Frequencies of Various Aspects in the Horoscopes of Murderers and Serial Killers vs. Those in a Control Group, Part Two
This study would not have been possible without the accurate data collected by the late Lois Rodden and made available through the Astrodatabank program, which was put together by Mark Mc Donough. Thanks also to Alphie La Voie and his Astroinvestigator program, which can perform a great number of tests at once. And of course, thanks to Diane Cramer who did many of the computer runs and the table.
A Detailed Analysis of the Horoscopes of Sixty Serial Killers. Are there are any Overall Patterns of Aspects?
I've said this before in Part One of this study, but it bears repeating. In fact, it bears frequent repetition in order to avoid misunderstandings. I am NOT claiming that the research presented here is proof of astrology. But I am claiming that the model used here provides the best way so far to put astrology to the test. Please note that I am also NOT claiming that the factors found here will predict who will be a serial killer with 100% certainty. However, we have to remember that the studies which showed smoking causes cancer did not show exactly who would get this disease with 100% accuracy either. Woody Allen's father started smoking at eighteen and he smoked two packs a day for the rest of his life. He was 100 when he died (from a heart attack). What is being looked for here is a statistical correlation between objectively observable factors in the horoscopes of serial killers and their objectively verifiable behavior. If it can be shown that certain astrological features (aspects or sign and house positions) occur consistently by considerably more than random chance, then the case for an "astrological force" can begin to be made.
In Part One of this study, the horoscopes of sixty serial killers and sixty single murderers were examined to see if the angular separation between planets and between planets and midpoints of various planetary pairs occurred with a frequency greater than one would expect from random chance alone. In astrology, certain angles (which astrologers call aspects) are said to be "stressful" and these are the aspects that were examined (these are angles of 0, 90, and 180 degrees). An arbitrary standard was set. To qualify as a "hit", stressful aspects between planets (as well as between planets and certain points) had to occur at least 50% more than one would expect by random chance. For the full details on the model, please see Part One of this study. In this paper, we will examine a host of new factors and see if there are any combinations of them that are common to several of the horoscopes.
A more powerful research program recently became available, the Astroinvestigator (from AIR software). This program can perform dozens of tests at once with one mouse click. One of the things found was the increased frequency of placements in certain astrological signs and houses.
Before we examine those results, we have to ask what are the odds of the Sun, Moon, or one of the faster moving planets being in any particular astrological "sign"? Since there are twelve signs of equal size (thirty degrees each) the odds would obviously be one out of twelve. Since our sample consists of sixty cases, we would expect any particular placement to occur in five charts (60 x 1/12 = 5). We will continue to use the arbitrarily set standard from Part I of 50% above random chance. That means a "hit rate" of at least 8 cases out of our 60 charts. The results are shown in the following tables.
NOTE: Ten computer-generated controls were run for each chart in the sample. The Range of results is listed
in the far right column. The number on the left of the dash shows the Least number of "hits" in a control, while the number to the right of the dash shows the Most number of hits in a control. The column immediately to the left of this shows the average number of hits for the controls.
The above average placements for the signs of Gemini, Sagittarius, and Capricorn are interesting. For one thing (according to astrological tradition) Gemini and Sagittarius are "mental" signs. They have to do with our ability to think and communicate. There was also increased activity in houses three and nine, the houses that correspond to Gemini and Sagittarius. Of course at this early stage of the research, no definitive conclusions can be drawn. However, to an astrologer, the increased placements in both mental signs and houses is an indication that something could be up and that further research should be focused on this area.
The Sun, Moon, and Ascendant are alleged by astrologers to affect one's "personality. All have "hits" in the sign of Sagittarius at least 50% above random chance. The Sun was found to be in the opposite sign, Gemini, in 11 cases, more than twice the random amount. The corresponding houses also showed an increased hit rate. The Sun and Moon had above random placements in the 9th house (the house that corresponds to Sagittarius, the 9th sign). In addition, the Moon had a higher than random hit rate for the 3rd house.
The Node of the Moon showed a similar effect. It was found to be in the sign of Gemini in 11 cases, and it also occurred in the 3rd house (which corresponds to Gemini, the 3rd sign) 8 times.
