Psychos come in all shapes and sizes, from all over the world, for thousands of years. For those interested in astrology, there is also the curiosity as to whether the stars have any effect on burgeoning psychopaths. Are Cancers really the most violent of the zodiac? Are Scorpios really the most sadistic? Do Geminis actually rank quite low on the psycho scale? Once you read through these famous, murderous, crazy people, you might have some of these questions yourself!
While we only had space for 12, it’s worth mentioning some of the other psychos under the stars who align with their signs. Aries counts murderers Robert Durst and John Paul Knowles among their rams; Taurus has evil dictator Saddam Hussein; Gemini has serial killer David Berkowitz; Cancers claim O.J. Simpson as one of their own; Leos have Mussolini and Rasputin in their ilk; Ivan the Terrible was a Virgo; Lee Harvey Oswald belonged with the Libras; the creepy Katherine Knight was a Scorpio; Sagittarians include Edmund Kemper; Capricorns count Ian Brady and Dean Corll among them; Aquarius had Kim Jong Il as a water-bearer; and Pisceans have Aileen Wuornos and Dennis Rader as members. Coincidence? Read on to see for yourself!
12 Aries: Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889)
Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany, was actually right on the cusp of Aries and Taurus, but his psychotic tendencies place him more in the Aries sphere. Aries people are known for being egotistical and short-tempered and will use their abilities and confidence to lead many, and those born under the sign of Aries are natural leaders and use their charisma and charm to get what they want. Before he unveiled his disgusting “Final Regime”, Hitler began to sway the people of Germany through rhetoric, using his speeches, promises, and political clout to gain their approval and acceptance before unleashing the hell that was the Holocaust.
Aries people hate to have their authority challenged, which is why they gravitate towards leadership roles, but it also means they will destroy anyone who dares to question them. Hitler installed a culture of fear in Europe and manipulated his soldiers and followers into turning in their own family members for fear of being considered unsympathetic to the Nazi cause.
11 Taurus: Pol Pot (May 19, 1925)
Another evil dictator, Pol Pot was also a Taurus, another sign that is considered to have natural leadership skills. Unchecked, that leadership can blow up into total megalomania, which is exactly what happened with Pot during his 18-year rule in Cambodia. The originator of the Khmer Rouge government, Pot forced urban dwellers to relocate to the countryside for forced labour, regularly executed citizens, and starved his people, which eventually resulted in the deaths of approximately 25% of the Cambodian population.
Those born under Taurus are major sneaks, and Pot was no exception, relocating to the jungle after his government collapsed after their defeat in the Cambodian-Vietnamese War in 1979. He was later put under house arrest – perfect for a homebody Taurus. While he had long had his government backing him up, Pot worked alone, and it was his ego and greed that led to his downfall (either from poison or suicide, it is still up for debate), which are notorious Taurus traits.
10 Gemini: Jeffrey Dahmer (May 21, 1960)
Geminis are said to have an insatiable curiosity, and perhaps it’s that trait that led serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer to drill holes into the heads of his victims, pour acid into their skulls, and attempt to create a type of “love zombie”!
That, or just pure craziness.
In addition to curiosity, Geminis also often struggle with anxiety and overall nervousness, which is something Dahmer was definitely afflicted by, owing to his troubled upbringing that also saw him torture animals at a young age. (Another indication of Gemini curiousity?) While Geminis aren’t often considered one of the more violent signs, Dahmer certainly changed this idea, since he had 17 victims to his name, young men he would lure home with the promise of drugs and intimate activities, before killing them, dismembering them, and later violating their corpses. Dahmer, when asked to explain why he did what he did, said he simply wanted to be with someone. Clearly a psycho with an extremely troubled life, Dahmer exhibited Gemini traits of gentleness and affection for his victims, even as her murdered them.
9 Cancer: Jodi Arias (July 9, 1980)
Cancers are known for being passion killers, and that’s incredibly apt when it comes to the recently convicted Jodi Arias. Owing to their insecurity and moodiness, Cancers are a very volatile sign that hates as strongly as they love, which may explain some of Arias’ behaviour when she brutally murdered her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.
