A Chart from the FBI Most Wanted List

Recently I came across a reference to an old case from the FBI Most Wanted List and was curious to look at the natal chart. I recall reading about this case when I was a teenager because it had to do with a clever bank robber named Frank Sprenz who was technologically quite savvy and also a master of disguise. His modus operandi was to rob a bank and then flee to a nearby airport where he would steal an airplane to escape capture.

Sprenz’s criminal history began early and continued throughout his life. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Sprenz died in in August 2016 at Grafton Correctional Institution at the age of 86. Here is a summary of Sprenz’s early criminal activity by Pauli Poisua from the site Modern Rogue:

Sometimes, he landed planes in front of bars like it was nothing, went in for a drink, then left when someone pointed out that this was awesome and they should call a newspaper. Because it was at that, and only that point when it briefly occurred to him that a highly wanted criminal probably shouldn’t be pulling off Hollywood stunts like that. This incident marked Sprenz’s two months on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.”

Sprenz made his name in 1958, when he performed a daring prison escape with four other inmates: They made a cell key from a piece of metal, threw hot coffee on a guard, and legged it. The others were caught (and in one case, killed) within a week, while Sprenz was able to evade capture for over a year. During this time, he used a bunch of aliases and disguises, stole 29 cars and even 3 airplanes. He’d be seen in Pennsylvania, then nab a plane, fly it to Vermont, and freaking deliberately crash it to elude authorities. He used one of those planes to perform a bank heist in Ohio, just casually landing it in front of the bank, robbing the place for $26,000, and then flying the hell away.”

His dramatic prison escape occurred on 16 April 1958 and was followed by a highly publicized crime spree. In response, the FBI placed him on their Ten Most Wanted List on 10 September 1958. He was finally captured on 15 April 1959, almost a year to the day from his notorious jail break.

Surprisingly, given the notoriety of this criminal, there is nothing posted about him on astro.com (AstroDataBank). The FBI identifies his birth date at 13 February 1930 in Akron, Ohio, most likely taken from court documents and public records. I did a google search for Sprenz’s birth data and found one reference in the astrological literature to a 1977 article by Karen Ober Savalan in The Astrological Journal XIX.4.176. In 1978 this same author published a book on midpoints which featured the chart of Frank Sprenz as its primary example. Unfortunately, in that book his birthdate is given as 14 February 1930 rather than 13 February 1930 (the official FBI record). Because Karen Savalan does not document the source of Sprenz’s birth data, we do not know which is the correct birth date. In addition, she gives a birth time of 7 in the morning, but she does not indicate the source of the data or whether she rectified the chart on the basis of Sprenz’s life events and the theories of the cosmobiologists.

After reviewing the data which I could find online, my best guess is that Frank Lawrence Spence was born on 13 February 1930 in Akron, Ohio, as in the official FBI reports, and that the 7 a.m. time is either from a birth record to which Savalan had access or is her rectification to make the chart work according to the teachings of Witte and Ebertin. Assuming that the 7 a.m. time is reasonably accurate (but it may not be), and that the FBI version of the birth date is more accurate than the date in Savalan’s book on midpoints, I tweaked the birth time using midpoinds, solar and lunar returns, progressions, directions and transits, and came up with a possible birth time of 7:02:15 AM EST in Akron, Ohio, on 13 February 1930. Here is the resulting possible birth chart for the Flying Bank Robber.

Possible birth chart for Frank Sprenz, based on FBI data.

A Cow was his Undoing:

An interesting feature of this chart is that Mars (ruler of the 9th of air travel and occupant of the 12th of imprisonment, undoing and large animals like cows) is “at the bendings,” being in partile square to the Moon’s Nodes (the intervention of fate) which conjoin the 3rd/9th cusps of local and long-distance travel, including travel by air. Sprenz was finally caught when a cow in Mexico interfered with his take-off as he was planning to fly to Cuba. Taurus on the cusp of the 3rd is the sign of cows and bulls.

Here is an account of the incident from the FBI News site:

When the news media further increased Sprenz’s notoriety by dubbing him the ‘Flying Bank Robber,’ he decided to flee the country. Using a small plane he purchased with stolen money, he eventually flew to Raymondville, Texas, near the border of Mexico. Fearing he had been recognized, he quickly flew on to Mexico.

Sprenz was right—he had been spotted. Authorities contacted the FBI. The Bureau’s international office, or legal attaché, in Mexico City was put on alert.

Sprenz had refueled and was taking off for Cuba when fate intervened: A cow stepped in front of his plane, causing him to swerve and hit a tree. His plane was damaged beyond repair. An FBI legal attaché agent assisted Mexican authorities in tracking down Sprenz, and he was arrested and later returned to the U.S. He was found guilty of various crimes and sentenced to 25 years in jail. He was paroled in 1970 but later returned to his life of crime, and, ultimately, died in prison.

If anyone reading this has accurate and verifiable information about the actual birth data, please leave a comment. This is an interesting chart, which belongs in the astrological literature.

Addendum 12 June 2022:

I am extremely grateful to Karen Christino who did further research into the birth data and left the following comment:

“930 Census has him 2 months old in April of 1930 — if this is the right family. Name is spelled “Sprence” (lines 27-30), but phonetic misspellings are common in Census records. He also seems to be in the Ohio Birth Index on 2/14/30, Certificate #193005796 if you want to check it out (no additional info).

He appears to have also played fast and loose with his birth info. For 1953 marriage he’s born 2/13/32, 1972 marriage born 2/14/35, Social Security application gives 2/13/30 and Social Security Death Index 2/14/30 (odd that the last two should disagree).”

If we take the Ohio Birth Index as the most accurate, then his birthdate is 14 February 1930. The source of the 7 AM time is still uncertain, and it may be a rectification. In any case, here is his 7 AM natal chart for Valentine’s Day of 1930.

14 Feb 1930 Birth Chart based on Ohio Birth Registry. Time unverified. 7 AM is the time used by Karen Ober Savalan in her book on midpoints.

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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