There were also above normal placements of the Sun and Moon in the sign of Capricorn. In astrology, Capricorn allegedly shows the area of the life where we have an above average need for "control." Of course, this study is only preliminary. However, the fact that the same signs show up repeatedly for several factors does attract notice.
Patterns: the Search for Combinations of Aspects
In Part One, another finding was the apparent increased presence of opposition aspects (an angle of 180 degrees) to the cusps (beginnings) of both the 12th and 8th houses (sectors) of the horoscopes. The 12th house is alleged to deal with "restriction," including self-destructive behavior and all forms of psychological problems. The 8th house supposedly rules death. Serial killers tend to have "stressful" aspects (the conjunction, square, and opposition) to the cusps of one or both of these houses, and, in particular, the opposition.
Let's do a brief review. Given any point on the horoscope wheel, what are the odds of another point being opposite within an orb (range) of + or - five degrees? That would be 10 degrees (5 + 5) divided by the 360 degrees of a circle, or 1/36. This was noticed first with the opposition of Saturn to the 12th house cusp. Out of 60 charts of serial killers, 7 had this aspect (7/60). That is 4.2 times what would be predicted by random chance. The controls yielded only two "hits," which is within the range of random results.
A rate 50% above random chance may be evidence if the results are consistent and the sample large enough, but we are dealing with serial killers here, and they are (mercifully) only a small, very small portion of the population. Even if there is an "astrological force", no one aspect can possibly account for this. We would have to have combinations of aspects, sign placements, and house positions where the odds of occurrence are much smaller. Fortunately, the data used here was from the Astrodatabank program, which has a research function called the "filter" that enables a sample to be screened for multiple factors. This was the procedure:
First, the 23,103 charts in the Astrodatabank database were screened for those where the data was rated B or better. These were then filtered for serial killers to yield 83 cases. This group was examined to remove political figures (e.g. Ivan the Terrible, Nazi officials, members of the Red Brigade, etc.) and military figures. Those were removed because of the possibility that the motivation for their murders were different from that of the "ordinary, everyday" serial killers. The serial killers that were left were largely those who killed for sexual reasons (e.g. Ted Bundy) or simply killed for no apparent reason (e.g. David Berkowitz) or for "Satan" (Richard Ramirez). This was the latest version of the Astrodatabank program (version 2.01). Part One of this study was done with an older edition that yielded only sixty cases. For consistency, Part Two was limited to the same cases. The few extra cases were set aside for future work.
The first screen was for an aspect, in this case the Moon's North Node making a "stress" aspect (0, 90, or 180 degrees) with the cusp (beginning) of the 12th House. The orb was + or - five degrees. The number of charts expected by random chance from a sample of 60 is six. The number we are looking for in order to have a rate at least 50% better than random chance is nine. The number found was eleven. The charts that passed this screen were;
The next screen was for the Sun in one of the following signs: Gemini, Sagittarius, or Capricorn. The odds of the Sun being in any one sign are approximately 1/12. The odds of it being in three possible signs out of 12 are 3/12 or 1/4. Eight out of the above eleven passed the test: charts numbered 2,4,6,7,8,9,10,and 11. The odds of passing both screens are 1/10 x ¼ or 1/40. With a sample of 60 charts to start with, the random result would be 60/40 or 1.5 charts selected. The actual number of 8 charts is 8/1.5 or 5.33 times random chance.
The next screen was for any one of the following being found in the 12th House: Mars, Saturn, Neptune, or Pluto. The odds of finding any one planet in a particular house are 1/12. The odds of finding one out of four possible planets in that house are 4/12 or 1/3. The random chance result should give us 1/3 of the eight charts. The actual result was that seven charts passed the screen out of the eight we started with. They were chart numbers 2,4,6,7,8,10, and 11. The odds of this happening by random chance are:
1/10 x 1/4 x 1/3 or 1/120.
We actually got 7 out of 60. 120 x 7/60 is 14 times the random chance result.
