Chase Merritt – the trial

At the age of 61, Charles Ray Merritt stands; or mostly sits depending on your point of view, before a jury of his peers in San Bernadino, California. Chase is on trial for the murder of the McStay family in February 2010.

Joey McStay; his wife Summer, together with their two little boys, Gianni and Joey Jnr died as a result of a series of hammer blows and who knows what other abuse. There are those who consider that the accused could not have carried out the crime alone, however there is no co-accused on trial today. Chase Merritt stands alone in the dock.

Having the gift of hindsight; evidence presented to date at the January 2019 trial, we can now include the asteroid #85585; Mjolnir – ie from Norse mythology; the Hammer of Thor.

At the time of the murders, Mjolnir was transiting in the asteroid belt at the zodiac position of 13°Sagittarius; very caught up in the symbology of ‘respect’. The asteroid for the hammer was keeping company with Narcissus, asteroid #37117. At 15°Sagittarius; Narcissus, a character from Greek mythology (a young lad who fell in love with his own reflection) is keeping company with Mjolnir; conjunct. Just one degree away at 16°Sagittarius, is the asteroid which is symbolic of murder, Ixion #28978. Together, this unholy threesome’s only interpretation from classic astrology texts, is that ‘a totally self-absorbed individual has taken up a hammer and committed murder over a matter of respect.’

With the presentation of evidence at the trial of a misappropriation of funds in the days following the murder, a financial motive becomes our focus, and so we include the asteroids – #5536 Honeycutt = desire for a bigger cut of the honeypot (eg money); Borasissi #66652 = lies we tell ourselves in order to maintain ‘happiness’. Outright bald-faced lies = Lie #26955 etc etc.

Charles Ray Merritt

The natal horoscope; the nature of the accused. This is a snapshot of the heavens on the date of of his birth. Note: birth time is unknown and so mid-range Moon placement applies. The Moon range is 12-13 degrees over any 24 hour period. I elect to use the mid-range; it’s a personal preference.

The first point to note in this birth chart, is that there are no Cardinal planets; self motivation is lacking. By nature, Chase is more likely to be reactive to circumstances around him, rather than proactive. 0°Scorpio Neptune and accompanying symbolism is the only planet in the element of Water, generating a natural and raw emotive reaction due to the opening degree of Scorpio.

Scorpio is also known as the sign of the zodiac that motivates by ‘stirring’ in order to avoid being stagnant. Neptune in this natal chart, is under tension by asteroid Lie at 0°Gemini = a disregard for consequences of lies told in relation to the shadow of Neptune; likely resulting in subversive and addictive behaviour.

The natural next step of our enquiry, once a potential gambling addiction is brought to our attention, we check the money asteroids on the date of his birth.

Asteroid Mony 19°Libra reveals the quincunx (disregard) to 20-21-22°Taurus – outcome (South Node); abuse of trust (Nessus) and personal appetite (Ceres). All of which would result in a lack of money coming into the home and family (North Node). The trio of South Node-Nessus and Ceres also mirror Ixion (murderous rage). The realm of Taurus is the natural realm of personal assets, and wealth/$. This would be Chase Merritt’s motivation, were he to commit murder. It is innate in his horoscope pattern.

12°Taurus Sun, his personal desire of what he ‘wants’ out of life, has disregard; by quincunx, with the ‘flag for lack of self-control’ – Saturn Rx, which in turn mirrors his natal mid-range 15°Gemini; Moon – his personal needs.

Asteroid Mjolnir (hammer) is conjunct Chiron 15-17°Aquarius directly mirroring by opposition to asteroid Honeycutt 16°Leo. This potential violent behaviour (use of a hammer) is driven by a fear of isolation; of being cast out of a peer group. And as it turns out, this natural drama is played out in Sagittarius; ‘respect’ for his position in the herd.

Solar Arc Progression for Chase Merritt’s horoscope.

By the time of the trial, the natal position of Chase Merritt’s Saturn Rx has progressed to 12°Aquarius, square his natal Sun at 12°Taurus plus quindecile to the North Node for the trial. The accused’s obsessive egotistical behaviour will likely be evident if he is given the opportunity.

