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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 March, 2005, 18:03 GMT
Spain's 'card deck' killer jailed
playing cards
Playing cards were left on some of the victims
A Spanish serial killer known for leaving playing cards on the corpses of some of his victims has been given jail sentences totalling 142 years.

Former soldier Alfredo Galan, 26, was convicted of six murders and three attempted murders, in shooting attacks around Madrid in 2003.

His killing spree lasted from January until March before he turned himself in to police in July that year.

Galan, dubbed the "playing card killer" by the Spanish press, may appeal.

Most of his sentences will run concurrently as the maximum jail term under Spanish law is 20 years for non-terrorism cases.

'Polite'

Galan, who served as a Spanish peacekeeper in the Balkans, is reported to have told police he wanted "to know what it felt like to kill". In the event, he had felt only indifference, the court heard.

He had initially confessed to the killings but later withdrew the statement and tried to implicate two other men, claiming he had sold them the murder weapon.

According to a police witness during the trial, Galan always said hello to his victims and asked them if they could "please" kneel down before he shot them, as he thought "politeness is most important in life", El Mundo newspaper reported.

The paper says the court ordered Galan to pay 609,182 euros (422,983) to his victims' families.


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