With over 23,000 birth charts in its database, the Astrodatabank program makes it easy to run other groups as controls against a test group. Click on "Filter", select Rodden Rating of B or better, and pick artists (fine art). 257 charts are chosen. One of them, however, is John Wayne Gacy, a serial killer in our test sample who also happened to paint! His chart was eliminated as a control. This left 256 cases. Now we apply the same tests that showed above average results for serial killers. The first screen was for the Moon's North Node making a stress aspect to the 12th house cusp. 15 out of 256 charts passed, or 5.9%. This compares with the 11 charts out of 60 that passed for the test group (18.3%). The percentage predicted by random chance is 10.0%. The second screen was for the Sun in any one of three signs, Gemini, Sagittarius, or Capricorn. This reduced the number of artist's charts to three. The percentages are100 x 3/256 = 1.2% vs. 100 x 8/60 or 13.3% for the serial killers. The last screen, having Mars or Saturn or Neptune or Pluto in the 12th house, left only one chart for the artists vs. 7 out of 60 for the serial killers. The final percentages for this series of screens are 100 x 1/256 = 0.39% vs. 100 x 7/60 = 11.7%. The serial killers rate is 30 times that of the artists.
The one artist remaining out of the initial 256 control cases was Anne Marie Rasmussen, who first achieved fame as the poor housemaid who married one of the Rockefellers. During the 1970's, she suffered from extreme bouts of depression and had three nervous breakdowns. Lithium treatments eventually stabilized her condition.
The second control group consisted of 403 fiction writers. The 1st screen (Node in stress aspect to the 12th house cusp) reduced this to 34, or 8.4%. The second screen (Sun in Gemini, Sagittarius, or Capricorn) lowered the number to 8, or 2.0%. The last screen (Mars or Saturn or Neptune or Pluto in the 12th house) gives us a final number of 3, or 0.74%. The 11.7% scored by the serial killers is 15.8 times the result for the writers.
The writers who passed this test were the anti-Semitic French writer, "Celine", who wrote a book titled "Death on the Installment Plan, Umberto Ecco, whose "Name of the Rose" is a Medieval murder mystery, and Whitley Strieber, whose books include "Wolfen" and "The Hunger." Strieber also claims to have been abducted by a UFO on several occasions.
Another Combination With Node in Stressful Aspect to the 12th House as the First Screen.
Another screen applied to the original 11 charts that passed the first test is the placement of the Moon's North Node in either house 3 or house 9. The odds of finding the any particular placement in one house are 1/12. The odds of finding it in either of two particular houses are 1/6. Five charts passed this test: 3,4,7,8,and 9. Adding the Sun in Gemini, Sagittarius, or Capricorn screen from above eliminates another horoscope and leaves us with the charts numbered 4, 7, 8, and 9. The odds are
1/10 x 1/6 x 1/4 = 1/240.
Since we found 4 out of 60, we have (240 x 4)/60 or 16 times the random chance result.
Another screen is Uranus in either house number 8 or 9 or 10. The odds are 1/4. Applying that to the above case still leaves us with same four charts: #4, 7, 8, and 9. However, the odds now rise to
1/10 x 1/6 x 1/4 x 1/6 or 1/960.
Since there were four charts out of 60 charts passing the test, we have (960 x 3)/60 or 48 times the number predicted by random chance. Now we are starting to get some serious numbers (but once again, let us remember that this is still not proof). So one combination of factors to look for in future studies would be charts that have the following: The North Node of the Moon making angles of 0 or 90 or 180 degrees with the 12th house cusp (5 degree orb), that same Node in either the 3rd or 9th house, the Sun in Gemini or Sagittarius or Capricorn, and Uranus in either the 8th, 9th or 10th house.
The artist control group yielded the following results: 4 passed the 2nd screen (Node in house 3 or 9), 1 passed the 3rd screen, and that chart also passed the last screen. It belonged to Canadian artist Harold Town. One chart out of 256 is a success rate of 0.4% vs. 100 x (4/60) or 6.7% for the serial killers.
The fiction writer control group had 10 pass the 2nd screen, 2 passed the 3rd screen, and one pass the last screen, Umberto Ecco.
Other potential combinations of factors to be searched for in future tests:
The first is the "Royal Flush" objection. The odds of getting a royal flush are enormous, but they are the same as getting any other hand. The only reason we notice the royal flush is because we assign it a value. In any sample of horoscopes, there will most likely be some aspect combinations that will show up even though the odds against it are very high.
