"I was in the reformatory school and penitentiary but they create monsters in there."
--David Long's final words before he was executed by lethal injection on 8 December 1999
Long was arrested for a triple murder in 1986. He had attacked three woman from the same household with a foot long hatchet, then confessed to two other violent murders. He described his act as "Satanic".
Born on 15 July 1953, near San Angelo Texas, with no known birth time, Long's chart poses a particular problem for astrologers who just can't work without the angles, an exact location for birth or other factors dependent on a AA Rodden Rating. This is the beauty of working with Jupiter and Saturn: their orbits around us are so slow that a day in the life of a mere human makes little difference. So let's look at the information we do have from a noon chart.
These learners never tire of being admired for their quick wit, passion and eloquence. Unfortunately they seldom give others a chance to speak. For teachers, circle time can become a three-ringed circus with pupils all vying for attention as if no-one had ever noticed them before. They must be taught to take their turn." A Jupiter in Gemini is a quick mind that needs encouragement to look beneath the surface. They can feel overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information out there and a class of these learners tend to polarise into the razor sharps who dominate lessons with their banter and those who are terrified of looking stupid. Long, with Mercury in Leo, would have been particularly affected by this fear and so may have resorted to other means of gaining attention. At his Jupiter returns, these feelings of inferiority may have been ignited--particularly as Venus, the ruler of his Saturn is implicated in every Jupiter transit because of it's proximity to Jupiter.
Long's Saturn was in Libra, ruled by Venus in Gemini. Of this, I've written in "Growing Pains": "These pupils attract those who stimulate their minds. They need to know trivial details and will gossip forever if they are allowed. They need to know that they will learn lots about different types of subjects. Teachers and other authority gures can facilitate this process by showing them an overview of a course and helping them see what they will learn." Saturn in Libra children are fascinated with relationships of all kinds. They need to be in a relationship to understand themselves. I also wrote: When they were about seven (at the first Saturn square), they may have heard about an elderly aunt who was dead for two years before someone found her, or it might have been that their mother was so pre-occupied with her job that they felt neglected, or perhaps there was some cataclysmic crack in the family structure that the parents split up." In Long's case, his mother became ill and subsequently died a few years later, as Uranus and Pluto were both transiting his Moon (Long's natal Moon would have been in Virgo between 8 and 22 degrees). Long's sister (who was a Saturn square older than her brother) testified that following the death of their mother, the children were left in the care of their alcoholic father who neglected them, over disciplined them and on at least one occasion brought home a woman from a bar and had sex with her front of them. The sister went on to testify that her brother had changed after the death of his mother and ended up in reform school just after his first Jupiter return at the age of 12. She, along with another brother, also testified that Long had a long history of substance abuse (which began during his Jupiter return) and mental health problems: all things that should have been addressed by a responsible adult who should have taken an interest in this child.
Children who fall between the cracks, as Long had so clearly done, try to build their house on a wonky foundation. Adding to the problem is having Mercury in Leo which may have meant Long was too ashamed to ask for help himself. To admit to being wrong would have caused him deep humiliation which a fragile ego simply can not cope with. As Long himself pointed out in his final words, an institution like a reform school is not a place to get help but a place where monsters are created. So small wonder he ended up in prison.
Additionally, Long had a stellium of planets, Sun, Mars and Uranus, in Cancer square to Saturn conjunct Neptune. Neptune dissolves Saturn's boundaries and it must be used in non destructive way--for example music is a good way to use this conjunction. Astrology always shows a better alternative.
Before going in to the next phase of Long's life, I just want to address a very big problem in our society and that is the fact that tons of money is channelled into our entertainment industry (such as paying sports and film stars ridiculously large amounts of money for very little work) but we'll skimp on education and over work teachers and social workers to the point where they are driven to apathy. Then we'll complain about how expensive prisons are and blame the educational and social services systems for not doing something to help children avoid a life of crime. And of course, I have a lot to say about how astrology could work with teachers, social workers and probation officers to help people correct their wonky foundations and become productive citizens. But I can't do this on my own.
In late 1978, Long beat a man to death with a tyre iron. The murder remained unsolved. The transits for this day show that Jupiter was transiting its ruler, Mercury in Leo and Saturn was transiting his natal Moon, the point where Uranus and Pluto had transited when his mother died. In his confession, Long had said he felt his victim was treating him as if he were stupid. Five years later when he committed another murder--this time one involving fire--Mars was transiting the stellium of natal planets squaring his Saturn/Neptune conjunction and his North Node was conjunct his natal Jupiter. He said he snapped because he held a grudge against then man and had been on heroin binge.
Three years later, Long met a woman and was staying with her, her blind cousin and a friend. Long had been drinking heavily which was causing friction. Long says that smell of the dogs that lived at the house reminded him of his dying mother. This time, transit Jupiter opposed his natal Moon (the one that had been transited by Uranus /Pluto when his mother died) and transiting Saturn opposed its natal ruler, Venus. He had attacked all three from behind with a foot long hatchet. He was arrested for driving whilst intoxicated and confessed to the murders.
Long remained on death row for over a decade. As the date of his execution approached, as transit Neptune was conjunct his natal North Node, he took an overdose. After a wave of protest, the state of Texas decided they really would remove a man from intensive care to the executioner rather than stay the execution. In the weeks leading up to his execution, transiting Jupiter had been in opposition to Saturn/Neptune.
About the Astrologer
Alex Trenoweth is an MA graduate of the Cultural Astronomy and Astrology course at Bath Spa University (2007) and has gained recognition as an outstanding schoolteacher for her tireless and innovative education of adolescents. Her unique expertise in both astrology and teaching, coupled with ground-breaking research, led her to her write Growing Pains, a book aimed at helping parents and teachers support and guide young people into maturity. Alex’s articles have appeared in astrological magazines across the globe and in addition to her many writing accomplishments, she was voted “Best International Astrologer, 2015” by the Krishnamuti Institute of Astrology in India for the energetic presentation of her original and thought-provoking investigation into astrology and education. As of October 2015, Alex is on a world tour, lecturing on a variety of astrological topics and is enjoying meeting other astrologers from different cultures. The articles on serial killers are a part of the case studies that will be presented in her next book due for release later this year.