Friday, June 24, 2011

The Gainseville Student Murders - Part One

Making the Case for Astrology

This is the first post in a series of three. I chose to do this case in particular because it was so close to home for me and I was deeply involved in the events as they unfolded at the time. I could not get home fast enough from work every day to hear the news as it unfolded. There had never been a bigger case here in Florida, at least not since Ted Bundy and the Sorority Murders in the 1970s. I spent a lot of time with psychics and other astrologers, just as I had when Bundy was doing his thing, trying to figure out who the killer was. And we all knew they had it wrong; the kid they arrested at first was just not the kind of sophisticated evil monster this person had to be! If you are unfamiliar with the Gainesville Student Murders from 1990, please google it. Or google the serial killers name, Danny Rolling or his nick name, "The Gainesville Ripper". Once you realize the kind of crimes these were you will understand how someone could just get all wrapped up in the horror of it. Everybody was really scared. There was a monster on the loose.

I had wanted to profile this case to show how forensic astrology reflects the facts in a case that is already solved and also wanted to use it because it involved multiple murders on different dates and a serial killer as well. I also had the birth info on the killer, which is priceless. But I had a great deal of trouble pinning down actual time lines and finding birth data for the victims. Almost every site said something different. I had read most of the books on the case but that had been years ago and I no longer had them. So I ended up repurchasing the books I'd had so that I could go over them for actual times and events. For instance, I knew that someone had dropped Christa Hoyt off after playing tennis and this would have been very close to the time of her murder, because it is now known that her murderer was inside the apartment when she arrived. But I could not recall that time. Also, I knew, for instance, that Sonja Larson was a Capricorn and that Christina Powell was Sagittarius but I could not remember their birth dates. Their ages are easy enough but the actual day was hard to find. There was one book that provided most of this information, or, at least, the information I wanted, and with some degree of veracity. That same book provided other information regarding timelines that was more flexible, more of a guess on the part of the author. So I needed more than one book. This is why it took me so long to get this case analyzed, written and posted. I hope it was worth the trouble.

Here, from the diary of Sondra London, who dated and interviewed Rolling after his arrest, you can read this also on her site:

As quoted from his diary:

In the early morning hours of 24 August, 1990, the defendant, Danny Harold Rolling, entered an apartment which served as the residence of Sonja Larson and Christina Powell. The apartment was #113 in the Williamsburg Complex, 2000 SW 16th St. in Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida. The defendant entered the apartment by breaking in through the rear door. At the time he entered into the apartment, the defendant was armed with both an automatic pistol and a knife, to-wit: a Marine Corps Ka-Bar knife. The defendant entered into and/or remained within their apartment for the specific purpose of committing sexual battery with great force and murder.

From the police files:

Ada M. Larson 905 SE 11 St. Deerfield Beach FL 33441
Mr./Mrs. Frank Powell 6910 Corkwood Drive JAX 32211

8/24/90 Videotapes from Vern's Kwik Stop show Danny stopping by briefly, at 12:05 a.m., 6:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 9:38 p.m.

IR3622: 8/24/90 Fri. 0004-0005 hrs., ROLLING again ID at Verns Quick Stop, 2410 SW 34th St., ID is made after review of store surveillance tape. ROLLING is wearing a dark sleeveless shirt, dark shorts and is carrying a backpack. Documented in report #2876, by CIA Dennard.

IR3622: 8/24/90 Fri. 1758-1759 hrs., ROLLING ID 3X at Verns Quick Stop, SW 34th St. 1800-1803 hrs. and 1831 hours within an hour. ID is made after review of store surveillance tape. ROLLING has no shirt and is wearing light colored shorts with a light colored stripes, white socks and sneakers. Documented in report #2876, by CIA Dennard.

IR3622: 8/24/90 Fri. 2134-2135 hrs. and 2138 hours, ROLLING I.D. 2X at Verns Quick Stop, SW 34th St. ID is made after review of store surveillance tape. Documented in report #2875, by CIA Dennard.

These videos proved to everyone that he had seen the girls in the Quik Stop and had been going there to look for victims. He did follow Sonja Larson and Christina Powell home that night and camped in the woods behind their apartment while he planned his next move.

And then from this book, The Making of a Serial Killer we get the information that he actually entered their apartment in the early hours of August 24th, 1990, which was a Friday. They had literally been in Gainseville for two days. What he did to them is published in many places so I will not go into detail. But what do the charts say about this event? Let's take a look.

Larson and Powell Murder Chart 1 am

Larson and Powell Murder 2 am

I set the time for the murder between 1 and 2 am because all sources are saying it happened in the very early hours on Friday. Rolling keeps getting the actual dates wrong, saying things like "the early morning on the 24th" when he actually means the early morning on the 25th. Many people do this. They extend the night into the next morning. But the police records all show that he was there on Friday morning. There is testimony of people in the nearby apartments hearing him leaving around 6 am on Friday morning. School hadn't started yet and everybody was home. The bodies were not found until Sunday. So if we are to believe that it was him who took the shower at 5 am and then pounded out the back door (there was sticking lock) at 6 am, then it's reasonable to place the time he arrived at around 1 am or a bit later. Especially when you consider that he spent quite some time raping and torturing Christina Powell. So a four hour span is not unreasonable at all.

