‘The Assassin of the deck’: How was it made?




The new documentary series of RTVE Play, The Assassin of the deck, Through three chapters and a final epilogue, it tells the investigation that the police had to carry out during the first seven months of 2003 to hunt down a unique criminal in the black chronicle in Spain. In this true crime -that you can now watch for free on the video platform on request of RTVE Play– you can continue step by step the police inquiries of the investigation.

In addition to the recreation of the murders committed by Alfredo Galán Sotillo, baptized as The deck killer by the press of the time, you will be able to see, for the first time and exclusively, graphic and sound material from the police and judicial archive that had never seen the light before.

The deck murderer – This is how chapter 1 begins: “Drums of War”

The case dealt with in the documentary series is a unique episode in the black chronicle of our countryThe cases of serial murderers in the criminal history of Spain are already strange, but specifically, the one committed by Alfrego Galán Sotillo presents characteristics that make it different from the rest. In the words of his director, Román Parrado, Alfredo Galán is a serial killer who acts with a firearm – something unprecedented in Spain – and at random, no apparent motivation and no connection between the victims.

The assassin acts day, night, outdoors, indoors, attacking individual victims and groups, men and women, foreigners and nationals, in Madrid and outside the capital. This lack of pattern in his crimes baffled state security forces and fascinated the press at the time. that’s when the media create the figure of a mysterious and almost mythological murderer that terrifies the population.






Still from the original RTVE Play series ‘El Asesino de la baraja’ where the confessed murderer Alfredo Galán is seen leaving the courthouse. RTVE

The three pillars that make up the ‘true crime’ narrative

Both the director Román Parrado and the screenwriter Enric Álvarez were very clear that the case had several dimensions. First of all, they wanted to be very faithful to the police investigation and explain it in a very chronological and procedural way. “The police start from many hypotheses and pull a multitude of threads that are gradually discarded to reduce the investigation to an increasingly narrow path,” says the director of the true crime. A task that they were able to solve without problem thanks to the testimony of one of the main investigators of the case.

Secondly, the media played a major role in the development of the case creating a fictitious character who came to modify his behavior after the third murder. “We found it fascinating how these two dimensions fed back and configured a new reality that could not be understood without this relationship,” adds Parrado. Finally, the figure of the forensic psychologist and the study of criminal psychology seemed very interesting for them. demystify the figure of the psychopath. These three intertwined pillars make up the narration of the story of ‘The murderer of the deck’.

The ‘making off’ of ‘The deck murderer’

The series was prepared, shot and edited between December 2021 and July 2022. Enric Álvarez had already been researching for some time when Román Parrado joined the project at the beginning of 2022. Later, Neus Mármol, the documentalist, joined and the three began to build a first idea of ​​series structure.

At the beginning of March 2022, all the interviews were filmed and from there all the skeletons of the chapters were assembled with the nude interviews and the archive that was available. filming of all recreations and self-produced resources were made in May. In June, the documentary series entered the editing process with Carlos Prieto, Gala de Yzaguirre and Joan Solsona. And finally, in mid-July, the final details were ironed out in post-production.





Román Parrado during the filming of ‘El asesino de la baraja’

One of the great challenges of filming ‘El asesino de la baraja’ was to get the first-person collaboration of the National Police and Civil Guard investigators. A laborious task that Enric Álvarez carried out and that he finally achieved thanks to long and numerous negotiations. “It’s a milestone have investigators from both bodies actively participate in the investigations and agree to tell us about their first-hand experiences and explain the police process in detail”, thanks Román Parrado.

Román Parrado, director of ‘El asesino de la baraja’

He graduated in cinema at the Pompeu Fabra University where he made his first shorts. He directed ’14 days with Victor’ (2010) for the big screen and has directed several films for television, including ‘Ebre, from bressol to battle’ (2016), winner of the Gaudí award for the best Catalan film in 2017. He has made and directed multiple documentaries and television programs, including ‘Salvados’ for La Sexta, ‘Pioneras’ for Movistar +, or ‘Radio Gaga’, also for Movistar +, winner of the Ondas award for best current affairs program and the FesTVal for the best revelation program in 2018. In the field of advertising, he directed the spot for Turismo de Catalunya: ‘La Ruta de l’atzar’, the prize for the best Tourist Film in the World awarded by the CIFFT in 2018.





Román Parrado, director of ‘El asesino de la baraja’

The murderer of the deck, on RTVE Play

The ‘true crime’ is a very narrative genre, with a clear outcome, with very marked heroes and antagonists. They are quite classic stories that come to us directly and, therefore, we find them very attractive. This genre has become popular with the rise of platforms and the resistance that the traditional fiction viewer might have to this type of story has gradually been diluted. You can now watch the complete series on the free on-demand video platform RTVE Play for an unlimited time.






The three chapters of the Assassin of the deck end with the arrest of the person responsible but from there a new question opens. It is no longer the who but the why. RTVE

‘The Assassin of the deck’: How was it made?