It Was in the Stars – the Execution of Serial Killer John Muhammad

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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The death of a human being can never be something to celebrate, regardless of how that person lived his or her life or how and why they died. Having said that, there are some deaths that will be mourned by few and will relieve the fears of many. This is one of those deaths, a very sad story.

John Muhammad was an adult serial killer, one of a team of shooters (the Beltway Snipers) who preyed on the surrounding towns of Washington, DC in October 2002.  John Muhammad, along with 17-year-old John Lee Malvo, terrorized the citizens of this large area while law enforcement made every attempt possible to find the shooter(s) and stop the violence. This was home-grown terrorism, terrible in its impact and impossible to mentally resolve that one of us could do such actions against his countrymen.

I have been working with charts of serial killers for three years, creating a body of accurate information and astrological research. John Muhammad has been one of those researched. Born John Allen Williams on Dec 31, 1960 at 6:12 am (Rodden database AA chart) in New Orleans, Louisiana, he had what appeared to be a relatively normal upbringing and adult life. In 1985 when he enlisted in the Army. At that time, he also converted to and fully embraced the religion of Islam, and changed his name to John Muhammad out of respect to his new religion. Muhammad had a mixed military record and was discharged in 1994. He had married a second time and had more children, but was later separated and divorced. During the ongoing routine of his life Muhammad became a father-figure/mentor to Malvo, who Muhammad turned into an expert sniper. Muhammad himself was trained by the U.S. Army. (Malvo was born February 18, 1985 in Kingston, Jamaica. No birth time is available so Malvo was not a part of my research with the exception of his partnership role.)

The violence was originally thought to have begun on October 2nd, 2002 with a random shooting, no injuries. There appear to be other acts of violence prior to this date, but not in this area. Less than an hour later in a nearby town the first victim was gunned down and killed without cause. The nightmare had begun. Twenty days and thirteen victims later (of which ten died), the two men were captured sleeping in their car in the middle of the night at a rest stop on a nearby interstate highway. The car trunk was the sniper’s nest – perfect camouflage and anonymity. The two were tried separately in several trials and Muhammad was sentenced to death. His appeals process was finally exhausted just prior to the execution date by the refusal of clemency by the Governor of Virginia and by the U.S. Supreme Court. Muhammad was executed on November 10, 2009 by lethal injection and was pronounced dead at 9:11 pm (there’s that number again) at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarrett, Virginia.

Serial killing covers a vast range of human behavior, but simplifies to the principles of multiple killings with time gaps (cooling off periods) between kills. The time gap was miniscule in this instance, so the series may also be described as spree killing. In addition, the sheer number of victims also qualifies as mass murder. As you can see, this pair of killers merged the categories. There is a distinction in my studies that I believe is very important to describe a serial killer. Spree or mass killers almost always either expect or intend to die at the scene; personal survival is not a deterrent. Serial killers expect to escape to continue killing. That the two men could escape each crime scene and hide themselves so well suggests their intent was to continue the killings as long as possible, perhaps forever if not caught. These were senseless killings of total strangers, at a non-personal distance – cold, calculated, random, purposeless, and terrorizing.

What in John Muhammad’s birth chart might describe the coldness, the violence, the killing of strangers? We must be specific because all the signs, houses and planets exist in everyone’s chart born that day. What sets this particular chart apart from human commonality? My view of Muhammad’s chart begins with four planets (a stellium) in Capricorn, which is not usually known for warm, fuzzy feelings. Capricorn is capable of rigid thinking and strong self-discipline.  It can be cold and calculating. The presence of several close bodies in the sign emphasizes those qualities. One is a close pairing (three-degree conjunction called “combust the Sun”) between the Sun (ego, self identity) and Mercury (communication) meaning that unless you spoke about him in the way he recognized himself, he could not hear you. His sense of personal entitlement was strong, a common thread of serial killers throughout my research. Many serial killers felt entitled to act out without penalty. That Sun (identity, ego) was close (conjunct) to Jupiter. Jupiter in turn was close to Saturn (duty, responsibility, obligation, limitation, rigid, cold). As if this were not enough, Jupiter is the ruler of the Ascendant, and therefore the chart ruler (most important planet in the chart).

All this took place in the first house of self, which was overloaded and volatile. An overloaded sense of self would tend to flow through its opposite point into the house that represented others and partners. The telling point here is his assertive/aggressive qualities are on the opposition (confrontation and stress) to all those Capricorn planets and Mars does rule guns and violence. This single planet would tend to be the outlet for that 5-planet opposition (exceptionally strong) and the planet is that of war on others (7th), the warlord.

His Venus is in opposition to Uranus across the 2nd/8th axis. Why would that be of concern? His Venus in Aquarius is in the sign of friendship, which tends towards friends of the mind, not necessarily of the heart. The opposition to Uranus, which is the ruler of Aquarius, can cause his value systems and relating skills (Venus) to fluctuate or to take unexpected twists and turns. Think about this: a grown man turned a young boy who trusted him into a killing machine at age seventeen. In addition, that Venus also rules Muhammad’s goals, achievements, and mission (Midheaven). The house in the chart that has to do with catastrophe, death, disaster, destiny (8th) contains both Uranus and Pluto, which are thought to be malefic (nasty at times) and both are retrograde (been there, done that before, unfinished business). That Pluto is tightly joined (conjunct) to the lunar north node giving a karmic twist to his house of destiny. And he certainly was twisted.

How could he get away with this, stay concealed, and yet remain free? One of the signatures of the serial killers in my research showed very large numbers of sextiles and trines in their individual charts. This puzzled me at first because they are generally considered positive aspects, but finally I realized these positive aspects protected them and gave them the opportunity to perform their nefarious deeds and also stay undiscovered,

The crimes were done, the man was adjudged guilty, and the sentence was death. The appeals process did not allow Muhammad to avoid his punishment. He met his own destiny November 10,2009 at 9:11 pm. This did not bring back his victims, but it did give some closure to their families. What was active at that time? By transit (current positions) that Jupiter/Neptune conjunction sat directly on Muhammad’s Venus and was therefore opposing his Uranus. This took place across the 2/8 axis, with the 8th house being the house of death. I think it is ironic that Neptune of chemicals and poisons was a major trigger for his lethal cocktail injection of drugs.

Using another measure, Muhammad was nearly 49 years old or in his 48th year. What happens if I apply (add) 48 degrees to Uranus in the 8th house of death (therefore a planet that can be involved in his own death)? Uranus directed 48 degrees brings me to his Midheaven, goals, ambitions, his pinnacle of achievement, public attention. The Midheaven is both a point of fame or a point of infamy. Muhammad earned infamy.

How does anyone benefit from such violence? We identify the worst among us, we learn, we grow in understanding, we remove such creatures from public participation and hold them responsible, and then we use them as an example to better ourselves and our experience…finally we mercifully allow them to fall out of history, mute testimont to a wasted existence.

Published on EZine online November 2009, republished with slight editing.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.