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Bundy and Cottingham: Natural Born Serial Killers

Has studied astrology/historical seismology since the late '70s in San Francisco. Published in the ISAR International Astrologer in 2012.

Ted Bundy and Richard Francis Cottingham were narcissists who believed themselves to be smarter than everyone else.

Ted Bundy and Richard Francis Cottingham were narcissists who believed themselves to be smarter than everyone else.

Biographical Details

Of the two serial killers to be examined here, Ted Bundy was the younger of the two, but only by 18 hours and 15 minutes. Theodore Robert Cowell was born on 24 November 1946 at 10:35 pm local time in Burlington, Vermont. At the age of four, his family was relocated to Tacoma, Washington, and the next year, his mother married Johnnie Bundy. Ted could not feel comfortable around his new father, so he did not have a warm relationship with him. At age 13, Ted was told that he was illegitimate. After he graduated from high school, Ted became a regular thief, but eventually went to college in order to make something of himself. This impressed a former girlfriend who decided to give him another chance and let him back into her life, but he eventually stopped seeing her. Apparently, he could not get over the fact that she originally had dumped him and felt that she would probably do it again, so he beat her to the punch. At age 21, he discovered that he was, in fact, illegitimate. In the Spring of 1973, at age 26, he graduated from the University of Washington. His killing of young women started early the next year.

The second of the two serial killers discussed here was born Richard Francis Cottingham on 25 November 1946 at 4:50 pm local time, in the Bronx, New York. His family relocated to River Vale, New Jersey, in 1958, when he was 12 years of age. He became a cross country and track team runner from ages 14 to 18 because it suited his feelings of not fitting in with most of the other students. After graduating from high school, he worked as a computer operator from 1964 to 1966 at his father's insurance company but then transferred to a similar job with Blue Cross and Blue Shield (both jobs were in New York City). He remained on this last job until his capture by homicide detectives in 1980. In 1967 he committed his first murder, strangling a 29-year-old white female. He married in 1970 and had three children with his wife Janet, the last child being born a year before the known beginning of his string of killings in 1977. Some early tangles with the law occurred from 1969 to 1974 (drunk driving, shoplifting, accused of robbery and sexual assault but case dismissed, and unlawful imprisonment and robbery).

Similarities and Differences

At an early age, both Bundy and Cottingham were hooked on True Detective, a magazine that the FBI labeled “pornography for sadists.” Before Bundy was put to death, he confided with a televangelist that he blamed both himself and “hardcore” pornography for his spiral into depravity, causing him to murder at least 30 women. It is debatable that he had any true remorse, however. He obviously enjoyed what he did and would have continued doing it indefinitely if he had not been caught by the police. Cottingham, who will remain in prison for the rest of his life, certainly did not show any remorse. Cottingham may admit that he is perhaps a sick man, but he also brags that he was the ultimate serial killer and that he was responsible for nearly 100 deaths instead of just the six known ones. Both men had similar known binges of killing (1974–78 for Bundy and 1977–80 for Cottingham).

Psychopaths by nature, they were both clever enough and charming enough to successfully keep their life as monsters a secret from those around them. This was also reflected in how they lured their victims. Bundy wore dummy casts on either his leg or arm and pretended to need help getting groceries into his VW bug. He would solicit a young woman (usually resembling his earlier girlfriend who had dumped him) to come to his aid, and while she assisted him, he would knock her out with a pipe and handcuff her into the passenger side of the vehicle (which had the seat removed so it would be difficult from the outside to see anybody). Cottingham, who mostly targeted hookers, impressed them with a wad of cash that he said he had just won from gambling. He offered to share it with them and celebrate together.

In other words, Bundy, portraying the victim, relied on a woman's sympathy at the Grocery Market, and Cottingham, portraying a winner, relied on the greed of Times Square prostitutes. Another difference was that Bundy would sleep with the corpses till putrefaction made that no longer possible. Cottingham would sexually abuse and torture his victims until he killed them and then desecrate their bodies (but also kept a trophy for his museum behind a locked door at his home). They both felt that they had to punish their victims; Bundy's women, who represented an early girlfriend that broke his heart, and Cottingham's hookers, who had to suffer for their sin of being a call girl.

Both Bundy and Cottingham were narcissists who believed themselves to be smarter than everyone else. It was this feeling of invincibility that led to their downfalls. It made them overconfident, and, following nights where they accomplished not one but several murders they became euphoric, but they also became sloppy. After similar episodes, both were apprehended within six months. After they were brought to justice, it was this same feeling of superiority that lead Bundy to represent himself in court and Cottingham to insist on taking the stand (both against the advice of their attorneys).

Birth charts of Bundy and Cottingham, constructed using the Kepler 8 astrology program.

Birth charts of Bundy and Cottingham, constructed using the Kepler 8 astrology program.

Astrological Signatures

Prior studies of astrology in relation to serial killers have found a strong emphasis on the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces). This was especially shown to be true with the sign of Sagittarius. These two killers also had both their Sun and their Moon in the sign of Sagittarius. Mars, the planet of aggression and madness, was also in the sign of Sagittarius. The positions of all the planets in their charts belonged to the same signs. Only the exactness of the aspects and the house placement of the planets, along with the Ascendant (Leo for Bundy and Gemini for Cottingham) were different.

Although there was no significant earthquake activity in the world at the time of their birth, as was the case for other well-known serial killers (such as Dahmer and Ramirez), both charts had aspects between solar system bodies that are common to such earthquakes. Some of these astrological influences were the Moon at Apogee (especially in the chart of Cottingham; I now feel that activity is a bit less than average for significant seismic events at times of apogee), Ceres 22.5 degrees from Pallas (both charts; although this applies to the charts of serial killers, I no longer believe it to definitely relate to earthquakes), Sun 87.5 degrees from Venus/Uranus midpoint (both but especially in Cottingham's chart), the Sun 10–11 degrees from Mars (both charts), and Pluto 105 degrees from Sun/Mercury midpoint (both charts).

One aspect unrelated to earthquakes, which was shared by both, was Saturn 4.5 degrees from Pluto. This last aspect was in the charts of two other serial killers born in the same month and year as Bundy and Cottingham. To me, it represents that they all were born with a mission to kill. The most extreme example of a serial killer of these four was Cottingham. This fits with an aspect involving Uranus as opposed to the midpoint of the Moon and Mars, while Mars was near the midpoint between the Sun and the Moon. This, to me, spells out that he personally identified with the things which are represented by Uranus, the planet of extremes, or relating to experiences that are either very good or very bad. Obviously for him, this was representative of a bad habit. Mars also played a similar role, acting as a lit powder keg of aggression and madness.

The following links give detailed information of the subjects of this article as seriously researched by an educational institution:

The following link gives a statistical analysis of serial killers as related to astrology:

The link below relates Grandmasters of Chess to deadly serial killers and earthquakes with all three sharing as an influence the Pluto 105 degrees from Sun/Mercury midpoint aspect mentioned near the end of this article.

Link to Article by Same Author Relating Earthquakes to Grandmasters of Chess

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2017 Joseph Ritrovato