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The 5 best-known criminal killers in Spain

The 5 best-known criminal killers in Spain

November 17, 2022

If there is a morally reprehensible act in our society, this is to take the life of another person. The reasons why some people are capable of committing an act of this magnitude are not studied only from Forensic Psychology, but from multiple social sciences.

Either way, there have been absolutely dramatic cases in which a single person has been the architect of brutal murders that have shocked an entire country .

Cruel criminal killers

In this article we are going to review the most dangerous criminal murderers of the last decades in Spain . For one reason or another, their actions have transcended in the media and have aroused the interest of multiple experts in Criminal Psychology.


1. Manuel Delgado Villegas, "El Arropiero"

It is possible that Manuel Delgado Villegas - known as "El Arropiero" - was the greatest assassin in the history of Spain. His nickname, Arropiero, comes from that his father was dedicated to sell arrope and he helped him.

This man confessed to the murder of 47 people, committed between 1964 and 1971, among the victims was his partner. According to the investigators of the case, with some of its victims he practiced necrophilia.

His modus operandi was a deadly karate punch on the front of his neck, just at the height of the nut, which he learned in the Legion . Other times he used blunt objects, such as bricks or knives. Some of his victims died strangled. It was even said that the choice of its victims was totally random and indiscriminate, without any planning.


It seems that he showed no remorse for his actions; the investigators of the case called him egocentric and megalomaniac, with a total lack of empathy towards his victims. The Arropiero has the record of preventive arrest without legal protection in Spain, becoming pre-legal without a lawyer for 6 and a half years.

Due to the suffering of a supposed mental illness, he was never tried and his admission was ordered in a penitentiary psychiatric hospital.

The Arropiero died in 1998 , a few months after being released.

2. Andrés Rabadán, "The killer of the crossbow"

Andrés Rabadán (Premià de Mar, 1972) he killed his father with a medieval crossbow he had bought for Reyes . After the homicide, he turned himself in to the police, and admitted to being the author of three derailments of commuter trains, which he carried out a month before killing his father. It was a sabotage that caused no injuries, but a lot of fear. It could have been deadly for hundreds of people.


He murdered his father, apparently, by a discussion about the temperature of a glass of milk. He killed him with three shots of arrows. Rabadán declared that he loved his father and that he killed him without knowing what he was doing, guided by the voices he heard. Being aware of what he had just done, he shot two more arrows to end his father's suffering.

It seems that Andrés Rabadán's childhood was not easy, since he had to deal with the suicide of his mother and the fact of spending a lot of time alone with his father, without his brothers or friends.

During the expert tests for the trial he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. By judicial order, he was admitted to a psychiatric penitentiary center for 20 years of internment. According to the forensic experts, this mental illness was not enough to not be aware of his actions while he was manipulating the train tracks, but during the parricide commission.

There are still many speculations today about whether Andrés Rabadán poses a danger to society or if he is socially rehabilitated: some professionals claim that he faked mental illness in order to be immune from the condemnation of parricide, and others claim that he is a psychopath narcissist who knew what he was doing at all times, and that currently his self-esteem is sustained through the artistic and literary creations he made from prison.

In 2012 he fulfilled the maximum amount of time he could remain incarcerated, and he is allowed scheduled and controlled departures.

3. Alfredo Galán, "The murderer of the deck"

Alfredo Galán Sotillo, known as the "murderer of the deck", put the entire Spanish society in suspense in 2003. He is one of the most dangerous serial killers who have circulated in Spain.

He belonged to the Spanish Army from 2000 to 2004, so he had military skills.Curiously, it seems that he had a tendency to suffer anxiety crises, something not very common in people with a psychopathic profile.

He killed his victims with a very powerful weapon, a Yugoslav Tokarev pistol, which he took with him to Spain from his military passage through Bosnia. He began to kill in February of 2003, and his first victim was a young man of 28 years. Beside his victims he left a card, the ace of cups, which became his "signature" and became known as "the killer of the deck".

According to a witness who testified at the trial, the murderer of the deck always said good morning to his victims, and then asked them "please" to kneel . Then he proceeded with the shot. He did it because, according to him, "education is the first thing in life".