The astrology chart for the commencement of the trial:

The trial of Charles Ray Merritt in the murder of the McStay family came up on the court list in San Bernadino, California on 7th January 2019. We generate a chart for the time and date when the recording begins and the opening statements are made from the floor of the court.

The opening statements at 9:30am is where we begin our astrology enquiry. We take a snapshot of the heavens over San Bernadino on 7th January 2019. Don’t be intimidated by my lines and curves; I’ll interpret the tension aspects – ie the likely thrust and parry as the jury (Venus) hear the evidence and rebuttals from the floor of the court.

The natural ruler of the 9th house is Jupiter and the house of higher learning. We begin our interpretation at this point in time and place.

  • In a tight orb, 0:16°Sagittarius; Venus (a peer group; eg the jury) sits free of tension from other planets. Right where we would want a jury to be in a trial chart; free of preconceived opinion.
    13:35°Sagittarius; Jupiter exact the midheaven; cusp of the 10th house. Court live coverage begins.
  • Entering the 10th house and the public realm, 20°Sagittarius; Honeycutt (a desire for a bigger slice of the pie – whatever the pie is; usually money when it comes to crime and motivation) is quincunx (disregard for consequences as a result of behaviour) to Juno-Narcissus at 21-22°Taurus (in the 3rd house of communication). Self-indulgence meets the shadow of Juno (jealousy and possessiveness).
    • Honeycutt is also square (cannot see eye to eye) with 21°Pisces AP Fortuna (destiny in relation to the trial) reveals the public may well want more of the ‘pie of evidence’ than the court is willing to provide. Time constraints…
    • 27°Sagittarius Ixion (murder flag) is quincunx 28°Aries Uranus (in the 2nd house of personal assets)  = disregard for rebellious behaviour. This tension reveals a lack of guilt by Chase Merritt in relation to the misappropriation of Joey’s assets.
      • Uranus is also under intense tension with asteroid Mony (money) 29°Libra as well as square (off-sided) with the North Node in the 5th house. Note that the 5th house is where a gambling casino would be located. This is where the denial of guilt feeds an addiction.
  • The 11th house is where a criminal behaviour would likely ‘take’, rather than give;. At 12°Capricorn Saturn (self-control/lack of) is quindecile (by obsession) the symbolism for a casino in the 5th house of entertainment; the North Node 27°Cancer.
    • 27 Capricorn Lunar South Node (the outcome for the addiction) is revealed in the mirror for all to see.
  • The 12th house; the unknown, and/or the mind. 13°Aquarius asteroid Lie is also quindecile the North Node in the 5th house. Therefore the midpoint of Saturn/Lie= the North Node.
    • This repeated focus on a gambling habit, leads me to question as to whether the accused remains in total denial of this character weakness within himself.  We shall see as the trial unfolds.
    • 17°Aquarius BML (weakest link in a chart) is exact Vesta. Vesta holds dual symbolism in this case – that which is secreted away (burial of the evidence), and also underlying illegal activity of perpetrator, or victims. There will likely be areas of the case that are not explored thoroughly.
  • Crossing the ascendant, into the 1st house; the face to the world, at 7°Pisces asteroid Martir (martyrdom) is exact Nessus (abuse of trust) – evidence revealed that will be claim to be private; exposed.
    • 21°Pisces AP Fortuna (destiny of the trial) – the jury will reach a conclusion
  • In the 2nd house; money, money money; what is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine.
    • 22-23°Aries, Alekto (intense anger/rage) is conjunct Eris (trouble and strife) – so we can expect fiery reaction,and denial. This tension is quincunx 23°Scorpio; Ceres in the 9th house – fantastical notions of personal appetite; delusion…
  • The 3rd house is the realm of communication. 21-22°Taurus Juno-Narcissus is not only under tension from Honeycutt (see above), but also quincunx Pallas (a business relationship) in the 8th house of potential endings and transformation – the jealousy within the business relationship between Chase and Joey is revealed for the public’s scrutiny.

