How Society Views Violent Crime: Pluto In Capricorn vs Pluto In Aquarius

violenceDid you know there is no such thing a (violent) crime of passion? Up until 1980 it was widely believed that people went crazy and committed violent acts. They were out of their mind and this thing happened. They killed someone or whatever. Many people still believe this. If I ever sit on a jury with one of them I will be able to disabuse them of this notion because I am familiar with Lonnie Athens’ work.

In the late 1970’s Lonnie Athens ran around and interviewed violent criminals in prison. One of the things he discovered was that they knew exactly what they were doing. I admire Athens. Not many people would be able to waltz into a prison and get these dudes to talk to them with any kind of candor. Matter of fact, Athens risked his life for this research which he published in 1980 in his book, The Creation of Dangerous Violent Criminals.

Turns out the thought process that leads a violent criminal to commit the act does not vary from criminal to criminal. When talking about their crimes, the offenders all sound like this:

“Well at first I was just going to do x,y, and z, bust him/her up a little…”

and then they shift; finding justification for what they are about to do:

“But then she did a, b, c… “ or “But then I started thinking about last week or last month or yesterday…”

And they come to their conclusion.

“At that point I decided I should just kill him/her…”

It’s shocking how utterly cognizant these people are of what they are doing, especially when you contrast it with the “crime of passion” idea which it turns out is a big myth!

I think the idea of people committing violent crimes in some kind of altered state is our collective (Pluto) defense against reality (Saturn). I also think that when Pluto goes into Capricorn the defense will fall.

Update – I originally wrote this in 2010. Pluto is in Capricorn now. The collective view of violent criminals has changed, considerably.

People have more awareness of dark, hidden machinations that go on. You’d be hard pressed to find someone willing to excuse a murderer because he or she was feeling passionate! We better understand “cold and calculating”. The popularity of crime shows, both “real” and fiction may have helped in this regard.

Looking ahead, at Pluto in Aquarius, I imagine the collective violence to be ruthless and bloodless; machined.

What do you think?

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How Society Views Violent Crime: Pluto In Capricorn vs Pluto In Aquarius — 23 Comments

  1. Wow. Fascinating. I love that I learn new things here every day. Thank you … again!

    I think that I’m nervous, scared, and excited about what is coming around the corner. I’m hopeful that the changes will bring something positive in the long run but scared that humanity will spiral downward in reaction to this. I am mostly hopeful that astrologers like you continue to give hope and guidance and clear understanding… it will make a difference!

  2. I don’t think I buy the ‘altered state’ business. Or how it is used to excuse horrific behaviour. People don’t claim to make grandiose gestures of love because they are in an altered state, do they? Absolutley it is a defense against reality.

  3. The Saturn (cold, hard ‘reality’) series of oppositions to Neptune (exacting on and off through the last appx. 10 months!! period ending in late June of ’07) has reflected many illusions (Neptune) bashing up against the rocks of material, causal reality (Saturn).
    Our most convenient example is Iraq, but so many of the other adventures by this administration illustrate this tendency, especially of late.
    As far as ‘horrific behavior’, the feelings of desperation and ‘no alternative’ indicated by the inflexibility and cold insensitivity of Saturn can bring out people’s extremist action, born, again, of perceived desperation and/or lack of real alternatives.

  4. Totally non-astro… That’s what the abuse survivor books say too. Yeah, your man says he ‘just lost his head’ and ‘didn’t really mean it’ and all that crap, but the reality is that he was under control at all times and made those choices consciously.

    I sorta proved it in real life, too. My (now) ex had a habit of punching walls to intimidate me. He always said he ‘lost his temper’. But one day I went and talked to a very nice cop who explained to me that he and his fellow cops understood that it was a short step between punching the wall and punching me, and that they would be happy to come arrest him for me if he did it again. I told the ex exactly what I’d been told, and sure nuff, he never did it again. He still blew up and ranted and raved, but he made damned sure his fists didn’t swing anymore. So much for losing control, eh?

