Amityville Horror

Amityville murders newspaper
On November 13th, Ronald DeFeo J.r. the son of a prestigious Italian family killed his parents and four younger siblings in Amityville, Long Island, U.S.A. The case is the inspiration for the book and film entitled The Amityville Horror. The day of the murders he burst into Henry’s Bar in Amityville, Long Island, New York and declared: “You got to help me! I think my mother and father are shot!” Defeo and a small group of people went to 112 Ocean Avenue, and found all six members of the same family dead in their beds. The victims were Ronald Defeo (43), Louise Defeo (42), and four children: Dawn (18); Alison (13); Marc (12); and John Mathew (9). All the victims were shot around 3.00 in the morning.

The following day after intensive interviews with police, Ronald DeFeo Jr. confessed to the killings. He told detectives, “Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. It went so fast.” Defeo’s trial began on October 14, 1975. His defence lawyer pleaded insanity, claiming that Robert heard voices in his head that urged him to carry out the killings. The insanity plea was supported by the psychiatrist for the defence. The psychiatrist for the prosecution, Dr. Harold Zolan, maintained that although Robert was a user of heroin and LSD, he had an anti-social personality disorder and was aware of his actions at the time of the crime. On November 21, 1975, Defeo was found guilty of six counts of second degree murder and was sentenced to six consecutive sentences of 25 years to life.

Haunted, Evil and Possessed

The house had been built-in 1928 on the site of old Indian graveyards, and was said to be haunted, evil and possessed by Indian spirits. Hans Holzer and his team began an investigation of the property on January, 13, 1977. The next people to move in, the Lutz family, moved out in 28 days. The natal chart of Defeo might hold some clues to his innate character and what triggered these murders. The horoscope shows: Sun opposite Jupiter, conjunct Saturn and square Chiron. Sun-Jupiter can have an excessively high self-opinion and exaggerated sense of inflation/self aggrandizement. Ronald's Sun in aspect to Saturn signifies he desperately needed to feel important. The Sun in the natal chart relates to the father and he may have felt that his individuality was not recognised. Saturn often symbolises a controlling and rigid father and one that may not have spent enough quality time with his son. He was unable to build a solid relationship with his eldest boy. Reports revealed that his father was an over-controlling, harsh and violent man.

Astrology chart of Ronald Defeo
The repercussions of this on his natural inner sensitivity to authority figures, rejection and criticism (Sun-Saturn) are that he looked for external reinforcement and feared his own insignificance. Ronald is a jovial character (Jupiter) and is someone ready to seize opportunities, but there is great fear of failure, and constant need to prove him self which was driven by a sense of personal inadequacy. Highly defensive, wounded (Chiron) and self-exaggerated, he swindled money from his family and was an unpredictable and reckless character.

Fierce Competitiveness

The difficult relationship with his father and abusive childhood may be shown by a Mars-Pluto conjunction in Leo. This contact displays great ruthlessness, fierce competitiveness and a deeply fixed nature and is sometimes indicative of a childhood where the youngster’s natural self-assertive instincts are blocked. It could be said that at some stage there was a feeling of powerlessness. Typically it is not always viewed in such a direct way through the personality and can show indirectly through depression, illness and self-destructiveness. Kylie Minogue is considered to have a pleasant and social personality and she also has a hard Mars-Pluto contact. Physically her sexuality is evident, however, the competitive instinct is less on show. The tiny pop star developed breast Cancer in 2005 and began the fight (Mars) for survival (Pluto). Whatever the contact, Mars-Pluto has a strong survival instinct and can fight tooth and nail with tremendous force. Margaret Thatcher (first lady PM in the U.K) also has a natal Mars-Pluto aspect and she had to be competitive in a field dominated by men. Mars-Pluto also relates to distrust in men and buried rage.

The Mars-Pluto conjunction in fixed Leo shows deep pride and attention seeking attitude. Personal desires are incredibly strong. The Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus cardinal T-square in his chart, represents a challenging, imbalanced but energetic combination. The resultant tension of the polarizing planets creates enormous pressure on the focal planet of the t-square. In Ronald’s T-square the apex planet is Uranus. And when the energy is acting destabilized the worst “character traits” of Uranus come to the fore. Therefore, his insecurity around his identity and relationships (Aries-Libra) can create disruptive, rebellious and wilful behaviour. Relationships are thrown out of balance and result in anti-social problems and breaking the law. The authority figure within (Saturn) was projected onto his father, police and other formal outside symbols. Jupiter and Saturn squaring Uranus also signify a rebellious spirit. The fiery rebellious nature dominated and he may have sided with Uranus and basically screwed all authority (Saturn). Defeo’s natal Sun-Saturn was difficult to integrate. Astrologers would advise him to become his own authority and not rely on outside symbols because they would not be forthcoming. Self-sufficiency, self-reliance and real sense of identity and worth comes from inside and through achieving success without external help.

The transits leading up the night of the murders reveal that Saturn had been passing over natal Uranus and setting off the stressful T-square. Transiting Neptune trine Jupiter was showing a sort of passive confidence, heightened fantasy and perhaps even delusion. Realism is less evident with this contact. Pluto was passing over his Sun-Saturn conjunction and in astrological terms indicated the time was ripe for self-transformation and confronting limitations. This particular planetary configuration can also mean death of father/authority figure or depression and obsession and unhealthy patterns formed. With this whole transit, he was literally thrown into the depths of his complexes and psychological motivations, and nothing is taken at face value. The need to dig into the core of his fatherly archetypal dilemma signified by natal Sun-Saturn is triggered. Howard Sasportas, transiting Pluto aspecting the Sun:

"In some cases, Pluto-Sun transits may indicate the father himself experiencing a difficult or disruptive period - illness, retirement, or various emotional and psychological crises. Sometimes these transits correlate to the death of father - an event that inevitably will have a profound effect on us. When a parent dies, all the old issues and conflicts surrounding that parent come to the surface. Feeling of anger and resentment or guilt to with the father will re-emerge." God’s of Change

The un-resolved conflicts re-emerging profoundly altered him and triggered his self-destructive behaviour. The man was possessed by Pluto. Astrologically Pluto signifies our inner demons, obsessions and compulsions. Perhaps he was overwhelmed with resentfulness towards his father, and rather than attempt to heal the pain, he chose to destroy it all.

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