Mars Returns; Q & A On What Astro-Factors Drove The Rape-Strangle Murders?

DeSalvo photo 5

Albert DeSalvo raped and strangled 13 women in Boston in the early 1960’s.  What might we find in any of his charts to bring us understanding of what contributed to this mind-set and actions?  In this post I will utilize DeSalvo’s Mars Return chart of Sept. 18, 1961.  Why might we look at a Mars Return chart?  Mars has a great number of keywords attached to it.  We are dealing with the life of a murderer, so we will consider Mars in any light that reflects what a murder might think or do.  Mars is associated with anger, assertiveness, sexual power/presence, taking action, applying force.  Then, we need to determine what we might look for in a Mars Return chart:

  • The house position of t/Mars and n/Mars in the Return chart relative to its place in the natal chart.
  • The role of t/Sun and t/Moon in the Mars Return chart.  Also, the t/Part of Fortune as a focus for possible Asecndant expression.
  • Any aspect patterns relating to the Mars-to-Mars position.
  • Assessing what a “Part of Anger” might mean (using the Mars-Sun relationship relative to the Ascendant position).


t/Mars conjoining n/Mars in the 8th house; the house of unequal sharing, of partner values and resources, or the famous “Sex, Death and Taxes.”  We can certainly see that DeSalvo had sex and death part as part of his plan, while he also took a lot in terms that were not money related.  t/Part of Fortune (Sun-Moon relationship) is at the IC angle; serious life-changing chances may alter the direction of his life.  t/Moon is 105 degrees ahead of the Sun — this is a two-fifths relationship, a conjunction in a fifth-harmonic chart.  Five is the number of Man, representing the actions, feelings and challenges of human life, the trials and tribulation endured or experienced.  The 2nd phase of this 5 part phase relates to taking action to enjoy or create one’s personal views and feelings.  

t/Mars is 26 degrees ahead of the t/Sun.  If we construct a “Part of Anger”, we would place that Part of Anger 26 degrees ahead of the Ascendant at 27 Pisces.  This p/Anger opposes the Sun; DeSalvo is not acting in his best interests, he is striking out against others for the anger within himself.  This is easily seen.  What is not so easily seen is the cause.  I’ll have to do some more reading on this.

n/MC and t/Uranus is at   angle; how DeSalvo views his role in life, defines his goals, set his public image is all about to change in this cycle relative to how he acts and works within relationships.  Where t/Pluto conjoins n/Neptune in this 7th house, not far from the angle, we can see a dramatic twist in what his self-vision was relative to the rest of the world.  The n/Neptune to n/Pluto relationship is a 45 degree angle; an aspect that represents a fight to break free from perceived constraints and to establish one’s own values and manner of living life.  All of this was in the personal-contact-with-others quadrant of the natal chart (the 7th, 8th, 9th and a bit of the 10th house).  It is like he never had an opportunity to develop normal interactions with others that related to appreciating them, their values, their ideas and their goals in life.  Was he really an insular person in some way?  In the early 1960’s there were increasing developments of the public (an underground portion of the public) demonstrating for individual rights.  The full expression of this wave became more intense with civil rights and anti-war protests emerging during the Kennedy and Johnson presidential years.  Did these issues influence DeSalvo’s own sense of personal protest?  DeSalvo’s Sun was in the n/Eleventh, his Moon in the n/Seventh; in a more normal context he would have had a sense of community values and contribution, and feelings about relating to others.  Again, something has had to cause him to shut himself off from reality and people he knew, and to steer him to this distance-from-others that he resolved through an intimate and personal attack  in the form of rape and strangulation.

In terms of n/Venus relating to n/Mars; This is also close to a 45 degree aspect, but an aspect where Venus is behind Mars and closing.  This last eighth segment (45 degrees) cycle is the prophet phase wherein Venus (desires, personal values, what attracts one) has to consider that changes are occurring, or are about to occur, in which his sexual self will need to change.  Change is hard.  Perhaps these attacks were a resistance to change.  Perhaps his apology to victim #14 (after the rape but  before deciding not to kill her) was the result of this inner compulsion to make changes in his life.

In this posting I have moved away from viewing and explaining events and have instead focused more on explaining events in terms of what drove the individual to act.  The balance of DeSalvo’s story concerns his trial, following his last victim’s identification of him and the subsequent arrest, his being found guilty, his escape from custody, his final imprisonment and the brutal end inflicted upon him while in prison.  Although these are significant milestones they are not all astrologically significant.  It is as if the charts reflected the “going through the motions” mentality of DeSalvo — all of these following events were the consequences of his mindset, his brutal killing spree and his “change of heart” that led to his personal downfall.  

The astrological pattern of our birth chart and the cycles of solar movement that we adopted continue after our death.  In DeSalvo’s case, there is one more event that occurred recently.  We can explore the above events as well as this recent event to see how this cycle continues beyond one’s earthly life.  Dave.


About dadsnook

Dave has been exploring cyclic astrology since the mid-1970's. CYCLIC astrology utilizes both Return charts and planetary-pair cycles for short-term prediction. These practices and nine years of archived material are available for study or reading at A new book, Personal Prediction ISBN 978-9-615-63033-5, has been published and the MC-Solar Cycle technique is now supported through a recognized software provider so that all students and practicing astrologers can apply these techniques for their own use. Recently, Dave has been exploring a new charting format:, transiting Moon to natal Sun Return charts. These moon-sun returns show how we can maintain or deal with change in our lives. A book, Personal Moon-to-Sun Returns 2 has been released in 2015. Contact Dave for details at Dave is a retired business systems analyst and automation systems engineer, enjoys woodcarving and tarot in addition to astrology.
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