  5. I disagree about there not being crimes of passion since I myself nearly committed a couple.

    In life I am not a violent person, and I’m always blathering on about peaceful measures yadda yadda but I remember when I saw someone beating up my dog I went berserk. In an instant. And I was on top of them screaming and shouting and kicking and punching the person in turn.

    I in no way planned the behaviour, it just happened because a switch in my core got flipped and I can imagine how with enough stimulation and in the right context people don’t stop at assault.

    My husband is a similarly peaceful man who doesn’t plot revenge or think about vindictiveness very much. But flip the right switch (such as say have someone attack me or the baby) and he would be fully capable of killing that person.

    I remember a girl I went to university with who had repressed pretty much every emotion except the ones which she had invested in her relationship. And thinking that if I ever hoped someone’s husband never cheated on them it was hers, because if he did and she caught him I genuinely can’t imagine what she’d do but nervous breakdown/killing someone seemed the most likely options.

    Crimes of passion are rare and very specific in that they are completely unplanned. They are an overreaction to a situation upon which the person stumbles and they don’t involve thinking at all about what someone did last week but just pure reaction in that second.

  6. seekingzen – that’s right. How come these people never lose it when there is a cop around! Matter of fact this comes out in the research as well. The criminal will abort the violent plot if a cop shows up / some other force where they think they’ll get caught. For example a woman screaming her head off as she is being abducted..

    “I had to let that loud bitch go…”

    Or “I had to quit beating her because, blah, blah blah happened so I thought I better get out of there…”

  7. Nia if your friend from school showed up to do her crime of passion killing and a cop was sitting outside… whoops! Abort.

    As for killing “in the second” I suppose it’s possible but the research does not bear this out at all.

  8. *smiles*
    Or the cop would have heard the screams and run in and stopped her…

    The fact is in a true crime of passion when people blow a fuse the rest of the world ceases to exist.

    To be sure, crimes of passion are rare. I don’t know how rare, but I imagine very. They are not to be confused with any kind of premeditated crime. They are not to be confused with domestic violence which is about control and there perpetrators have both an idea of what they’re doing and impulse control whether they realise it or not.

    To truly lose it is a frightening thing. A whole army could have stood behind me and they wouldn’t have pulled me off the guy I saw assaulting my dog. Seriously in that moment of seeing red absolutely nothing existed but me and him. It is frightening to be in that state and I wouldn’t wish to go there again because I like having impulse control.But I do know that if the right switch is flipped life can get you into states that you didn’t expect doing things you’d never imagined you would do. Unpleasant, but eye-opening.

    Similarly just because the researcher didn’t find a certain type of criminal don’t mean they don’t exist… but I wonder what stories him going into psychiatric secure units would have turned up.

  9. Just my two cents worth…I haven’t read the research, but I suspect the qualifications for defining the parameters might clarify things. And I’m sure it’s a hard thing to define since we live in a violent, sick and dysfunction world right now. Everything is on a gradient and to cross the line into killing someone when that is not normally something that is part of your make-up, or being uncharacteristically violent, smacks of temporary insanity. So, no such thing as crimes of passion? I don’t buy it because that would mean that nobody ever goes over that edge of relative sanity.

    Like Nia said, it’s rare, and when the rage becomes so great that you think you’ve lost control, it’s hard to know really. Especially since most of us lead lives where we are not really in control to begin with, otherwise we wouldn’t have addictions, wouldn’t cowtow to the fears and pressures of society etc. We are also very conditioned to respect the authority of the police, and so that particular threat will short circuit most feelings of being out of control. But I can imagine situations where it wouldn’t – a true “crime of passion”.

    I used to watch a television program long ago, I think put out by BBC – definitely British…it was fascinating.

  10. The need many people have to distance themselves from what we humans are capable of, is very apparent in the typical euphemisms “monsters” and “animals” for “serial killers” and the like. It seems to me that this is part of the same phenomenon!

  11. the flood of brain chemicals that is “passion,” as in crimes of, seems to me a lot like intoxication. people get intoxicated by their brain chemicals and their inhibitions are lowered. but they still wouldn’t do something that is not within them to do.

