Dennis Nilson was born on 23 November 1945 at 4:00am in Fraserburgh Scotland (Rodden Rating:AA; Collector: Wright) with Jupiter in Libra and Saturn in Cancer.
Jupiter in Libra learners are fascinated with relationships of all sorts and with natal Jupiter so close to his ascendant--within less than half a degree--this would have been of particular importance to Nilson.
As I wrote in "Growing Pains":
"In the classroom, the normally well-mannered pupil is deeply unhappy if they have to sit with someone they don’t like and will see no problem in acting as if that person has leprosy, the black plague or the galloping Ebola virus. They will wave their hands under their noses to disperse the smell, spray perfume/deodorant and generally behave as if they had never learned the most basic of human manners: tolerance. Seating them next to someone they like and you have a different problem entirely. Smart girls suddenly act as if their brains had leaked from their skulls and oozed between the oorboards. The grubbiest, sweatiest of boys starts to preen and utter his eyelashes. "
Further, Saturn in Cancer learners are very sensitive to issues within the family--and with Cancer's ruler, the Moon, conjunct Saturn, there is an even greater vulnerability. Nilson's parents were married for about three years and would have divorced around the time of his first Jupiter square. He was particularly close to his grandfather. Again, from "Growing Pains":
"Issues with home and family cut very deeply with Saturn in Cancer pupils. Divorce or deep relationships problems leading to a change in family structure, particularly around the age of seven, may have been a problem. The Saturn in Cancer pupil may be a young carer or think he or she has to take on a family responsibility that shouldn’t be their concern. They are very secretive and loyal to their families (no matter what kind of family it is) and it is likely that teachers will be completely oblivious to the responsibilities these pupils have taken on their shoulders."
Jupiter and Saturn are in square aspect. Generally, I find the square aspect to be productive--but the child needs to be guided through the key transits as both planets are implicated at the key ages of 6, 7, 11 and 15.
As it happened, Nilson's grandfather died just before his sixth birthday and the transits are very telling indeed: transiting Uranus conjunct the natal Moon, transiting Saturn conjunct natal Neptune with transiting Jupiter in opposition. He would later recollect that seeing his grandfather's body in its casket was his most vivid memory. That his mother tried to assure him that his grandfather was "just sleeping" demonstrates a dishonesty that may have had a bigger effect on a child than the death itself.
By puberty, Nilson knew he was homosexual and he admitted he fondled both his younger sister and older brother. The brother would ridicule him in public. By the time he was 14, in the crucial stages of neurological development, he joined the Army Cadet Force.
In the summer of 1964, as transiting Neptune was conjunct his natal Venus and Jupiter was in opposition, he began drinking more which in turn fuelled his sexual fantasies of sexual partners being completely passive. As Jupiter would have transited his natal planets in Cancer and Leo, he was assaulted and kidnapped and had to fight for his life in 1967.
Throughout the next cycle of Jupiter, he was involved with a few dissatisfying relationship with other men and had come to believe he was unfit to live--a terrible conclusion for someone with his particular Jupiter/Saturn positions to reach. As he contemplated this, Jupiter would have transited over the same planets in Cancer and Leo when he was assaulted and kidnapped. He killed his first victim on 30 December 1978 when transiting Jupiter was passing over his natal Mars and Pluto.
Nilson's modus operandi was to strangle his victims, then shave and dress the victims' corpse to his liking and use it for his own sexual gratification (he adamantly refuted to have used penetration) and when the victim decomposed badly enough to attract insects, he would dismember the bodies and burn them in the garden or flush them down the drains. The morning of 9 February 1983 was when the drains were reported as being blocked and the human remains were found.
The Nodal axis was on his Mercury-Uranus opposition on 4 November 1983 when he was found guilty of six murders, one attempted murder and was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison.
About the Astrologer
Alex Trenoweth is an MA graduate of the Cultural Astronomy and Astrology course at Bath Spa University (2007) and has gained recognition as an outstanding schoolteacher for her tireless and innovative education of adolescents. Her unique expertise in both astrology and teaching, coupled with ground-breaking research, led her to her write Growing Pains, a book aimed at helping parents and teachers support and guide young people into maturity. Alex’s articles have appeared in astrological magazines across the globe and in addition to her many writing accomplishments, she was voted “Best International Astrologer, 2015” by the Krishnamuti Institute of Astrology in India for the energetic presentation of her original and thought-provoking investigation into astrology and education. As of October 2015, Alex is on a world tour, lecturing on a variety of astrological topics and is enjoying meeting other astrologers from different cultures. The articles on serial killers are a part of the case studies that will be presented in her b=next book due for release later this year.