The second objection is that the procedure of searching for single features that appear 50% or more above chance and then checking for combinations of these factors is "stacking the deck." Since these aspects and positions start with higher than normal occurrence, it is to be expected that their combinations should also appear more often as well.
I totally agree with both of these objections! That is why there is no claim being made that these results constitute "proof" of astrology in any way shape, or form. Then what exactly is being claimed? That the results obtained here give us a target to aim for with future samples. If these results are repeated consistently, then that will be evidence that there is an "astrological force." That will be the white crow that proves all crows are not black. This study is a work in progress. With this in mind, let's take a look at combinations that have considerably lower probabilities of occurring by random chance alone.
The First chart belongs to Angelo Buono, one of the infamous "Hillside Stranglers." He and his cousin, Ken Bianchi, terrorized L.A. Buono had Saturn opposing the 12th house cusp and the aspect is less than two degrees from exact. He also had the Sun making an opposition aspect to the cusp of his 8th house. Other "indicators" (or rather what we are tentatively terming "indicators") in Buono's horoscope are: Mercury in Scorpio, Saturn in the 6th house, Uranus in the 8th house, Pluto in the 11th house, Mars in the 12th house, and Neptune in the 12th house (total: seven indicators).
The next example is Clarence Carvalho, a serial killer from Hawaii who killed two men. The third time he tried to kill, the victim survived and identified him. Once again Saturn is opposite the 12th house cusp. Other tentative indicators in Carvalho's horoscope are: Sun in conjunction aspect with Pluto, Mars in conjunction aspect with the Moon's North Node, Saturn in the 6th house, Jupiter in the 8th house, and Uranus in the 10th house (total: six indicators).
Let's pause to review the odds of this happening by random chance alone. Saturn opposite the 12th cusp: the odds are 1/36. The Sun opposite the 8th cusp: again, 1/36. Mars making a stressful aspect to Saturn: 1/10. Odds of all three things happening together in one horoscope: 1/36 x 1/36 x 1/10 = 1/12,960 or 0.0000772. In other words, if there were a completely random distribution, we would need to look at 12,960 horoscopes in order to get one with all three of these aspects. We found two such charts in a sample of 60, so we have (2 x 12,960)/60 = 432 or 432 times as many charts as would be expected by random chance alone. 100 x (2/60) = 3.3%.
None of the 256 charts in the artist control passed. In Fact, none passed the first two screens (Sun and Saturn opposite the house cusps).
The 403-member fiction writer control group had one chart pass. It belonged to Teuvo Saavalainen, a Finnish novelist. 100 x (1/403) = 0.25%.
Of course, as any statistician will tell you, this is not proof of a causal connection. The planets have to be somewhere in the wheel, and you can always get a highly improbable combination occurring one in any sample. These results do, however, provide things to look out for in future research. There were a total of six horoscopes with Saturn opposite the 12th house cusp. The others were
Paul Bernardo who was convicted in 1995 of torturing, killing, and dismembering several teenage girls in Canada. He has the telltale Saturn opposite the 12th house cusp. Other tentative indicators are Saturn in the 6th house, the Moon in the 8th house, the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, Pluto in the 12th house, and the ruling planet of the 8th house (Mars in this case) making a stress aspect to the cusp of the 8th house (total: 6 indicators).
Pietro Pacciani, the "Monster of Florence," (who specialized in killing tourists) also had Saturn opposite the 12th house cusp. Other tentative indicators in his chart are the Sun in Capricorn, Mercury in Sagittarius, Mars in Aries, Venus in the 6th house, Jupiter in the 7th house, Saturn in the 6th house, Uranus in the 10th house, and the North Node of the Moon in the 3rd house (total: 9 indicators).
William Heirens, the "Lipstick Killer," is next. He used to write "Stop me before I kill again" at the crime scene with the victim's lipstick. It turned out that this was not a cry for help. Heirens was taunting the police. Other tentative indicators are the Moon is in the sign of Capricorn, Mercury in Scorpio, the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, Mercury in the 4th house, Venus in the 6th house, Mars in the 12th house, Jupiter in the 10th house, Neptune in the 2nd house, and Pluto in the 12th house (total: 10 indicators).