    I remember when I was fighting for my life I had the opportunity to kill or very badly hurt the person attacking me. I didn’t take it. I used my wits to escape instead. and now I know that it’s not in me to kill a person, at least at that level where I felt I still had other alternatives. I knew I might fail and die, but I chose differently. and I know more about myself because of it. I don’t think I would be very happy with myself now had I chosen differently. I would KNOW that I chose to kill… though few would have faulted me given the situation.

    I’m not sure how I would choose today. the stakes are higher (more kids to take care of) and I’m older (less confidence in my physical ability to persevere). but because of the earlier situation I have a good deal of confidence in my extreme situational decision-making abilities.

  12. Thank you very much for this, Elsa, I for one am totally interested. I am too wiped out tonight to give these the attention they deserve, so I will be carefully reading thru this stuff tomorrow.

    By the way, I’m currently reading “The Gift of Fear.” Thanks for putting me on to that. Great read.

  13. Having been through a shitty divorce, I know that there are emotional situations in which you’re not thinking with a clear head. It’s like a literal temporary insanity, where you’re thinking and doing things you normally wouldn’t do with a moral compass that’s temporarily fucked up.

    I can certainly imagine someone in such a rage of anger or dispair doing something they later SERIOUSLY regretted when they calmed down.

    The “What was/am I THINKING” situation, where it’s obvious the emotion of the moment was the only thing guiding the action.

  14. What about transporting rage? Not even in official crimes, but in hitting somebody or yelling at them in the moment, we do hurt them, but how much do we really plan? Hurting someone in a capacity is a kind of crime. Do we really always take stock of our surroundings? Would you stop yelling at so and so if a cop came around?

  15. This hits a nerve as I was recently in therapy and she said that a certain X was deeply disturbed as in mentally ill -it was not the first time I heard this POV. Still, I questioned that, since X was careful to not be seen by others. The shrink response was:

    “You would be amazed at how many mentally ill people are clever and they dont want to be caught, they dont want to be put away, dont want to be in trouble with the law and conceal it all. Some people its very obvious, they loose touch totally with reality and they dont protect themselves but there is a whole bunch of them that do, they function.”

  16. I gotta add a few things here. I did not mean to be a troll and contradict anyone on this page. I still don’t have a definitive answer personally. It only matters when a killer is let loose, sane or not sane. Finding effective solutions to the lesser crimes is more complex. I cant help thinking about the Prison Industrial Complex which is a whole other related topic, as well as mental institutions.

  17. The passion spoken of in the crime of passion is the trigger if some thought process. So this leads to what is passion? Nothing but a bunch of thought that is particularly powerful henceforth biochemical related? Big question really.

  18. Now that about Aquarius and Pluto. Wow that was almost fearful! I kinda imagined The Terminator but then not quiet, but something like it maybe. WILD.

  19. I served on a jury for a murder trial this year to deliberate over exactly this distinction: 1st degree (premeditated murder)/2nd degree (intent to kill)/voluntary manslaughter (“crimes of passion”)

    *shudders*

  20. They might be insane, but they’re not legally insane. The dude who tried to shoot Reagan in 1981 is a good example of this: He said something along the lines of wanting to shoot Reagan to impress Jodie Foster! Yes, he is cognizant, but he had obviously swam to the deep end of the pool.

    Of course, none of this excuses their actions and they should still be in jail. Personally, I think these people are more likely psychopathic than suffering from any emotional disorder. Also, some people have trouble controlling their anger when they’re emotionally stressed, so it might be more likely the inability to control their anger rather than any type of sickness itself.

  21. I don’t think I ever hit someone,I think since very young, drop and play dead
    Angry too ugly for me
    Crime of passion?I think if you care
    For someone you don’t want to hurt them, so I don’t buy, crime of passion
    I think it’s jealousy

  22. I also was thinking of Pluto today. I work in a school and I’m a parent and I can’t help but notice the kids around 14-15 all have a morbid obsession with death. They even use the slang “I’m dead” meaning they r laughing so hard. They say I want to kill myself as a normal every day term. I was wondering if it was their Pluto placement. They grew up during Pluto square Uranus. Maybe that played a part.

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