Where Is Alfredo Galán Sotillo Now? Netflix Documentary Sparks Public Interest

Alfredo Galán Sotillo is widely known as 'The Playing Card Killer,' but where is this famous serial killer now, 20 years after he was caught?


Jun. 9 2023, Published 12:49 p.m. ET

Thanks to our never-ending obsession with true crime, a wide array of different murderers are getting extensive docuseries or even miniseries that focus on their various crimes. The latest killer to get the documentary treatment is Alfredo Galán Sotillo, or "The Playing Card Killer," whose documentary The Playing Card Killer is set to hit Netflix on June 9, 2023.

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Now that there's a documentary focused on Sotillo, many want to know what happened to him and where he is almost 20 years after he committed his crimes. Keep reading for all the details.

Where is Alfredo Galán Sotillo now?

Sotillo was an excellent student, and eventually joined the Spanish military. While there, he stole a car and was eventually diagnosed with neurosis and anxiety. He developed a drinking habit, and by 2003, he was working as a security guard at an airport in Madrid. In 2003, Sotillo went on a killing spree, killed six victims, and injured three other people. A playing card of one sort or another was left next to the victims, and this became his signature.

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Playing cards became Sotillo's signature after he inadvertently left one at the scene, and the media reacted very strongly to it. His killing spree only lasted for about six months. In July 2003, he surrendered at a police station and confessed to being the "Playing Card Killer." It was reported that, in some of the cases, he had greeted his victims and asked them to kneel before he shot them.

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Sotillo also said that he had smuggled his gun into Spain in a television set.

Sotillo was sentenced to 142 years and 3 months in prison for his confessed crimes, but because of the criminal laws in Spain, he will be eligible for release as early as this year, 20 years after his sentence. At 45 years old in 2023, if Sotillo is released, he will likely be closely monitored for the rest of his life.

Netflix's synopsis of the documentary suggests that Sotillo will serve a maximum of 25 years, and will be released when he is 52 years old. This may seem insane to Americans familiar with a criminal justice system that most often locks repeated murderers up for life. Spain's criminal code is intentionally redemptive, and seems to work with inmates to try and integrate them back into society.

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Currently, Sotillo is serving his sentence Madrid prison of Soto del Real. Thanks in part to the playing cards, he is widely known throughout Spain as a mass murderer. Although he isn't out of prison yet, he could be soon. Given the renewed attention he's receiving thanks to the Netflix docuseries, it's likely that many will be reminded about the crimes he committed 20 years ago.

The Playing Card Killer is seeking to reframe Sotillo's story, according to Netflix. Instead of focusing solely on Sotillo, it will feature testimony from survivors who will reclaim their place in the narrative surrounding this famous case.

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