Basically, from the astrology tension present, I would suggest that this trial exposes an individual who is deluded about the reality of his character, and likely the seriousness of the situation he is in.

Looking back across time….. Murder of the McStay family:

As with all crimes, the pattern in the heavens at the time of the crime; the Missing Persons Report in this case, when compared with the resolution of the crime; the trial, will reveal the connection between the two events; a synastry chart. There is always a cause and effect. That is the natural order, whether when a butterfly in the Amazon beats its wings, a tsunami is unleased in Japan etc..

9:39 am 15th February 2010, San Diego, California – the time when the Missing Person Report was filed.

It is the Moon at 14°Pisces opens our eyes to the personal driver/emotive desire behind the crime. Moon square the stellium of Mjolnir-Narcissus-Pholus-Ixion at 13-16°Sagittarius (the realm of opinion/respect).   We can now note the common thread between the two times; February 2010 and January 2019…. murder by hammer in the hands of a self-indulgent individual.

Note that asteroids are not in fixed positions in the heavens, they continue to orbit, just as do the planets in our solar system.

When the Moon is quincunx the Vertex of a chart, whether natal or an incident; snapshot in time and place, this is evidence of the potential for disregard of life-changing tension .  There is always a choice to act upon this tension, or not.  We are all responsible for our actions.

IIn this chart for the crime, it is when we note that both 3°Libra; Saturn and 3°Leo, Mars; both of which are retrograde, we realise that the lack of self control and actions taken are caught up in the pattern with the third malefic planet at 4°Capricorn, Pluto (God of the Underworld) together with Venus at 5°Pisces….. the need to feed an addiction is revealed (note pink lines of quincunx on the chart).  Ah the gift of hindsight….

The timing (midheaven) reveals another quincunx focus at 21°Cancer/Capricorn between 22°Aquarius, Mony (money) and 21°Sagittarius, Ceres (personal appetite). As we now know, Chase Merritt is a gambling addict, so this tension then reveals the likely motive for the murders; the primary victim; Joey’s refusal to finance the perpetrator’s addiction. Taking the ‘intent to murder’ to the extreme of killing the entire family unit will be Chase Merritt’s downfall in the eyes of the jury.

Now that we have to two charts interpreted from a similar standpoint, we combine the two charts and seek out the synastry, for a potential outcome of the trial.

The synastry of time across space…..

I’ll keep it simple and leave others to interpet the detail at will….

From the perspective of the trial, looking back to the crime, we can note that AP Fortuna (destiny) of the Missing Person Report at 21°Taurus in the heavens, mirrors by the black line with Pallas (a business partnership) at 20°Scorpio. This aspect is now exact, both conjunct and by opposition, with transiting 21°Taurus Narcissus-Juno at the time of the trial.

This reveals the predetermined ‘destiny of the crime’ aligning in the heavens with the timing of the trial.  Cause meets effect.

Back to the butterflies in the Amazon jungle…..  Is this trial evidence enough for a jury to support a death penalty result and a relocation of Charles Ray Merritt to San Quentin, we may well ask.

The court in its wisdom, will decide and Thor’s hammer will drop in the name of justice.

Links to our previous astrology enquiry of the crime:

Quickbooks fraud

McStay family caseWe have traveled this journey together for quite some time now; the murder of the McStay family in Fallbrook, California on 4th February 2010.

Their disappearance was a mystery until their remains were found in the Californian high desert in November 2013; buried in shallow graves.  This event was followed by the arrest of Chase Merritt one year later; November 2014 for their murder.

The trial of Charles Ray Merritt is two months away, however some detail came out at the preliminary hearing mid June 2015 – particularly of interest to us in our astrology case-study of choice.  The following is our astrology interpretation of a possible fraud that occurred in the days following the disappearance of the family.

Please note that astrology is a pseudo science and as such is not accepted in any court of law.  Please remain skeptic of our outcome.  The information comes from the public record and the interpretation, from classic texts.

Background Data: the evidence presented at the Merritt Preliminary Hearing of June 2015.

