Forensic Chart: Chanel Petro-Nixon

Background: Chanel Petro-Nixon (b. 1989) was an African American girl residing in Brooklyn, NY. A high school sophomore at the time of her death, she was a devout Adventist and a straight-A student. On Sunday, June 18, 2006 at 6:30 pm, Chanel left her family at home to walk to a nearby restaurant where she intended to fill out a job application. She was not seen or heard from again for four days. At 8:30 am on June 22, her body was discovered in a trash bag in front of an apartment several blocks from her home. She had been strangled but not sexually assaulted. The coroner determined that she had died around 24 hours before her body was found, leaving 48 hours during which she was missing but still alive. The killer has never been identified, and the case is still open.

Event: Chanel Petro-Nixon last seen alive
June 18, 2006
6:30 PM EDT +4:00
Brooklyn, NY 73W56 40N38

Ascendant: 3 Sagittarius 31
Moon: 2 Aries 06
Moon from: trine Sun – Moon to: trine Saturn|
Day of: Sun – Hour of: Moon

Chanel Petro-Nixon last seen


The girl is signified by the 1st house and its ruler Jupiter (CA 151). Jupiter (9 Scorpio 26) is without dignity and retrograde, two indications that something was amiss from the beginning. Since her significator is retrograde (“turning back”), I suspect that the girl may not, in fact, have been on her way to apply for a job, as she told her parents. Retrograde motion often points to a repeated action, so it is likely that she had done this before. While Jupiter’s position in the 12th house might only be about her abduction, it could also show her putting her life in jeopardy, as the 12th rules “self-undoing”.

News reports repeatedly voiced shock that she was abducted in “broad daylight”. But Jupiter has recently separated from a trine of Mercury, ruler of the 7th house, which shares in the signification of her abductor. Mercury (22 Cancer 21) is unfortunately but fittingly placed in the 8th house (death). He is also in the sign of Jupiter’s exaltation, describing someone the girl was keen on or wished to impress (see “If she should marry the elderly man”, England’s Prophetical Merlin, p 133). Jupiter’s retrograde application to his dispositor Mars presents another argument that the abductor was not a stranger, as does the fact that Mars and Saturn both send a trine to the Ascendant. Mars also rules the 5th house of pleasures, which raises the possibility that there was a romantic entanglement involved. This explains how she could disappear in the middle of the day without anyone noticing.

Sadly, the event chart foreshadows her death in the clearest way. Jupiter applies to a mutual square of the two natural malefics Mars (9 Leo 11), peregrine ruler of the 12th,  and Saturn (8 Leo 50) in detriment and occidental the Sun. Lilly writes, “… consider if the Lord of his ascendant or the Moon, be in the twelfth from his own house… in aspect of any unfortunate planet, either by square or opposition… for then the absent is dead” (CA 405). This application to Mars/Saturn is an ominous testimony, but it’s difficult to tease out the details. It may show the lapse of time before her disappearance (> square Mars) and her death (> square Saturn). Or perhaps it puts two offenders at the scene of the crime; Gemini on the Descendant could be taken to confirm this. Either way, when the girl left home, she was walking directly into the clutches of her killer; for the application is partile, wanting only 15 minutes arc of perfection.

The Moon’s (2 Aries 06) testimony is also foreboding. The Moon is in the 4th house and has just departed from the North Node, a place of safety, presumably her home and family. Like Jupiter, the Moon is in a violent sign ruled by Mars, and she applies by trine to both misfortunes. Again, working through the Moon, we see the girl going towards her assailants. At the same time, the Sun is conjunct the violent fixed star Betelgeuse; according to Lilly, this particular configuration prenotes a violent death (CA 644).

The 8th house is ruled by the Moon, so the Moon also signifies death. With the Moon and Jupiter applying simultaneously to Mars/Saturn, therefore, we have here a collection of light bringing together the girl (Jupiter) and her death (Moon) through violence (malefics).

As I said before, I do not think that the girl went to the restaurant after leaving home. In the map below, her home is located at A. The restaurant is at B, west by north from her home. Her body was found at C.

The balance of the testimonies, however, argue that she went east. The Ascendant points east by south; Jupiter in Scorpio: north by east;  Moon in Aries: east; Mars and Saturn in Leo: east by north.

Admittedly, this is speculative. Nothing is known about what happened to her in the 72+ hours before her body was discovered. This being understood, it may nevertheless be instructive to consider some other possibly significant features in the chart.

First, we note the involvement of the 9th house. We find Mars and Saturn applying to the cusp – a school, church or other religious place. The Sun (27 Gemini 32), ruler of the 9th house, is very near the 8th cusp, implicating 9th house matters in the death; while the Sun also aspects the Moon’s antiscion (27 Virgo 53) by square.

