To try a horoscope reading in a missing persons case, I decided to use the case of William Bradford Bishop, a former Maryland man who was once a secret service agent. He disappeared in March of 1976 after the brutal murder of his wife, mother, and three sons. Several months ago, there was a question as to whether or not Bishop had died in Alabama and been buried, unidentified, but this was not the case.
The first house, the house of personality, shows the five of pentacles reversed. Bishop was the type of person who unable to settle for something he did not consider ideal, and he also got bored easily with any type of "status quo". Also, while there is no talk of extramarital affairs, he was not above having one and hiding it. The second house, money and possessions, gives up the ten of swords. Not only did Bishop commit an act of violence, he effectively ended his claim to everything for which he had worked, thus far, in his life. The third house, that of communication and short journeys, gives us Temperance. Bishop had, apparently, planned this event more than anyone suspected, and his next moves and communications were with people who did not know who he actually is, and were unacquainted with his family. The next card bothers me a bit: in the fourth house of home and environment, the Lovers comes up! This is almost self explanatory. Bishop had a lover waiting in the wings. This not only gave him a cover, but gave him a false alibi.
In the fifth house, the house of children, creativity, and romantic relationships, the High Priestess reversed appears to tell us that Bishop is just as shallow now as he was while married. This also points to a strong possibility that he never told his new lover his real name. Secrets; unhealthy secrets. House number six reveals the two of swords, stalemating Bishop's health, somehow, and his day to day affairs. Somehow, keeping secrets was not always amenable to moving forward in life. The seventh house, marriage and partnerships, gives us the moon. This is desire, laced with deception. Anyone this man loved heard lies, not the truth. House number eight controls joint finances, wills, and matters connected to death, and here, we get the five of cups. It shows regret, plainly and simply. Also, there is a suggestion that there is something material that Bishop would like to claim, but unless he comes clean about his new identity, it remains unattainable to him. A direct, oppositional path to the ten of swords, where he became violent and ended his career as William Bradford Bishop, is very telling.
The ninth house, dealing with life on life's terms, and also with long journeys, shows Strength, reversed. Bishop's style, when met with opposition, was obviously to abuse whatever authority he had, or any person who stood in his way. But where did he go? Strength reversed usually refers stalled projects and things that go nowhere. It has been speculated that Bishop relocated to Europe, but if so, would be associated with a port or a harbor frequented by pirates and criminals. Human trafficking is also suggested when Strength falls reversed. He has spent a lot of time in seaside towns and seedy places.
The Knight of Wands comes up in the tenth house, of worldly status, reputation, and career. Under an identity that isn't real, Bishop has established himself as a businessman who is "always on the move". Also, fire is the element associated with wands, it's possible that he is somehow involved in shipping oil. Perhaps one of his haunts was in the middle east, at one point or another. The suggestion is that he is still active in his secondary career, too. In the eleventh house, that of hopes and wishes, we have the Sun, which is success in all undertakings. In Bishop's case, this is simply getting away with murder. The twelfth house, of subconscious, hospitals, and death, produces the four of pentacles, reversed. Here we see more obstacles and setbacks. It appears that a life of crime under a false identity, lived largely on the lam, does not have the best retirement plan. The four of pentacles is all about hoarding and saving when it falls upside right, but upside down, it screams "waste". Another thing that is addressed by the twelfth house is self-undoing. I believe this describes Bishop's own undoing to an extent: when Bishop committed his special crime in 1976, there was no such thing as DNA evidence. He left enough DNA of his own behind for authorities to create a profile for him. He left enough DNA at both crime scenes, his home in Maryland and the place in North Carolina where he hid his family after he murdered them, to place him at both. He obviously did not expect science to progress so quickly in the area of forensic application. So....Bishop will, one day, be identified.