A Quickbooks ‘Custom’ account was created in 2008 as an Online Account for EIP by Joseph McStay.  The user Joseph McStay accessed this account with a password.  Joey did not write cheques from this account at any stage, using it as an online ledger.

On 1st February 2010 the account was accessed from a computer other than that owned by the McStays using the username set up by Joey.  As to how “X” accessed this account i.e. by password, we are not privy to that information at this stage.  This person then added the vendor ‘chase merritt’ [sic] note Chase was already listed in the other Quickbooks account.

The following ‘fraudulent’ activity was NOT performed on any of the McStay family computers recovered from the house by LE.  All cheques have ‘questionable’ signatures.

1st February 2010

  • 12:24pm  ‘chase merritt’ added as a Vendor to the QB Custom account.
  • 12:34 – 12:52pm  two cheques were ‘deposited’ into the Vendor account for chase merritt; printed out and also deleted from the account. So someone is possibly using the account to print cheques in favour of ‘chase merritt’……  Note none of these cheques drawn on 1st Feb were ever cashed.  I suggest it was a trial run by a potential fraudster.

2nd February 2010

  • 11:27am – 11:34am cheque for $2495.00 printed in favour of ‘chase merritt’ with a notation ‘SA101’ (Saudi Arabian fountain deal).  This cheque was deleted in the QB account in an possible effort to hide the transaction.   This cheque was cashed by Chase Merritt.

5th February 2010

  • 12:06pm – 12.38pm transactions:
    • 12:06 – $4500.00 cheque printed in favour of ‘chase merritt’ with a notation ‘paul mitchell’. This cheque was deleted in the QB account in an possible effort to hide the transaction. The cheque was DATED 5 FEB 2010; later edited to change the date to 4 February 2010.  This cheque was not cashed, or banked.
    • 12:19 – metro sheet metal was added as a Vendor
    • 12:21-12:29 – cheques printed in favour of ‘metro sheet metal’ $1650.00 and $250.00 (backdated to 4 Feb).  These two cheques were delivered by hand to Metro Sheet Metal Co. by Chase Merritt whom subsequently banked them in good faith.
    • 12:38pm – cheque for $2350.00 printed in favour of ‘chase merritt’ (backdated to 4 Feb) This cheque was deleted in the QB account in an possible effort to hide the transaction.  Following a questionable signature, Chase Merritt deposited this cheque into his personal bank account.

8th February 2010

  • 2:20pm – cheque for $6500.00 printed in favour of ‘chase merritt’ (backdated to 4 Feb) This cheque was deleted in the QB account in an possible effort to hide the transaction.  Following a questionable signature, Chase Merritt deposited this cheque into his Bank of America account on 9th February.

At 2:44pm a phone call from Chase Merritt’s cellphone lasting 107minutes was made to Quickbooks.  The caller identified himself as Joseph McStay and requested that the QB subscription be cancelled.  He was advised that further passwords needed to be provided – they weren’t and the account was not cancelled.

9th February 2010

  • 8:06am An online attempt was made to cancel the QB account.

As for the McStay desktop computer accessing this Custom account in an effort to generate cheques:

4th February 2010

  • 7:59pm cheque for $4000.00 entered in favour of ‘chase merritt’.  This cheque was NOT printed and deleted at 8:05pm.

QBsample chequeWith all this information, what would an astrologer do?  I have a grin from ear to ear.  Silly rhetorical question, MM.  We check the astrology natal charts for Chase Merritt through the perspectives of the ‘suggested’ fraud.  Oh yes, there will be others as well whom we can bring into this case study. I have one in particular whom already has his hand up – Mr ‘X’.   Firstly the primary occasion, which will be the most emotive: tension for us to interpret.

12:24pm on 1st February 2010.  We are not aware of the location, so let’s elect to use Rancho Cucamonga, CA

As with all crimes it is the instigation; that first step that tells us everything. Whether it be the first killing by a serial killer, or the set-up for a fraud, we get what we as astrologers are looking for – heightened emotive behaviour.