Second, Venus, ruler of the 11th house (friends) is in the unfortunate 6th house near the fixed star Algol. Venus is of good quality in her domicile, but Algol adds derangement, confusion, mental instability or mayhem. Furthermore, Venus’ antiscion (6 Leo 01) is conjunct Saturn and Leo in the 9th house. Venus is also in an applying sextile of Mercury/7-ruler, who receives her into his terms. Finally, Venus separated from an opposition of Jupiter/1-ruler shortly before Mercury perfected his trine of Jupiter. There is a significant friend who knows more than she (probably a girl) has told anyone.

I cannot assemble a complete storyline from these indications. But I think it’s safe to venture this much. The girl knew and trusted her killer. A personal friend of the girl was somehow deeply involved in the events leading up to her death, and knew the killer as well. At the end, two men – signified by Mars and Saturn – were responsible for the crime. Their dispositor, the Sun, is in Gemini on the 8th cusp: again, two men working as accomplices. The girl left home to meet the persons involved instead of going to apply for a job. Her initial contact was with a man signified by Mars, who disposits her significator Jupiter. She probably went east, and might have gone first to school or church. (As it happens, the girl attended a high school two blocks due east from her home.)

My teacher Sue Ward has gently nudged me to consider another scenario – one that I hesitate to mention, except for the evidence. The girl might have been ritually murdered or died accidentally in an occult ceremony that got out of hand.

This may seem outlandish. But let’s consider the evidence. On page 464 of Christian Astrology (“If one be Bewitched or not”), William Lilly writes,

“If the Lord of the ascendant be Combust, or unfortunate in the twelfth, or joined to the Lord of the twelfth house, there may be great fear, that the party inquiring or inquired for is Enchanted or Bewitched, or else some evil spirits do haunt him.”

This chart meets two of those conditions: Jupiter/1-ruler is unfortunate (retrograde) in the 12th and is joined by a very powerful square to Mars, ruler of 12th.

In this chapter of CA, Lilly is mostly concerned about those made ill by sorcery. He does not delineate testimonies of death. But consider what he says here:

“… [if] the Moon being Lady of the sixth, apply to Saturn, we constantly judge the party inquiring is Bewitched or Forespoken, or that an evil Spirit has power over him, and the the Infirm will be sore oppressed and disturbed in his Fancy, if not distracted.” (CA 464).

Our chart bears a certain analogy to the configuration described here. The Moon is ruler of the 8th, appropriate since death, not illness, is the outcome. The Moon applies first to the Ascendant (the girl’s body) and then to a violently debilitated Saturn, natural ruler of the black arts, who also beholds the rising degree and her significator Jupiter.

Lilly says that the enemy will be identified by the houses ruled by the aspecting malefics. Saturn rules the 3rd house: “it’s a Neighbour has procured some Witch to do this act, or one of the Kindred” (CA 465). Mars rules the 5th , as well as the 12th: “if… by the Lord of the fifth, it’s some Alewife, Nurse or some drunken companion that occasions it” (CA 465). According to this rule, the attackers were probably a neighbor (Saturn) and an associate (Mars) with in destructive habits. I would not be surprised if the autopsy showed that the girl had been drugged.

Then there is the matter of the likely date of decease. The autopsy showed that Chanel had died about a day before her body was found. Her body was found at 8:30 AM on June 22, 2006, placing her death on the morning of June 21: the Summer Solstice. In 2006, the time of the summer solstice in New York was 8:25 AM, almost precisely twenty-four hours before her body was found. Here is the solstice chart (June 21, 2006, 8:25:52 AM, Brooklyn, NY):

Summer Solstice 2006

Notice what has happened. First, the malefics have come right to the Ascendant, and Saturn now rules the 8th house. Jupiter is now in the 4th  house (end of the matter/grave), besieged by square aspect between Mars and Saturn – the girl is hopelessly trapped and unable to escape. The Moon now rules the 12th house and applies to oppose Jupiter and then immediately square Saturn and Mars. If we hold onto the signification from the “last seen” chart, it seems likely to me that the girl very probably died around the moment of the solstice.

Everyone who knew Chanel reports that she was a sweet, devout and studious young lady. But I fear that, through the influence of a friend, she was beguiled by some sinister men from her neighborhood who took advantage of her teenage rebelliousness. Her death might have been accidental, since her body was discarded so carelessly, as if in a panic. In any event, it is clear that she was lured into a very dark situation from which there was no escape.

By the mercy of God, may she rest in peace.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Zaakira October 14, 2012 at 9:39 am

That was very deep and worth the read. I agree with the article of what could have happened.

Dr. Christopher Magnus October 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Thank you for reading the article and giving it your thoughtful consideration. It’s a heartbreaking case.

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