Initially claiming an abusive and dysfunctional relationship that was fuelled by depraved acts that went against their shared religious beliefs, Arias testified that she had killed Alexander in self-defence, but repeatedly shifted her story throughout her days on trial. Photos were found that seemed to confirm Arias’ guilt, with a bloody Alexander appearing in some of the images. Additionally, as Cancers may be more prone to mental instability, a clinical psychologist determined that Arias had a borderline personality disorder and an “unstable sense of identity”. Combine that with the crime of passion for which Cancers are known and you have the poster girl for Cancers who also happen to be psychos!
8 Leo: Elizabeth Bathory (August 7, 1560)
Since Leos love to be adored and celebrated, while enjoying all things decadent and beautiful, it’s quite fitting that the resident psycho for this sign in the zodiac happened to be a member of nobility!
Elizabeth Bathory was a Hungarian noblewoman back in the 16th and 17th centuries and has the distinction of being the most prolific female murderer in history. Since Leos like Bathory are image-obsessed, especially when it comes to themselves, this psycho’s crimes reflected that attention-seeking behaviour. Credited with murdering about 650 girls and bathing in their blood in order to retain her beauty and youth, Bathory was used to a level of decadence enjoyed by only the extreme elite. Her power and privilege allowed her to get away with her crimes for years, until too many girls were found missing to be ignored any longer. The amount of her victims is pure Leo, because their ego is what would get them caught in the end, and Bathory’s greed and blood lust were unparalleled in a way that would make any Leo sickly proud.
7 Virgo: Ed Gein (August 27, 1906)
Virgos don’t get much credit for being bloodthirsty, but Ed Gein will change that perception for you right now! One of the most notorious murderers and butchers in American history, Gein’s story has been used as the basis for films like The Silence of the Lambs, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Psycho.
Virgos are known for their need for order and neatness, and Gein must have been doing something right, since he was able to commit the most gruesome of murders without ever leaving his hometown in Wisconsin. Like many Virgos, Gein was also a bit of a loner, keeping to himself and reading death-cult magazines and adventure stories, where his knowledge of Nazi practices and cannibalism began to influence what he did to his victims. In a disturbing twist on Virgo practicality, Gein also made the most of his victims and the bodies he exhumed from graveyards: he created clothing, a lamp shade, seat covers, masks, a belt, and a wastebasket from human skin, and bowls from human skulls!
6 Libra: Andrei Chikatilo (October 16, 1936)
If Libras are the sign of the scales, perhaps serial killer Andrei Chikatilo was just trying to balance things out after he discovered during puberty that he suffered from chronic impotence. Through a misguided sense of justice (and perhaps vengeance against fate or God or whatever), Chikatilo began a brutal rampage through the USSR that saw the deaths of 52 people, although Chikatilo claimed many more.
Like many Libras, Chikatilo was drawn to the side of the law, and served in the Army for a few years. Considered to be a sex killer as well as a serial killer, Chikatilo’s numerous victims were first lured with alcohol and money, but when Chikatilo was unable to perform, he would murder them, and finally was only able to reach completion during the act of killing his victims! Chikatilo primarily focused his attentions on young women and girls, but also occasionally turned to young boys, mutilating their bodies, perhaps as a response to his own inability to have his body behave naturally. (That, and the fact that he was super-cuckoo-crazy!)
5 Scorpio: Charles Manson (November 12, 1934)
Scorpios are known for being mysterious, sexual beings, and although Charles Manson was only a mere five-foot-two, his magnetism and charisma earned the respect and worship of many, eventually culminating in what became the “Manson Family”.