This is our bingo moment and we are not disappointed.  For Chase Merritt, the emotive anticipation as he drove to Fallbrook was one thing; this is another.

QB-open-CM-X-duoAn as for Mr X – well what can I say… His Mars is in the 10th house.  Is he at work?  It would be interesting to check this man’s work computer LE…

The perspective for both charts is a snapshot in time at 12:24pm on 1st February 2010 when someone set up the account in EIP; QB Custom account.  The outer wheel in the first chart is a rectified time for the birthdate of Chase Merritt.

Chase Merritt:

  • Transiting in the heavens at 17:53°Aquarius is Venus in pink.   Put those two together and we have money and modern technology.  Exact at the midheaven, we have it as the basis for a new career (10th house).  Plus it aligns by conjunction with the rectified ascendant for Chase Merritt’ the man himself – his career.
  • Natal blue Moon is at the ascendant – personal needs drive the tension; the need for money.
  • Transiting Venus is also in quindecile action with natal 3rd house Uranus – rebellion and communication together – the act of setting up the Vendor is an obsessive form of rebellion
  • Transiting orange Sun in the 9th house identifies the date on the calendar as ‘the date’ to initiate this act of rebellion and when we note that this is also in quindecile aspect; to natal Pluto.  This is an act of empowerment of the Leo symbolism.  We can suggest pride is the basis of the obsession side of his actions.

Midpoints in the first chart with classic interpretation:

  • Sun/Moon = rectified MC – career is the primary focus to this illegal act.
  • Venus/Moon = Descendant/opposite the ascendant –
  • Saturn/Pluto = Lunar North Node in 6th house – a shared act with others; family perhaps?  Whom would Chase trust to be his co-conspirator?
  • Mars/Neptune = natal Mercury (hidden in the 12th house) – subversive act plus imagination may lose it’s anchor. Is of interest that this is another hint of family…

As for the first of our POI’s as a possible co-conspirator, we checked the astrology horoscope of Merritt’s partner, Catherine Jarvis as she is reputed to have had an online business at one stage.  Her chart does not provide us with any tension in the regard of this fraudulent action.  She is not Mr X.

Mr X…  I will comment first up, that this is not the chart of a regular computer hacker.  It’s far too emotive.  This suggests that he is likely to be someone close to Chase and most likely does not have a previous criminal record.  We are not privy to his time of birth and so a mid-range Moon is used.

Was he hoodwinked by Chase into complicity? Not on your Nellie; according to the astrology. Certainly not with his natal Mars (action man) heavily in  the mix. He lacks the subtlety of the midpoints than Chase Merritt, however with a natal Sun in Aries and Moon in Leo, we would expect this to be in our face. He’s the white knight for Chase.

  • Transiting orange Sun (date on the calendar) quindecile natal mid-range Moon.  Is blood thicker than water?  When it comes down to it, yes.
  • Tr pink Venus opposite natal Uranus EXACT the IC – a rebellious partner in a career of crime involving money.
  • tr turquoise Neptune opposite natal mid-range Moon (blue) –  a personal need for secrecy
  • tr green Jupiter conjunct natal Mars – inflates the action OTT.  He is certainly getting his adrenaline rush by this act.
  • tr green Jupiter is also opposite natal Pluto – inflating the sense of power.
  • tr Uranus gives that buzz to the natal Lunar nodal axis – is this a blood brother, or close friend?
  • tr Mars in the 3rd house  is square natal Neptune in the 6th house – he knows that he is operating outside the ethics boundary.
  • tr Moon (blue in the inner wheel) at the cusp 4th and 5th houses illuminated yellow Mercury on the opposite side of the chart as well as all that around the Moon.
  • tr Saturn square Pluto in the heavens and natal Jupiter – this ambitious surge of power could very easily become out of hand.
  • tr yellow Mercury (in the inner wheel) is conjunct Saturn. He is the voice of authority on this occasion.

But of course there’s more charts that could be generated. There always is isn’t there, however we already know where this is heading.  The trial of Chase Merritt is due to commence in August 2015.