The last horoscope with Saturn opposite the 12th house cusp belongs to Richard Eberling, who was convicted of killing two elderly women. It is believed (but not proved) that he was also the killer of Marilyn Sheppard. Sam Sheppard, the husband, spent 10 years in jail until a young lawyer named F. Lee Bailey got him acquitted at a retrial. Other indicators are the Sun in Sagittarius, the Moon in Pisces, Mercury in Sagittarius, the Moon in the 8th house, Neptune in the 2nd house, Pluto in the 12th house, and the Moon making a stress aspect to Mars (total: 8 indicators).
Now we consider cases where the odds are considerably greater than one out of thirty six. There are three cases out of the sixty charts where the Moon is making a conjunction aspect with the same fixed star. Traditionally, the orb given for a conjunction to a fixed star is only plus or minus one degree. This means that the odds of having this aspect are 1/180. Three out of the sixty cases had the Moon within one degree of Scheat, a star that has had a nasty reputation among astrologers for centuries (alright, it's anecdotal). 3 out of 60 is 1/20. This is nine times what is expected by random chance for this one aspect alone.
Let's take a look at the horoscope of John Wayne Gacy. Gacy tortured and murdered over thirty young men, most of whom he buried in the crawl space under his house. While he was in prison awaiting execution, he started a 900 number and sold his paintings and other memorabilia. His Ascendant was in the sign of Sagittarius and both his Sun and Moon in the sign of Pisces. His Moon, as was just mentioned, is making a conjunction with the fixed star Scheat. Fixed stars have a very narrow orb of influence, only plus or minus one degree. Other tentative indicators in Gacy's horoscope are a Sagittarius Ascendant, Saturn in the 6th house, Jupiter in the 7th house, the North Node of the Moon in Virgo, and the North Node of the Moon in the 9th house, and either the Moon in the 3rd house or Mars in the 7th house (total: seven indicators).
Why the uncertainty? There is some question about the time zone in effect at the time of Gacy's birth. Wartime was in effect, but there seems to have been a law in Illinois to the effect that all birth times had to be reported in Standard Time. Some hospitals followed the law, but not all. In this case, Sagittarius is the Rising Sign for both possible birth times. Standard Time gives the Moon in the 3rd house. Wartime gives Mars in the 7th house. In either case, the number of indicators remains constant at seven.
In addition to Gacy, the horoscopes of Ricardo Ramirez, the infamous "Night Stalker" of Los Angeles, and Eugen Weidmann, a German serial killer, also have the Moon within one degree of Scheat.
Ramirez terrorized Los Angeles in 1985. His victims, who were apparently chosen at random, ranged in age from 6 to 84. They were beaten, shot, stabbed, raped. Five of the rape victims had their throats cut. He has both the Sun and Moon in Pisces and the Ascendant in Sagittarius, the same sign placements as Gacy. After his capture, Ramirez claimed to be a Satan worshiper. Other tentative indicators in his horoscope are the Ascendant in Sagittarius, the North Node of the Moon in Virgo, the Moon in the 3rd house, Saturn in the 1st house, Uranus in the 8th house, and the North Node of the Moon in the 9th house.
Perhaps you might have noticed that several of these indicators were also present in Gacy's chart. What are the odds here? Well, there is the same Moon Sign 1/12), same Ascendant Sign (1/12), same Sun Sign (1/12), Same Node Sign (1/12), and same house placement for the Node (1/12). The odds of having all these identical are
1/12 x 1/12 x 1/12 x 1/12 x 1/12 = 1/248,832!
Since we have 2 cases out of 60 here (or 1/30), we have a situation that is 8,294.4 times what we would expect by random chance alone. Of course, if we replace the 1/12 odds of having the Moon in Pisces with the 1/180 odds of having it within one degree of Scheat. The odds become
1/180 x 1/12 x 1/12 x 1/12 x 1/12 = 1/3,732,480!
That's 124,416 times the predicted random result.
The artist control group gave a result of Zero.