Notice right away that Mars is in Taurus in the twelfth house in both charts for 1 am and 2 am. This is especially informative because the Pleaides are located at 28 degrees of Taurus and they portend " the death of many people, all at once or over time" and also describes "violent lust, sexual sadism and sexual murder". These stars figure largely in mass murders where the crimes are particularly heinous and violent. You will see, as I go through each successive chart that the Pleaides play a big role in this series of murders. Note also that Caput Algol is nearby in the twelfth house, as well, placed at 24 degrees of Taurus. And this while Mars is at 27 degrees of Taurus. Mars does, in fact, remain in that degree during the entire weekend, being stationary in movement. And it is also peregrine. Combine this with the cluster of Neptune, Saturn and Uranus all in Capricorn in the eighth house at 1 am. I will tell you that the sign Capricorn has connections to the murderer's birth chart, as I will show you in a minute. Notice, also, the fourth house ruler, the Sun, in the fourth house at 1 am. One fortunate placement is that the first house ruler is not under the Sun's beams but little help that gave. However, Moon and Pluto are combust (along combust way) and semi sextile. Between the Moon and Pluto are a cluster of violent fixed stars that cause the Moon to be weakened in her power and to fall into a state similar to a total eclipse.

Let's see how the charts show things playing out. Mercury is the first house ruler and it is in the fourth in both charts, showing us that this happened in the victims' home. We know this to be true; the girls were in their new apartment. Mars often shows violence and it is placed in the twelfth house sandwiched in between the Pleaides and Caput Algol. This alone describes violence and mayhem. The Moon describes the victims and it is in the sign Libra. We know they were girls. Both the Moon and Mars are disposed of by Venus in Leo in the third house. It has been noted that he chose them because they were in the neighborhood and at the area convenience stores (the third house). He chose them because he said they "stood out" (Venus in Leo). Jupiter, the seventh house ruler, is in the third house, not far behind the Sun. So he sees them in public, in a retail store, in the neighborhood while he is in the same store. And he "follows them home" (the third house is the twelfth from the fourth). Notice how the Sun in Virgo at the nadir describes their home. We all know they were in school. Temporary housing, dormitories and student housing are all described by Mercury and by Virgo.

There is a grand trine operating this night. It is among earth signs: Mars in Taurus, Mercury in Virgo and Saturn in Capricorn, all in death houses in the 1 am chart. It was way too easy for him to do this. It almost feels fated. He claims he tried the locks on a lot of doors first but I don't believe that. He chose girls who looked alike and you don't do that at random. Mars and the Moon mark this event in it's entirety, his violence (Mars in Taurus peregrine) and their female vulnerability (Moon in Libra squared the cluster in the eighth). And both of these planets, Mars and the Moon, are disposed of by Venus in Leo. And when you think of the staging of the bodies, of the performance he gave with the posing and the lighting, doesn't Venus in Leo make sense? There was a lot of drama in these murders. It was one of the reasons they were so sensational.

In comparing the first two girls to their killer, I drew up charts for both of them and for Rolling. I found these charts to be extremely informative in the manner of their death and the interaction with their killer.

Here is the chart of the murderer. Right away, I notice that he is a Gemini with the Moon in Pisces. This is a hard square to handle for most people. It makes the subject manipulative, overly emotional, facile, quick to lie and defend oneself, taking offense at actions or words that were not meant to be offensive. Highly imaginative with a love for fantasy. Rolling was known to be a dreamer who spent a lot of time fantasizing. He claimed to have a dual personality, an evil person named Damian proclaimed himself to be "a Gemini" in a movie Rolling had recently seen more than 10 times! So this seems a little convenient, doesn't it? A typical manipulation by a sociopath. But do not think I am saying that every Gemini with the Moon in Pisces is such a person; I think you'd need to be a sociopath as well. None the less, a square between the Sun and Moon is a harsh one and most people have a hard time in relationships because of it. Danny Rolling had lost his wife, the love of his life, who took his child and ran. After that, he sought out women who looked like her and killed them. I only wish I had her chart to compare to the victims.

Notice the natal Mars in Capricorn in the solar eighth house, conjoined the node. I know this sounds crazy but it almost seems like his destiny was to cause death. In some manner, he was made to kill. He had a preoccupation with death and grisly stuff and this fits his solar profile. Notice Venus in Cancer opposed to Mars in Capricorn. Another difficult placement in personal character and relationships with others. With the Moon square, he really looks like a stalker to me. Someone who goes way overboard and can't let go. His behavior was mostly intolerable but he would demand loyalty beyond reason and strike out if it was not forthcoming. When his wife left him, he totally melted down. But how did he end up with these girls, doing these things to them? Take a look at the charts for the girls.

