan Junction

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