The fiction writer control group gave a result of Zero for just the first three steps (Sun and Moon in Pisces, Ascendant in Sagittarius).
And then, there is Eugen Weidmann.
Weidmann was estimated to have killed 86 people, some for the small change they had in their pockets. He was executed by guillotine in France in 1939. Other tentative indicators in this horoscope are Mars in Aries, the Sun in the 9th house, Uranus in the 8th house, Neptune in the 2nd house, the Moon making a stress aspect with Saturn, and Mars making a stress aspect with the North Node of the Moon (total: 7 indicators).
Another degree where the Moon showed up frequently was the 25th degree of Capricorn (between 24 degrees 1 minute of arc and 24 degrees and 59 minutes of arc). Four horoscopes out of the sixty had the Moon here. What are the odds of that happening by random chance alone? 60 x (1/360 x 1/360 x 1/360 x 1/360) or 1 out of 279,936,000! Of course, with only one sample, even odds this magnitude may still be only a coincidence. However, this does give something to look for in future research. Let's take a look at these horoscopes.
The first one belongs to Arthur Goode, a homicidal, schizophrenic pedophile. He killed two young boys and was stopped before he could kill a third. Goode was executed in Florida on April 4, 1984. Other tentative indicators in his chart are the Moon in the 3rd house, Venus in the 6th house, Saturn in the 1st house, Neptune in the 12th house, Pluto in the 10th house, the North Node of the Moon in the 3rd house, the Moon in stress aspect with Venus, and Uranus in stress aspect with the North Node of the Moon (total: 9 indicators).
Fredrick West also has the Moon in the 25th degree of Capricorn. He was accused of killing 11 young women, including his own daughter and stepdaughter. Most of the victims were tortured first. After his arrest, West killed himself in prison on New Year's Day, 1995. Other tentative indicators in this chart are Mercury in Scorpio, Venus in Scorpio, Mars in Aries, the North Node of the Moon in Virgo, the Moon in the 3rd house, Mars in the 7th house, Uranus in the 8th house, Pluto in the 10th house, the Moon in stress aspect to Mars, and the Ruling Planet of the 8th house (Venus in this case) making a stress aspect to the 8th house cusp (total: eleven indicators).
Henri Girard made history by being the first "scientific killer." He was a bon vivant who moved in high social circles. Like many sociopaths, he had lots of charm, enabling him to attract victims. What set him apart was his collection of germ cultures. Girard's first victim was Louis Pernotte, whom he insured for 300,000 francs and killed by gradually feeding him the germs. He tried to kill a couple with poisoned mushrooms, but failed.
The next victim was a war widow, whom he insured and poisoned. They caught him because he killed her too soon after having her insured. Before he could be tried, Girard killed himself in May 1921 by swallowing a germ culture. Other tentative indicators are the Ascendant in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Scorpio, Mars in the 12th house, Uranus in the 8th house, The Moon in stress aspect with Venus, and the Ruling Planet of the 8th house (the Moon in this case) making a stress aspect to the cusp of the 8th house (total: seven indicators).
Richard Lee Tingler killed at least seven people. He was on the FBI's ten most wanted list in 1968 and 1969. He shot four people through the head on September 16, 1968, and two more the following month. In April 1969, he killed a man and stole his car. Tingler was arrested the following month. Other tentative indicators in Tingler's chart are the Sun in Sagittarius, Mercury in Scorpio, Venus in Scorpio, Mercury in the 9th house, and Neptune in the 7th house (total: six indicators).
One artist had had this Moon placement: Pierre Soulages, an abstract artist. That's a rate of 100 x (1/256) = 0.4%. None of the 403 fiction writers had the Moon in this degree of Capricorn.
After Part One was published, information was obtained on another serial killer. John Muhammad made headlines with his sniper shootings in the Washington, D.C. area. This is a good test case of the factors that were found in our original sample. The following factors were found: Sagittarius on the Ascendant, the Sun in Capricorn, the North Node of the Moon in Virgo, Mars in the 7th house, Saturn in the 1st house, Uranus in the 8th house, and the Moon making a stress aspect to the Ascendant (total: seven indicators).
The work is continuing....