Murder, not suicide at Cherry Tree Creek

We can almost hear the conversation, “The Nissan’s ours for one more day, so let’s make the most of having the four-wheel drive.  How about we go out for a spot of night fishing?”

His wife and her girlfriend pack away the Scrabble they were playing, while he loaded the Nissan Patrol with their gear and tackle.  It was a spontaneous decision and the women set out with the man-in-the-van following, agreeing to meet at the Cherry Tree Creek turnoff.

Once off-road, the women stopped to let him clamber into the back seat and the four-wheel drive continued down the bumpy track only to discover that they were unable to negotiate the crossing; fallen logs blocked their path.  Julie-Anne manoeuvred a heavy three-point turn and headed back to the Atherton-Herberton Road.  What happened after that, can only be conjecture.

Perhaps his plan was stymied and an argument escalated.  The women were giving up the fishing expedition and were now going home.  Both had an early start in the morning, with Julie-Ann due to take the four-wheel drive down to the car yard where she had arranged to sell it and Vicki had an early business appointment.

In his mind he had no option; it was now or never.  Desperate times lead to desperate measures.  He reached down for where he’d stashed the sawn-off .22 rifle behind the passenger seat. Vicki saw a flash of steel, turned towards him between the front seats in an effort to deflect the firearm and in his haste the gun misfired.  A bullet tore through the seat and into the front passenger’s thigh.

NissanHe wasn’t going to miss this time.  Raising the sawn-off rifle, he shot the driver.

He’d shut her up, permanently.  Her voice box shattered.

Swerving out of control, the Nissan ran off the track taking a young Casuarina with it and coming to a jarring halt on a tree stump. He fired again, this time penetrating the driver’s left temple.

Vicki flung the passenger door open and fled, despite her leg injury.

Julie-Anne still wasn’t dead as she sat in the driver’s seat so he wound the seatbelt around her neck and pulled it tight.  By the time she was found two weeks later, the coroner was unable to determine whether she had strangled from the seatbelt or died from the bullet wounds.

Vicki wasn’t going to get away.  He ran her down on foot and shot her in the back of the head.  Dropping with a mortal wound, her shoes were to be discovered much later, some 15 to 20 metres from where her body was found in the Nissan.

Dragging the dead weight back to the vehicle, he discovered his wife continuing to gasp for air.  Apart from bashing her on the head with a rock, he opened the back of the Nissan, took out a knife from the fishing tackle and proceeded to cut her throat before she finally fell silent.

In an effort to stage a suicide, the killer placed Vicki back into the vehicle and set the gun up at her feet and fired up into her jaw.  With the body slumped into the passenger side foot-well, he placed the sawn-off rifle beside the young woman with her hand resting on the stock, before returning to his van and leaving the scene; going home to have sex with his wife’s teenage sister.

That, my friends, was a hypothetical scenario of what might well have happened on the night of 25th July, 1991 on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland.

vicki-julie-annJulie-Anne Margaret Leahy, wife of Alan Noel Thomas Leahy died in the driver’s seat of her Nissan Patrol that night.

Her best friend Vicki Serina Arnold lay dead beside her.

The tropics did their best to decompose the bodies over the next two weeks until some young trail-bike riders came upon the crime scene; a site far from where the police and SES had been directed to search.

From then on if it weren’t such a tragedy, you’d call it a comedy of errors.  Inexperienced police officers calling it a ‘murder-suicide’ committed by Vicki Arnold; department budget cuts halting a serious investigation; bungling all round, followed by a media quick to run a headline “Murder-suicide pact suspected” and it appears that a killer got away with it for the next umpteen years.

Before his wife was even cold in the ground, this man took his wife’s little sister into his bed and at just 16 years of age, she became the surrogate mother to his children.

Not only did Alan Leahy get a payout on his wife’s life insurance, he even sued the Arnold family for a further $45,000, claiming that Vicki was responsible for his wife’s death.  His argument was substantiated by the fact that Vicki Arnold had been identified as the owner of the Ruger .22 calibre semi-automatic rifle; not that it was still recognisable after being  sized-down and sawn-off into a concealed weapon.

Vicki had recently bought the gun ostensibly for a male friend; a friend whom she didn’t identify.  She had no experience with firearms.

It would appear that Vicki was a very fanciful, gullible young woman according to her natal astrology. Not enough questions were asked.

Alan Noel Thomas Leahy had been deep in debt; the marital home in Cairns was under threat of foreclosure, his business was in dire straits and the bank account was empty. He needed a financial injection of money and fast.  Selling the Nissan Patrol wasn’t going to bail him out.

Has the whole world gone mad?  Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands are not out in the never-never. This is not the ‘wild west’.  We are in a tourist destination and entry point to a national treasure, The Great Barrier Reef.

