Highland Park is an Illinois North Shore suburb which, though just 25 miles from downtown Chicago, has always retained a small-town feel, with an ethnically mixed, middle-class population of about 30,000. The annual Independence Day parade has been a feature of the civic calendar for decades, drawing crowds of families to watch the typical summer parade staples of high school marching bands, gleaming red firetrucks, floats and local dignitaries, complete with candy and prizes for the kiddies.
But on July 4, 2022, this peaceful bit of nostalgic Americana was invaded by a 21st century reality check, as a lone gunman fired multiple rounds into the unsuspecting crowds from a rooftop perch along the parade route. Pandemonium ensued, with panicked people scattering in all directions, leaving behind lawn chairs, strollers, picnic lunches and bikes.
The shooter, 21-year-old Robert Crimo III, is a would-be rapper with a vivid online social media presence, disseminating disturbing images of violence, and a history of threatening self-destruction as well as harm to family members. In April 2019 he attempted suicide with a machete, and in September of that year police responded to a threat to “kill everyone” in his family. Yet he was able to buy four firearms in little more than a year, including the assault-style Smith & Wesson M&P15 with which he wreaked his holiday havoc.
Much like the shooter in Buffalo, New York in May, Crimo “cased the joint” in advance, picking an unprotected rear fire escape ladder as his means of ascent to the roof of the Ross Cosmetics building at Central Avenue and Second Street, from where he had a clear line of fire covering the parade route.
Crimo’s physical appearance is rather distinctive and easily identifiable, with several face and neck tattoos, so he slathered himself with makeup and wore female garb to complete his disguise, afterward calmly blending into the crowd to make his escape. But he left his weapon behind, a vital clue in identifying him, and was apprehended by police some eight hours later, after a roundtrip drive to Madison, Wisconsin, where he briefly considered attacking another Independence Day parade.
Crimo killed seven and wounded 46 others, including an eight-year-old who is now paralyzed below the waist. He was charged the day after his arrest, and has confessed to the crime. We’ll be using asteroids Roberta and Roberts for Robert Crimo, as well as asteroid Cremona, closest to his surname; asteroid Parks for Highland Park; asteroid Rossi for the Ross Cosmetics building where he stationed himself; asteroids Gunn, Smith and Wesson for the weapon; and a variety of PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) for the victims.
The shooting began at 10:14 AM CDT on 4 July 2022, with asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, at 10 Virgo conjoined the Moon at 13 Virgo, ruler of public spaces, both rising on the 9 Virgo Ascendant. Damocles, representing the doom hanging unseen overhead (in this case, quite literally) appears at 1 Pisces, conjoined the 9 Pisces Descendant. Straddling the MC at 5 Gemini, the point of highest elevation and the focus of all eyes, are asteroids Apophis and Tantalus, at 1 and 9 Gemini, our go-to points when horrific crimes have been committed. Apophis is named for the ancient Egyptian personification of pure evil, and mythic Tantalus is noted for heinous acts of evil. Also here is asteroid Wesson at 8 Gemini, identifying the weapon of choice.
And there’s a fourth point conjunct the MC. As I reviewed the story, I wondered about the use of female garb to effect a purpose, that of disguise. In a different sort of event, I might use any number of LGBTQ-related asteroids to represent the crossdressing, but there was no known sexual motivation involved here, and no information has been released to suggest that Crimo identified as gay or transgendered. As I pondered, I was suddenly reminded of a story of Achilles, hero of the Trojan War. His mother, the nymph Thetis, knowing that conflict would be her son’s destruction, attempted to save him by dressing him in women’s clothing and hiding him amongst the daughters of King Lycomedes of Scyros. The wily Odysseus found him out, and Achilles left for the war and his doom.
Intrigued, I added asteroid Achilles to the chart, and was not surprised to find it exactly conjunct the Midheaven at 5 Gemini. So we have an image of a crossdresser associated with weapons of war, at an elevated position in the sky, just as Crimo was elevated on that rooftop, wielding his assault rifle while in drag. I have been using asteroid Drago for drag since my profile of RuPaul; its placement at 20 Taurus, conjoined Uranus at 17 Taurus, in a Grand Cross with asteroids America at 14 Leo, Karma conjunct Atropos at 18 and 24 Scorpio, and Saturn at 24 Aquarius, confirmed that portion of the story. This depicts a shooting (Uranus) in drag (Drago) at an Independence Day event (America), with results both fated (Karma) and fatal (Atropos, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death; and Saturn, ancient lord of death).
As well, in Robert Crimo’s natal chart (born 20 September 2000, no time available), asteroid Drago appears at 9 Virgo, exactly conjoined the shooting Ascendant, in the company of Apophis at 8 Virgo, that symbol of unremitting evil, and Requiem at 13 Virgo, meaning that Crimo was in the throes of a “Requiem Return” at the time he unleashed his carnage, a period of resetting the natal potential. Note that Apophis is also preparing to return to its natal degree, affording a one-two punch of renewal of energies associated with demise and malevolent acts.
