‘The Playing Card Killer’ Episode 2 Recap & Ending: Alfredo Galan Sotillo Surrendered Himself

The first episode of the three-part documentary was about the police finding a breakthrough in the form of a 7.62 Tokarev cartridge, a bullet found in every murder carried out by The Playing Card Killer. This will help the police investigation get a hold of the killer. What is their game plan from here on? The second episode begins with Teresa Sanchez describing what happened on that day when she lost her son The pain with which Teresa describes the ordeal of being faced with death is palpable, and as an audience member, one can empathize with her for having witnessed the death of her only son. The way she recollects the memory, it is easy to conclude that the bereaved mother is still not over her his death.

With the Tokarev bullet recovered from the first scene of the crime, the police are on the hunt to look for bullets that were used on other victims, and the ballistic reports confirmed the use of a 7.62 Tokarev cartridge on all of them. The police were not keen on sharing this information with the media because they did not want to create any hysteria around it and, most importantly, not alert the culprit of their findings. Their move comes across as the safest bet they took, for they do not want to give any reason for the murderer to disappear. As an audience member, one feels this would probably be the only way to get closer to the killer. The other pattern picked up was that the killer would kill his targets every ten to twenty days. Initial investigations might have concluded that there was no pattern, and he chases random people as his victims. 

The sketch created based on the information provided by the survivor who approached them is concluded to be contradictory because two different sketches came out of the description given by Teresa and Ana. This was bound to happen because the killer might not have approached the victims as himself. This was probably done to confuse the police and the public. The police, citizens, and viewers watching the documentary felt lost at this juncture, but this can only be considered an obstacle and not a dead end. The sketches of the killer out in public surely made the man uncomfortable, knowing there could be people out there who would identify him. This is exactly what the police wanted. With his sketch out there in public to decipher, the police hoped the killer would make a mistake, which would make it easy for them to nab him.

Where Were The Police Finally Able To Get Hold Of The Serial Killer?

Patricia Lopez, a crime-beat reporter with a local magazine, entertained the idea that a right-wing supporter might be the killer. She had some evidence to back up her claim that in Spain and other neighboring countries, the political leaning was shifting toward the right, and that could be the reason why these murders were committed. It is to be assumed that right-wing supporters would not hesitate to take up arms and indulge in racially charged crimes. The audience is also invested in this theory because it could be a plausible scenario. The police initially never confirmed anything, but they finally revealed they were investigating the right-wing theory put forth by Patricia because they had found some evidence in this context. This proves the police are reading up on what is being discussed in the media about this serial killer. There needs to be more than just physical evidence to find out the motive for the crime being committed.

The police, in a hurry to nab the culprit, narrowed their search down to a neo-Nazi supporter who seems to have appeared in various CCTV footage of places close to the crime scene. The man is arrested, but it is obvious from his demeanor that he is not the killer they are looking for. It can be safely assumed that the police were under tremendous pressure to find the perpetrator in the wake of the upcoming elections. This is a trope used by many political parties around the world to gain votes in the name of cracking hard-core cases and taking credit for it and sometimes being under the pressure of delivering results the police creates a fake narrative. The suspect was acquitted because of a lack of evidence, and thus the enthusiasm to find who is the “Playing Card Serial Killer” dies down.

At Puertollano, in July 2003, a drunk man showed up at the local police station claiming to be “Playing Card Serial Killer”, and once the national police are informed, the man goes on to confess and identify his victims. This was big news for the police because everyone had forgotten about the serial killer at large, and suddenly this man named Alfredo Galan Sotillo appeared in this town and surrendered. This changed the course of the investigation, and the police believed that his indictment would give the victim’s family some justice. It would be interesting to find out why he committed the crime and why he confessed.

The next day turned out to be bizarre for the police because Alfredo woke up in jail having no memory of what he had done the previous night, and he took back whatever he had said to the police. The police believed there might be some truth to the confession he made while drunk. This stems from the instinct factor and the details that only Alfredo knew about the crime. This means the confession is true, and the sober Alfredo is probably lying to get away. It was too late for Alfredo because he will not be let go without a thorough investigation.

With only 72 hours in hand for the police to investigate, they found the 7.62 Tokarev bullet along with some damaged cartridges at his place. The police also discovered some branding on the playing cards left by the killer. These pieces of evidence were enough for the police to conclude that Alfredo was indeed the culprit they were looking for, and he was sent to Madrid for further questioning. This is a big breakthrough, thanks to Alfredo’s drunken state. The police investigation had reached a blank-wall in this serial killer case until Alfredo showed up. This was the turning point everyone was seeking. As an audience, one can only hope these findings are true, and Alfredo is convicted of the crimes he has committed so far.

The episode ends with letting the audience know that a public trial of Alfredo is on the way and the defense on their way to formulate a strong case against the police for not carrying out the investigation properly. This was Helena’s elaborate ploy to shake up the trial in the hope to prove Alfredo not guilty. But again, one should expect surprises to be thrown at the police and maybe entertain the thought that Alfredo might actually get acquitted. Only the final episode will be able to confirm that.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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