The stench from this crime should have been enough to bring authorities to their senses.  To make matters worse, over the years there were coronial findings and enquiries with enough paperwork to sink a battle-ship, before finally some form of justice and another coronial inquest in 2012, prevailed.

Twenty-two years later Alan Noel Thomas Leahy was charged with the double murder.  He had a new family to support in Western Australia; bail was granted.  That was on 20th March, 2013.

Now we await the DPP’s decision as to whether a trial for the murder of the two women is in the public’s interest.  Two families await justice.

Time and the decision of a Director of Public Prosecutions is of no consequence when it comes to the heavens having their say.  Turning to forensic astrology, we have enough information to draw up bi-wheels with a tentative event time.  We have the residential address of the Leahy family, the scene of the crime and the birth data of the victims.  We can proceed.

As is my usual disclosure, I state here that astrology is a pseudo science, does not purport to be a scientific study and advise that the findings are not accepted in a court of law.  Using symbolism and classic astrological interpretation, we can only poke and prod, ask questions and make suggestions.

At midnight on this particular night, the horizon rises at 26 degrees Aries; M31, Vertex in the Andromeda galaxy is the fixed star of the moment.

“The man whose birth coincides with the rising of Andromeda from the sea will prove merciless, a dispenser of punishment, a warder of dungeon dire; he will stand arrogantly by while the mothers of wretched prisoners lie prostrate on his threshold, and the fathers wait all night to catch the last kisses of their sons and receive into their inmost being the dying breath.

From the same constellation comes the figure of the executioner, ready to take money for a speedy death and the rites of a funeral pyre, for him execution means profit, and oft will he bare his axe.”  [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century A.D., Book 5, p.351.]

An ominous time we share together, as we interpret the following:

  • The event is suggested as midnight 25/26 July 1991
  • Birth data Vicki Serina Arnold
  • Birth data Julie-Anne Margaret Leahy
  • Birth data Alan Noel Thomas Leahy


click on image for full size

We create bi-wheels for the three persons with the common perspective of the event; the deaths of Vicki Arnold and Julie-Anne Leahy.  The inner wheel is the event and the outer wheel is the natal chart for each person under scrutiny.

The individual wheels are snapshots of the planetary positions in the heavens against the backdrop of the zodiac; one at midnight on 25/26 July 1991 and the others on the day that the person in question, was born.

The first bi-wheel on the left is the woman accused of murdering her best friend.  We allow Vicki Arnold to have her voice heard first.

Vicki Arnold was born at the peak of a full-moon, which is a challenge for any person with that high-tide pull on the emotions.  Apart from the lunar challenge, highlighted in turquoise in the outer wheel, we see Mars exact conjunct Neptune.

This young woman has a heightened sense of fantasy, would have in all likelihood concocted fanciful stories and believed that she was part of them.  Reality and fantasy would blur.  This can be very entertaining for her friends, although it can be a tad OTT, if it gets to be ridiculous.

Emotional confrontation would make it difficult for Vicki to retain her composure; if confronted in relation to these fantasies or ridiculed, she would most likely react clumsily and retreat into her shell.  Perhaps that is why she wasn’t challenged, when she bought the firearm.

Her characterization aside, how would Vicki have reacted to this horrific event?

  • The Sun (highlighted orange) has orbited to quindecile her natal Saturn, the grim reaper and forensic planet of death (highlighted in red); the zigsaw comes together.
  • The nodal axis indicating a traumatic event, which will come to the public’s attention is conjunct her personal Lunar nodal axis-Neptune and square to her natal Jupiter (highlighted in green).  This could be interpreted as being the sad part of the subterfuge – being accused of the murder/suicide.
  • Natal Venus (her sweet self) is highlighted in pink and following the red lines on the bi-wheel, we can see that the planet is positioned square to the Moon of the event as well as the nodal axis.  Being born with a heightened sensitivity to the Moon (at a full moon) makes this an even more emotional trauma.
  • At the time of the event the planets Mars (male) and Venus (female) are exact conjunct in the heavens, as well as in conjunction with Vicki’s forensic planet Uranus, creating sudden changes.  Well that is certainly the case – sudden changes in the relationship of her companions.

If Vicki Arnold were the perpetrator of the crime of murder of her friend and companion of that evening, the heavens would be indicating her forensic planets as major contributors to this event.  The planet Mars as an activator; Saturn as the grim reaper at her side and Pluto, holding or withholding power, whichever the case may be. The following must be noted:

  • None of these three planets are creating the tension required to identify such an occasion. 
  • Suicide also has a recognizable pattern in astrology and it is definitely not in this bi-wheel.

Alan Leahy:  When we turn to the second bi-wheel, our POI, apart from a clearly defined locator angle of the forensic planet of Mars in his natal chart intersected by Mercury in transit within the constellation of Leo (Mercury is the planet of communication).  His word is their command.  Note here also, that both women were shot in the throat area, their communication was targeted.

