Spanish Role-Playing Killers

1 deaths

In another instance of role-playing mayhem, two Spanish youths, Javier Rosado & Félix Martínez, were found guilty of randomly killing a man in the streets of Madrid, Spain. On the night of April 30, 1994, Javier and Félix stabbed to death a janitor, Carlos Moreno, as he waited at a Madrid bus stop. Moreno, a 52-year-old father of three, was chased down the street and stabbed 19 times as he fought to save his life. At one point he bit the hand of one of his assailants. When his body was found, there was a piece of latex -- form his killer's glove -- lodged in his throat.

The two boys were arrested 35 days after the murder when they were turned in by another role-playing buddy who they wanted to enlist for a second round of killing. At first the friend thought that they were kidding as they boasted about the murder. But as the evidence unfolded he became convinced that they were the killers. He confessed his fears to a priest who convinced him to tell the police. The night of their arrest the boys told him to go to Félix's house and bring a knife. When police picked the up Javier and Félix both had knives on them and had just bought a box of latex gloves.

On the opening day of the trial, Martínez said Rosado had invented a role-playing game in which they had to look for a victim who was "bald, chubby and old." He said that on the night of the killing, he never expected Rosado to go through with it. As the trial wrapped up, a tearful Félix apologized to Moreno's family and changed his story by saying he couldn't remember if he had participated in the killing or not.

Spain's leading daily El Pais said Rosado inserted both hands into a wound in Moreno's throat to rip out tissue and cartilage while Martínez tried to disembowel him. Lawyers for the accused argued that the two men had become so involved in their fantasy game they were not fully responsible for their actions.

Meanwhile, after four days of exercising his constitutional right not to testify, Rosado broke his silence to say the role-playing game had nothing to do with the crime and that he was not claiming insanity as part of his defense. He also said that his friend Martínez was the killer and the ringleader of their role-playing gang. Furthermore, to explain his carefree attitude in court, Rosado said he was a practicing Taoist. His constant smiling and mugging at the cameras was because of the Taoist doctrine of always being kind towards others and happy. He then launched into tirade against the psichiatrist who portrayed him as the ruthless killer and his friend as the submissive follower. "After all," he said, "the big knife and the bloody jacket were found in Félix's house."

Another piece of incriminating evidence was a three type-written account of the killing written by Rosado. The text, prosecutors remarked, explained how they stabbed the hapless man in non-vital areas so his death would be slow and painful. Javier, reading from the notes he had taken during the trial, explained with great eloquence that it was all pure fiction and pointed out that, "as well as horror stories, I write poetry and fairy tales."