Since Scorpios get off on manipulating others, Manson is a rare psychopath in that he did not kill anyone himself. Instead, he got others to do it. Partly out of a perceived slight against his musical abilities, Manson wanted to start a race war, while targeting some of Hollywood’s elite. Belonging to San Francisco’s Manson Family required a great deal of work, including sleeping with Manson, giving birth to his children, indulging in a variety of mind-altering substances, and living together on a ramshackle ranch. Manson presented himself as the second coming of Jesus, and his attractive personality drew more people to him who would do his bidding – including murdering nine people, one of whom was pregnant actress Sharon Tate. While Mason tried to use music to gain fame, his cult of devoted followers gave rise to a pop culture fascination that endures to this day.
4 Sagittarius: Ted Bundy (November 24, 1946)
Those born under the sign of Sagittarius are gentler than many other signs, but their thirst for freedom and travel also means that they are difficult to pin down to one place. That couldn’t be more true for serial killer Ted Bundy, who managed to escape prison not once, but twice!
His first escape came in July 1977, when he chose to represent himself in court when he was charged for murder (Bundy was a law student). After requesting a recess, he hid in the library and jumped out a window before hitchhiking to Aspen Mountain. He was arrested after being gone for six days.
The second time, Bundy was in jail in Colorado, fixed his bed to look like he was asleep, broke through the ceiling, and eventually walked out to freedom – and headed to Florida. He was on the lam for about six weeks, where he killed three women and injured three others. Despite his attempts to flee, Bundy was eventually executed for brutally murdering over 30 victims.
3 Capricorn: Harold Shipman (January 14, 1946)
Capricorns are responsible, disciplined, and ambitious goats who are known for their ability to control themselves. That last one, unfortunately, does not describe Harold Shipman, who was nicknamed “Dr. Death”. A hard worker by any definition, Shipman was a true Capricorn in that whatever he tried, he excelled at: he was an accomplished rugby player and distance runner in his youth, and later studied medicine before entering the workforce as a general practitioner.
The power of his job soon went to his head, and Shipman began to kill his patients, eventually doing away with about 21 of them, giving them lethal doses of diamorphine, before tying up the necessary loose ends, like falsifying their medical records to claim that they had been in ill health and signing their death certificates. The power involved, the position of authority he held and abused at the hospital, plus the careful consideration given before and after the deaths all make Shipman a true Capricorn psycho.
2 Aquarius: Gary Ridgway (February 18, 1949)
“Friendly, but strange” was how classmates described the Green River Killer, aka Gary Ridgway, and that’s the psychotic Aquarius in a nutshell! Those born in the sign of the water-bearer are original, independent thinkers, who enjoy other people, but also tend to be introspective, using their impressive intellect to discover more about the world around them. Ridgway also enjoyed the company of others, usually women, often prostitutes. He also happened to enjoy murdering them, as well.
Primarily between 1982 and 1984, Ridgway committed many murders – by his estimate, about 71, although he also said he lost count. First, Ridgway would pick these women up in his car, tricking them into trusting him by using photos of his son. The humanitarian nature of the Aquarius is evident here, despite Ridgway’s gruesome actions, as he said that he would try and make them comfortable – before he killed them, of course. It seemed that Ridgway also didn’t want to be lonely (another Aquarius trait), and would copulate with the corpses “until the flies came”.
1 Pisces: John Wayne Gacy (March 17, 1942)
Apparently, serial killers are frequently Pisceans (Richard Ramirez, the “Night Stalker” is a Pisces), because Pisces are known to have a dark side they prefer to keep hidden. That perfectly defined John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer who murdered 34 victims and buried them under his home while going about his everyday life as a father, husband, manager of three KFC restaurants, active Democrat, and part-time party clown.
Gacy’s dark side was hidden well, and many of his victims trusted him implicitly at first, because he seemed like a nice, normal, upstanding member of the community. Sure, he had a bit of a record, but nothing major, and the youths Gacy would abduct would be lured in by the promise of drugs and alcohol, before willingly submitting themselves to a clown trick involving handcuffs or rope. Of course, things didn’t end so well, and Gacy became one of the most infamous serial killers in American history before he was executed in 1994.