  • Mars-Venus transit is exact conjunct natal Moon heightening the emotional need of this man.  In must be noted that people get mighty emotional about money.
  • Natal Pluto (power) is also indicating the forensic input of this POI at the event.  He is certainly not snoozing in front of the television at home as he claims.
  • His Lunar nodal axis is also conjunct the nodal axis of the event – a traumatic event and certainly on the public’s agenda with the Moon of the event in the middle.  The public are likely to have very strong emotions as to which side they take in this case – whether murder-suicide by Vicki Arnold or murder most foul by another.
  • Pluto (forensic indicator of power) is transit exact his natal Venus-Mercury midpoint: Highly focused, argumentative position of power.

There is much more we could add, however I leave that for students of astrology.

Julie-Anne Leahy, the third bi-wheel shares the locator angle with her husband; a locator angle which connects the two positions of our focus – the residential address and the place where the bodies were recovered, but more of that later.

  • Highlighted in pink is Julie-Anne’s natal Venus at the all-important angle of the mid-heaven.  She is top on the agenda.
  • The MC also is the midpoint of the event’s Moon-Saturn; a highly structured strategy. Julie-Anne was the focus of the crime that unfolded.
  • Saturn (grim reaper) is also the focus of her natal Sun-Mercury. She would expect common sense to prevail.
  • Pluto (forensic indicator) has orbited to direct opposition to her natal Jupiter (highlighted in green). Jupiter inflates what it touches and so her death was inevitably a struggle for life.

We now present a map of the land with a red line drawn between the two addresses, as mentioned above.  Following our regular methodology combining astrology and cartography, we superimpose a flipped bi-wheel of the ‘Event-Alan Leahy’ and let the heavens reveal what they are obliged to tell us – note that the red line connecting the two locations extends onto the bi-wheel through the natal planet of Mars and Mercury of the event.  In western mythology, Mercury is the messenger of the gods.

MAP-Leahy#1The slight angle needed for alignment indicates that we are only minutes out in our calculations of the timed event.

12:10:00am might have brought a more precise result. However in the overall scheme of things, this will suffice.

click on image for full size

I have two questions to pose, in closing:

  • What cock and bull story did the alleged murderer tell Vicki in order to coerce her into buying the .22 calibre Ruger on his behalf?
  • Once the women were found, why did the police not find it suspicious enough to reconsider Alan Leahy’s possible role in the crime?  He had reported that the women went fishing in the completely opposite direction to where they were found.

Published by

Mountain Misst

navel gazer

9 thoughts on “Murder, not suicide at Cherry Tree Creek”

  1. I have had a keen interest in this case from the beginning as I live on the Tablelands. It has always been common knowledge that Alan Leahy was involved, and no one could understand why they didn’t fully investigate this further at the time. It was also known by the locals that he was involved with his wife’s sister before her death. I will be watching and waiting for the court case. Let the truth come out and be heard.

  2. Thank you MM for this analysis which ‘gives the victims a voice’. It is never to late for justice to be done. We can only hope that the DPP have more commonsense than investigating police back in 1991.
    With technological advances in forensic analysis and DNA matching there have been several cold-cases solved recently.
    Better late than never. Victims and families deserve no less. May it be so for the families of Julie-Anne and Vicki.

  3. Thanks for this snippet. Hopefully a flock of chickens will be coming home to roost before too long 🙂

  4. fantastic submit, very informative. I’m wondering why the other specialists of this sector don’t understand this.
    You should continue your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  5. Interesting theory apart from the ignoring of one important detail which requires the imaginary conversation – “What about the children? – Vanessa 16, Anitra 10, Sandra 9, Alan jr 3, and Kathleen 3 months [!] – Oh let’s just leave them home alone in surburbia for three hours in the middle of the night. What could possibily go wrong?

  6. That wasn’t a problem YK. Vanessa was already surrogate mother and wife. Alan Leahy was in sixteen year-old Vanessa’s bed before daylight – that was his alibi.
    After the murder, Vanessa continued to keep the accused’s bed warm and the children cared for until she was old enough to realise that he was just using her. It’s all on the court record.

  7. YK I differ; consider your query worthy and value your input. I merely know a few more facts than most, because I researched the case in order to write the post.
    Your comment would likely be a tack that the defence would take if/when this case gets to trial.

    As a sibling of Julie-Anne, Vanessa came to live with them, ostensibly to help with the children. As to how she came to be in her brother-in-law’s bed, the defence will challenge sibling rivalry, whereas I would tend to lean towards his seduction.

  8. I was just reacting to your “imaginary conversation” which implies Julie would have left her 3 month old child and 4 young kids behind in an empty house while she went off fishing at midnight or that Vicky would have indulged herself in fishing the night before an important work meeting in Cairns. Supposed behaviour that hardly gives credibility to the defence case,


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