The Menendez Tragedy
A widely publicized court case is going to the juries as this is written in December 1993. In Beverly Hills, CA, at 11:47 P.M. on August 20, 1989, Lyle and Erik Menendez pumped shotgun blasts into their parents Jose and Kitty Menendez. The two brothers were aged 21 and 18 respectively when they killed their parents. They called the police, and were crying hysterically when the police arrived, talking about a possible gang slaying. Jose was a top executive in the music business who was hated and feared by almost everyone except the higher officials and stock holders of the company which he had pushed to great success, so he theoretically had numerous enemies who might have wanted to kill him. But his sons did too much talking to their psychiatrist, Dr. Oziel. Oziel wanted a witness. He had his girlfriend listen to the confessions, tapes were made, and she eventually talked to the police on March 6, 1990. The brothers were arrested two days later, and their trials started on July 20, 1993. The trials have been separate since some evidence was admissible for one brother and not for the other. Both have expert lawyers and the prosecutor has also done a first-rate job. Since there was no way the brothers could deny their guilt in the face of tape recordings of their descriptions of the killings, their defense has been that they were sexually abused for years as children and were afraid that their parents were going to kill them if they publicized the father’s actions. The defense was hard to sell to the jury since the murders were obviously planned in advance. The brothers went to San Diego to buy the shotgun with a borrowed credit card and they went on a huge spending spree immediately after the deaths. Also, their tape recorded talks to Dr. Oziel said nothing about sexual abuse or fear of being killed.
Thanks to Lois Rodden, we have birth dates and places for all four members of this tragic family, but Erik is the only one for whom we have a birth time. Jose was born in Havana, Cuba on May 6, 1944. I think that he was born very close to 6 A.M.—perhaps 1 minute later. His progressed aspects at the time of his death are absolutely stunning for that birth time. Kitty was born in Oak Lawn, IL on October 14, 1941. I have done a speculative chart for her for 12:44 P.M. It has appropriate aspects for her death but is not as dramatic as Jose’s chart. Lyle was born in New York, NY on January 10, 1968. For readers who want to experiment, a time around 8:08 A.M. gives appropriate aspects. One of the reasons I was attracted to that birth time is that it puts Neptune on the MC. Erik, for whom we have a time from his birth certificate, was born with Neptune exactly on the IC. Erik was born in Livingston, NJ on November 27, 1970 at 23:23 EST. Since we have several dubious charts already in this issue in the article on Michael Jackson, we will just include the one firm chart in this article.
The brothers were raised with physical wealth but emotional poverty. Kitty told them that they kept her from being a movie star. Jose pushed them to be tennis stars and to go to Ivy-league colleges. We can see in Erik’s chart the fourth house emphasis on high expectations which is connected to his own identity and to both parents since Mercury rules the Ascendant and the MC and is in the fourth house in Sagittarius. To repeat the theme, Saturn is in the ninth house and the Moon is conjunct Jupiter. Jupiter in the third house ties the search for MORE to siblings. Letter nine of our astrological alphabet is looking for the Absolute, but we can turn any part of life into God — money, fame, power, property, sensuality, etc. An emphasis on letters nine and/or twelve can indicate a very spiritual person or it can point to someone who is never satisfied. With conflict aspects, it can indicate a problem involving faith, beliefs, morals, ethics. With the Ascendant ruler in Sagittarius and Chiron in Aries, Erik was identified with the Absolute and that identity can range from feeling that whatever we do is never good enough because we are never perfect to feeling that we are God and have a right to whatever we want. But Erik is also identified with other people with Mars in Libra, Aries in the eighth house, and the Ascendant in the Libra dwad. The identification with Libra or Scorpio can range from “I need other people to like me or take care of me because they have the power” to “other people have the power so they should give me what I want and if they don’t, I’ll take it.” Of course, there are also always positive alternatives like “I enjoy sharing with others and helping others” if the individual has enough faith in himself to do that.
Pluto and Libra in the second house suggest a love of beauty and/or luxury which is supported by the strong Scorpio including Venus and Jupiter there, and by additional factors in the eighth house and in Taurus. Except for the Virgo Ascendant (and even that was in the Libra dwad as mentioned above), the general tone of the chart suggests a desire for luxury without much willingness to work for it. God, parents, or other people should provide. The grand cross in fixed signs shows the likelihood of power struggles involving money or possessions or sensuality and appetites. Its placement in mutable houses brings in the issue of faith and morals. I do suspect that Lyle was the instigator of the plan and that Erik would not have had the capacity to initiate it or carry it out alone. But the chart looks more like greed than fear as a motivating factor.
The current patterns are mixed but they include enough conflict aspects to fit a harsh sentence. The best Erik can hope for is a verdict of manslaughter which would bring years in jail. The worst could be execution. His case was to go to the jury on December 15, 1993. We can see that his P Sun squares Pluto, P Venus opposes P Saturn and P Juno (like Pluto), and P Jupiter in Scorpio holds a long T-square to the lunar nodes. P Moon went over Pluto and squared the P Sun during the trial when some of the critical evidence was presented and some of the jurors may have made up their minds. P Mercury, ruler of the Ascendant, is retrograde, square P Uranus, and octile-trioctile Pallas and the mean lunar nodes. P Ascendant has just reached a quincunx to P north lunar node which joins the quincunx to Ceres in the eighth house to form a yod. P local Ascendant squares P Juno and will square P Saturn within three months. P local MC opposes P Mars. These are not encouraging aspects for leniency. Erik does have P MC sextile Ceres, in a trine to Mars and in a few months it will reach the trine to P north node. Also, P Mars on Venus might be helpful, but at the least, it looks as if Erik would get a lengthy jail sentence. In addition to the applying aspect of P Ascendant to P Saturn, other aspects will be coming into orb within two to three months suggesting an important development at that time. The most logical guess would be his sentencing, though with his father’s millions still available, he can continue legal appeals and postponements for many months or years.