I was intrigued by the similarities between the charts of Tim Tebow, the exciting football quarterback, and Joran van der Sloot, the alleged killer of attractive young women. The two men were born 8 days apart, so their charts have a lot in common. Both charts have an abundance of Fire. Van der Sloot has two stressful aspects, including a Venus/Pluto square, that are absent in Tebow’s chart. Excess Fire usually indicates an abundance of energy and charisma but can also reflect a lack of empathy as the person pursues his own goals without regard to the needs or feelings of others.
With these charts in mind, I searched the literature for other killers with abundant Fire and came across the famous case of Henri Landru (12 April 1869 – 25 February 1922) , a modern-day Bluebeard. As a young man, Landru had sex with his cousin and fathered a daughter with her. They never married. Between 1914 and 1918 Landru managed to seduce eleven women, gain access to their assets, swindle them, and then murder them, dismembering their bodies and burning them in his kitchen stove so that there would be no evidence of his crimes. He was tried and convicted on eleven counts of murder in November of 1921 and guillotined three months later at Versailles.
Fortunately, Landru’s birth time was recorded so that we have a fairly reliable birth time, which produces the following chart:
It is not surprising to see eight planets in Fire signs in this chart. Joran van der Sloot has seven planets in Fire, and both men are superficially charming but very self-centered and unempathic underneath. The many trines in this chart probably added to his superficial charm.
Landru has a remarkable stellium of six planets in his unfortunate 12th house, which is associated with grief, sorrow, deception, and underhanded dealings. His Ascendant-ruler Venus is debilitated in Aries (its detriment) and occupies the 12th. Venus receives a close square from Uranus in the 3rd. He was known to repeatedly change his name to hide his deceptive behavior. ASC-ruler Venus also conjoins Neptune in the 12th, suggesting a proneness to fantasy-based thinking.
An afflicted Pluto in detriment in Taurus is the only planet in his 1st house and it conjoins the ASC. This vitiated Pluto (being in detriment and thus expressing the harmful side of its nature) is very closely square Mars: a ruthless aspect that is prone to violence. Modern astrologers have found Pluto to be prominent in cases of abuse. Mars is in Leo in the 5th house of love affairs, so his violence comes out in his love relationships. Mars also rules the 12th house because Aries is intercepted there and Mars disposes all the planets in the 12th house, so his deceptive behavior is acted out in his romantic relationships. He swindles the women with whom he makes love, and then he kills them.
Jupiter rules his 8th cusp of death, and Jupiter lies in the 12th house of illicit dealings and imprisonment. His criminal behavior is linked to his death. Saturn in the 8th also rules his death, and Saturn is closely quincunx Pluto in the 1st, so that his death is linked to his violent behavior (Pluto square Mars). Jupiter is a natural signifier of the law and Saturn in the 8th rules the 9th house of the law, so his death (8th house) comes as a result of a judicial decision (Jupiter and the 9th house).
Another striking feature of the chart is that Mercury is unaspected. Morin called such a planet “feral” and said that it signifies “something unusual” in the life of the native, for good or evil, depending on the nature of the planet. The word “feral” comes from the Latin “fera” meaning a wild animal. A feral planet is like a wild animal, undomesticated and wandering in a wild state through the chart unconnected by major aspect to any other planet. Being feral, like a feral cat, it just does whatever it wants since there is no other planet influencing or controlling its action. Interestingly, the word Morin uses for “feral” (the Latin “feralis”) can also refer to “Ferale,” the festival of the dead, and has the connotation of deadly or fatal. In context, however, Morin uses the word to mean feral as in a wild, untamed animal.
In this case Mercury in Aries in the unfortunate 12th signifies something bad, especially because it is disposed by malefic violent Mars which is square a powerful angular Pluto in the Ascendant. Mercury is peregrine, so it must express itself through its ruler Mars, who is in the 5th house of lovers and square Pluto: he thinks about killing his lovers from the vantage point of the 12th house.
Mercury rules his 2nd house of money, resides in his 12th house of underhanded activity, and is ruled by Mars, symbolizing the use of force to get what one wants. Feral Mercury also rules the 6th house, which is the 12th of his partners, so that the secret enemy of his partners becomes “something unusual” in this chart through the unaspected nature of Mercury. Landru’s wild and feral Mercury is the secret enemy of his partners.
The 2nd house is also the 8th of the 7th, that is, the house of death of his partner(s). Mercury being feral and ruling the 2nd (8th of the partner) certainly signified something unusual regarding his partners’ deaths.
Uranus in this chart is conjunct the fixed star Canopus, which Robson delineates as:
“With Uranus: Materialistic, dishonorable, many difficulties, easily influenced, estranged from relatives and friends, trouble through enemies and opposite sex, domestic disharmony, violent and possibly public death. [Robson*, p.151.]”
At first blush, this chart does not make you think it belongs to a serial killer, especially with the presence of such a prominent grand trine. I’ll add some comments about that trine as time permits.