I got the birth dates for each of the victims here:
Sonja Larson
Christina Powell

Looking at Sonja Larson's chart you can see right away that she would want to be a teacher. Especially of young children. She was in early education classes at Gainesville. She had natal Moon in Cancer, Mercury conjoined Jupiter in Sagittarius and Venus conjoined the node in Aquarius. But she had some signs in her chart that might harbinger violence in the life, including the Mars in Aries opposition to Pluto in Libra. This with Moon opposite the Sun are both markers for someone who will face confrontations from others and some of these would be violent. Moon opposite Sun is a common placement in battered women. The relationships with men are just really difficult. Comparing her chart to her murderer's is interesting. There is a sympathetic trine between their Moons in water signs. But there are no Sun-Moon interchanges and no synastry between Venus and Mars. She was pretty and athletic but she wasn't what he "was looking for". This is why he did not rape her but killed her first. He chose Christina Powell for an evening of torture and then murder and looking at her chart you can see clearly why.

There are strong aspects between Christina Powell's chart and Rollings'. Notice her Moon in Libra trine his Sun in Gemini. His Moon in Pisces square her Sun in Sagittarius. Her Venus and Mars in Scorpio sextile his Mars in Capricorn and trine his Venus in Cancer. He was intensely attracted by this girl and if he hadn't raped and murdered her, he would have wanted her in daily life. In fact, he chose her in daily life. Standing there in the convenience store he saw Powell and followed her and Larson home.

On the night of the murder, as I've already pointed out, transiting Mars was in Taurus. This placement was square to Rollings' natal Pluto and this placement of Mars on this particular weekend may have been a trigger. This and the conjunction of transiting Neptune, Saturn and Uranus over his natal Mars in Capricorn. Notice also that transiting Pluto was in Scorpio, close to Christinas' natal Venus and Mars. Also, transiting Moon in Libra crossed over Christinas' Moon earlier in the evening and it's my guess this would coincide with the time he spotted them at the store and picked her out. And even though Rolling and Powell were born about 20 years apart, their nodes were nearly conjunct in the sign Capricorn.

Looking at the charts for 1 and 2 am, I see that Moon in Libra is in the fifth house in both charts with Pluto in Scorpio joining it there between 1 and 2 am. The Moon in Libra corresponds directly to Christina Powell, who we now know he tortured and raped. Pluto, which marks rape in this chart, is opposed to transiting Mars in Taurus along with the fixed stars, Caput Algol and the Pleiades. Rape was a big part of the violence; he intended to have sex with these girls and in the most violent way possible. Consider that the eighth house ruler is Saturn (the planet that describes death) in the eighth house of death and sex. And Saturn stays in the eighth until after 2 am. Saturn, Pluto and Mercury are the strongest planets in this chart. And it's interesting, when you think about it, that this was an older man raping two young students. I mean, what could be clearer than this?

Other things I would like to note include the placement of Christina Powells Sun on the seventh cusp of the forensic chart(s). This combined with her Moon in Libra being contacted by the transiting Moon tells me that he chose her to rape and kill. Sonja Larson, much like the young man in the third set of murders, was simply collateral damage. She was in the wrong place and the wrong time. Or, even worse, she lived with Christina Powell. Powell's node in Capricorn was conjoined Rollings' natal Mars. In fact, they both had node in Capricorn while Larson did not, she had node in Aquarius.

Of course, all of this brings me to wonder if there is anything in Sonja Larson's chart that singles her out as a victim, as well? And I see that there is synastry and this must be considered. Her Sun in Capricorn was closely aligned with his Mars, and both of these planets were together in the transiting death house. Her Pluto and Uranus in Libra were touched by the transiting Moon that night, perhaps triggering violence as well. Sonja's natal Mars in Aries was square to Rollings' natal Mars in Capricorn, which creates friction and often dislike. I believe this is why she was able to fight him so hard. She was strong and fiery, she had guts and willpower. But nothing in their synastry describes murder for me. A lot of people have this synastry with other people and don't kill each other. They may fight a lot, perhaps, but murder isn't a common act. I think the actual forensic chart has more to offer in understanding what happened with Sonja Larson.

Transiting Pluto in Scorpio trined her natal Moon in Cancer. This is why he didn't rape her. He killed her quickly, did not prolong it. Transiting Moon in Libra made many positive aspects to her birth placements, including a trine to Venus. So she was spared the horrible torture and rape that her roommate had to endure. However, she was also killed. Notice the opposition from her natal Moon in Cancer to the cluster in Capricorn in the eighth house. This and her natal Saturn in Gemini hanging around the Ascendant during the event was another bad omen for her. This and the transiting node in the forensic charts conjoining her natal node created conditions she could not get away from. This is why she was there when it happened and died with her friend, instead of being out with someone else or visiting a friend.

I am going to continue this analysis over a three part series. In the next post, I will tackle the second murder in the triad, the torture and slaughter of Christa Hoyt. I am able to give you a three dimensional view in every instance with this case because I have the birth dates for every victim and well as the murderer and a very tight window of time for the murders.