In 2003, Alfredo Galán stormed into a National Police station and confessed to being El asesino de la baraja. He was sentenced to 140 years in prison for 6 murders and three attempted murders, although following the sentences imposed under Spanish criminal law, he would only reach 25 years of sentence.

The condemnatory sentence did not recognize the existence of any psychiatric pathology in the murderer of the deck, so he was fully aware of his actions and executed them with planning.

4. Javier Rosado, "The crime of the role"

In 1994, a 22-year-old Chemistry student, Javier Rosado, and a 17-year-old student, Felix Martinez, murdered Carlos Moreno by stabbing him 20 times, a 52-year-old cleaning worker who returned home by bus at night.

Javier Rosado invented a very macabre role-playing game called "Razas" , and convinced his friend Felix to follow the instructions he himself devised.

The big mistake made by the killer inductor was to collect everything that happened that morning in a personal diary, which the police seized during the inspection of his home. Rosado set out to be the first of the two that would kill a victim, and it had to be a woman: "I would be the one to kill the first victim", "It was preferable to catch a woman, young and beautiful (the latter was not essential, but very healthy), an old man or a boy (...) "," if I had been a female I would now be dead, but at that time we still had the limitation of not being able to kill more than women ".

He openly acknowledged that they wanted to kill without knowing the victim in advance, as established by the rules set by him: "our best bet is that we knew absolutely nothing about the victim, or the place (at least I) or had any reason real to do something to him (...) "; "Poor man, he did not deserve what happened to him. It was a disgrace, since we were looking for teenagers, and not poor working workers. "

During the trial it was stated that Javier Rosado had a cold and calculating mind, that lacked remorse and empathy, and that fit the profile of a psychopath who liked to be admired and obeyed. The following excerpt from the diary shows the lack of empathy and contempt towards the victim, and even a sadistic component in his way of proceeding: "I put my right hand by the neck in an exploration task that I hoped would end up causing death . What's going on, that uncle was immortal, "(...) making him bleed like the pig he was. It had pissed me off a lot ", how long it takes for an idiot to die!", "What a disgusting uncle!"


The media soon gave the role-playing games negative sensational connotations that fueled the criminal actions.

Javier Rosado was sentenced to 42 years in prison, and was granted the third degree in 2008. During his stay in prison it can be said that he took advantage of the time, since he graduated in Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Engineering.

5. Joan Vila Dilme, "The guard of Olot"

Joan Vila Dilme, caretaker of a geriatric in Girona He was sentenced to 127 years in prison for murdering 11 elderly people from the residence where he worked between 2009 and 2010. He poisoned the elderly with cocktails of barbiturates, insulin, and caustic products, causing them to die.


In the beginning Olot's guard argued that he thought that in this way he was "helping" his victims to rest and to stop suffering, they gave him grief and he wanted to give them "fullness". He was convinced that he was doing good, since he could not bear to see the conditions in which his victims lived. When he became aware of what he had done and the method he had used (intake of abrasive substances, something especially cruel and painful for the victims) he felt very guilty.

According to him, he had been taking many psychoactive drugs for years because he was diagnosed with an obsessive-compulsive disorder with depressive episodes, and he tended to drink alcohol simultaneously in his work shifts.

Later, the expert psychologists and psychiatrists who examined him argued that with his crimes he sought the power and satisfaction that controlled the passage from life to death, as a kind of God, and that he was aware of his actions in all moment. One of the most powerful sources of suffering and anxiety for Joan Vila was that she always felt a woman locked in a man's body, and she lived it secretly until she committed the 11 murders.


The final condemnatory sentence proved that in the 11 crimes Joan Vila had the aim of killing and that he acted without the elderly being able to defend themselves . In addition, it emphasizes that in three of the eleven cases there was cruelty, because it unnecessarily and deliberately increased the suffering of the victims. Olot's caretaker was not considered to have any psychological problems that affected his cognitive and / or volitional abilities, and he is currently serving the sentence in a Catalan prison.


Luis Garavito - the beast: 300 vicitms and counting (crime / serial killer documentary) (November 2022).


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