Anatomy of a Murder-Suicide

Around 8 a.m. on Saturday, 01 December 2012, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend with whom he had a 3-month-old child.  He then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and shot himself in the head after thanking his coach and general manager for all they’d done for him.  The 25-year-old Belcher and his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra M. Perkins, were reported to have been arguing recently.


According to boston.comThe coaches told police they never felt in any danger, Snapp said.  ‘‘They said the player was actually thanking them for everything they’d done for him,’’ he said. ‘‘They were just talking to him and he was thanking them and everything. That’s when he walked away and shot himself.’’

News sources give Belcher’s birth data as 24 July 1987 in West Babylon, New York, time unknown.  My usual practice for unknown birth times is to cast a sunrise chart for the birth place.  Here is Belcher’s sunrise chart:

Jovan Belcher sunrise chart

Jovan Belcher sunrise chart

Belcher has an impressive five planets in Fire signs, which no doubt contribute to his athletic ability.  A tremendous amount of power and determination is shown by Pluto opposing Jupiter from Scorpio to Aries.  This Pluto/Jupiter opposition lies in square to his Sun/Mars conjunction in Leo.  This is a man of immense power and passion that can sometimes run away with him.  Mars square Pluto often correlates with the use of force or violence to settle difference with others.  Sun and Mars in Leo show great motivation and leadership ability, and in fact Belcher was  referred to in news reports as a “natural born leader.”  A Leo emphasis often indicates a fondness for coaching and working with young people.  Belcher returned annualy to West Babylon High School to give motivational speeches to the kids there.

That his death would be linked to his marital partnerships and romantic relationships is reflected in the appearance of Aquarius on the cusps of both the 7th (marriage) and 8th (death) houses.  Saturn, the traditional ruler of Aquarius, lies in the 5th house (games, sports, romance) as does Uranus, the modern ruler of Aquarius.  Saturn conjoins Uranus in the 5th house in fiery Sagittarius.

What was going on astrologically this year that could lead to such a tragedy?  One way to answer this question is to look at the solar return of the sunrise chart and compare it to the natal chart:

Belcher sunrise chart solar return with natal planets outside

Belcher sunrise chart solar return (SR) with natal planets outside

In solar returns the conjunctions of planets with the angles and with the intermediate house cusps reflect the important themes for the year.  We are immediately struck by natal Mars conjunct SR Mercury on the Ascendant of the solar return.  Mars is a planet of force and Mercury, of communication.  This is a year of forceful communications.  SR Mercury conjoins the 12th cusp of undoing, so that something being communicated is disturbing and likely to lead to misunderstandings, especially with Mercury ruling the 3rd house of communications.

Belcher’s natal Pluto/Jupiter opposition is highly emphasized this year because natal Jupiter conjoins the SR Midheaven.  (The Ascendant and Midheaven are the two most powerful points in the chart.)  His natal Pluto/Jupiter opposition squares the SR Mars/natal Mercury conjunction on the SR Ascendant.  Thus, his tendency to passionate impulsiveness with a potential to resort to violence comes to the fore during his 2012 solar return year.  Finally, Neptune (confusion, deception) which opposes his natal Mercury (communication) has moved to conjoin the 8th house (death) cusp in the 2012 solar return.

Transits often trigger an event.  Since we know the approximate time of death (shortly after 8 a.m.), we can compare the transit chart to his natal chart:

Belcher natal sunrise chart with transits at time of murder/suicide

Belcher natal sunrise chart with transits at time of murder/suicide

Two factors immediately stand out.  Slow-moving Saturn is transiting his natal Pluto, putting pressure on the T-square formation: Pluto – Jupiter – Mars/Sun.  Saturn/Pluto conjunctions can be quite destabilizing as they challenge the very structure around which you have built your life.  Things which you have always taken as givens begin to fall apart.

Mars, which was so prominent in the solar return, has moved by transit to oppose natal Mercury.  Typically this transit (Mars to Mercury) manifests in harsh words, arguments, and impulsive actions.  Fanning the fire is the transiting emotional Moon conjoining natal Mercury and opposing transiting Mars.  Emotional disputes (Moon oppose Mars) dominate the scene and reason takes a back seat.  Natal Mercury, which is on the receiving end of the Mars/Moon transit, lies in the natal 12th house of self-undoing.

About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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3 Responses to Anatomy of a Murder-Suicide

  1. Pam in Little Rock says:

    Happy to see a new study here. Things must be back to near normal at your house since the storm. What I find perplexing with accident charts is: Why now? How did such a “perfect storm” of influences find this person? The moon is powerful, but it rolls through a sensitive point in a chart every month. The long-lasting progression and transit configurations last for years, decades sometimes. Here’s a very successful young man who’s having trouble with his personal relationships, not such an unusual scenario. Why did this man decide to give up, irreversibly? Who or what may have interceded to avert tragedy? Am still a newbie, hope you wise ones will share your thoughts.

  2. james says:

    hi tony,
    thanks for sharing. the one thing i like about sunrise charts is it puts a focus on the sun and gives us solar house data that tends to get ignored generally. i think it has a lot to offer in terms of information on the chart, but perhaps as i am a sun in aries my impression is skewed. everything ends up being in the natural sign/house as a consequence..
    my problem with doing a sunrise chart rests in the fact any time you try to rely on insights gained to these sunrise houses, you are skating on thin ice.. the other major factor to a chart – the moon – can be anywhere between 12-15 degrees out as well..

    however, i do think you can see connections off the planets as you have articulated..
    some of my observations – new moon chart with the sun and moon in some sort of important relationship to mars. mars may be at the midpoint, or it may be quite close to the moon which tends to be a challenging dynamic in the home front.. the transit of saturn to the sun/pluto square in the chart which suggests a controlling temperament under the incredible pressure of saturns gaze at this time.. saturn/pluto has an immediate association to suicide from my view and this is indeed part of the unfolding of this really sad story. the natal t square that you point out is a bigger picture to this too.. in my work with astrology i have noticed that an innocent trine of solar arc, or sec prog sun to jupiter in this chart example can go back to the over extended nature of the square in the natal chart. in other words, what looks like a favourable aspect in a predictive chart is a means to release what is promised in the natal..sun/jupiter in hard aspect can go overboard and that is indeed what this person did here.

    i would guess a time with scorpio rising which is some time after 1pm local. this will highlight the pluto/jupiter opposition you mention more prominently. this is such a sad story..

  3. james says:

    the pluto/saturn midpoint is at 26 scorpio 03 which might not seem all that relevant, until you see where the transiting nodal axis is, along with the pronounced opposition of moon opp mars in the transit chart. one needs to employ 45 and 135 degree aspects to see some of the connections here.

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