Asteroid Roberta, a feminine form of Robert, appears at 18 Cancer, conjoined the spotlighting Sun at 12 Cancer, focusing attention on Crimo, for good or ill. Also here is asteroid Osiris at 15 Cancer, named for the Egyptian god of the dead, making death another central theme of the day. Asteroid Cremona, closest to Crimo, squares these from 19 Aries.
Asteroid Rossi, for the Ross Cosmetic building where Crimo launched his attack, is widely conjoined Roberta from 27 Cancer, placing Crimo at the scene of the crime, but is also exactly opposed Pluto at 27 Capricorn, modern ruler of death and planetary ruler of homicide. With Pluto is asteroid Roberts at 24 Capricorn, the surname form of Robert. This polarity is T-squared by Mars at 29 Aries, ruling guns, attacks and violent death. Asteroid Parks, for Highland Park, falls at 17 Gemini and squares asteroid Anubis at 18 Virgo, named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites. Asteroid Gunn at 29 Virgo is exactly squared TNO Chaos at 29 Gemini, an apt image of the pandemonium and confusion which ensued from the shooting, and T-squares Neptune at 25 Virgo, representing the victims and the element of disguise from the shooter. A Grand Cross is formed with the addition of asteroid Smith, for the Smith & Wesson rifle, at 28 Sagittarius.
The victims are also present in the form of PNAs, as always on these occasions. Married couple Kevin and Irina McCarthy (aged 37 and 35) were both killed, leaving behind a toddler son who was shielded from harm by his father’s body. Asteroid Kevin at 21 Aries joins the T-square of Roberta/Rossi, Mars and Pluto/Roberts. Asteroid Irina at 12 Virgo joins Requiem and the Moon on the Ascendant. Asteroid McCarthy at 17 Cancer puts them directly in the solar spotlight, conjoined Osiris and Roberta.
Jacqueline Sundheim, 63, is represented by asteroid Jacqueline at 20 Aquarius, conjoined both Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 24 Aquarius, and asteroid Lachesis at 13 Aquarius, named for the Fate who determines the span of life. Katherine Goldstein, 64, is represented by asteroid Goldstein at 28 Libra, filling in the T-Square of Roberta/Rossi, Mars and Pluto/Roberts to form a Grand Cross; and also by asteroid Kathy, which at 17 Scorpio is at station, indicating a pivotal turning point in her life, conjoined Karma and squared Lachesis. Edoardo Uvaldo, 69, appears as asteroid Eduarda at 10 Libra, squared to Sun/Osiris; and asteroid Eodardo, which at 17 Sagittarius squares Anubis. Stephen Strauss, 88, is represented by asteroid Strauss at 13 Scorpio, which, like Kathy, is embedded at station, conjunct Karma and exactly squared Lachesis, and also by asteroid Stefani at 22 Pisces, also at station, and conjoined Neptune.
The final victim is Nicolas Toledo Zaragosa, 78, and I’d like to profile his story in homage to all the victims. Nicolas held dual Mexican and American citizenship, but lived most of his life in Morales, Mexico, only relocating to family in Highland Park two months ago, after his relatives in Mexico determined that the wheelchair-bound soon-to-be octogenarian could no longer live alone. He didn’t want to go to the parade. But the family was going and had no one to watch him, so the night before, they went to the parade site and placed chairs to reserve him a prime viewing spot, to sweeten the deal.
Most print and digital outlets register him as simply “Nicolas Toledo”, but I happened to see the coroner’s press conference live, where she identified him with the added surname of Zaragosa. There is no Toledo asteroid, but there is a Zaragosa, so I added that to the chart, finding it at 4 Virgo, with Requiem and the Moon on the Ascendant.
But as I sat down to write, I thought I should check to be sure the name was correct. A google search brought up only one reference to Zaragosa, but since it was on an obituary site for him from his family, I take it we can confirm that it’s correct. That site also gave me a birthdate of 10 September 1943.
When I ran that chart, even I was surprised. Nicolas had three points at station in his nativity, always an indicator of prominent persons, places or energies which will become pivotal in the biography. Incredibly, these are asteroids Roberta, Cremona, and Gunn, at 29, 27 and 16 Taurus respectively: both names of his killer, and the weapon used to end his life.
Additional indicators of the manner and location of his demise include a triple conjunction of asteroids Nemesis, Rip and Roberts at 8, 11 and 15 Scorpio, opposing Gunn and T-squared Pluto with Jupiter at 7 and 15 Leo. Nemesis represents ruin and downfall, Rip is another death indicator (in the form of the acronym “RIP”, “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone inscription), and Roberts of course also represents Crimo, his killer. Gunn signifies the weapon, Pluto is the modern lord of death and ruler of homicide, and Jupiter brings fame and celebrity, of whatever sort. Certainly, vastly greater numbers of people now know Nicolas Toledo Zaragosa than would ever have been the case had he not died in such a dramatic fashion.
Asteroid Parks conjoins Atropos at 6 and 7 Virgo, identifying a death (Atropos) in Highland Park (Parks). Here also is Venus at 9 Virgo, a backhanded allusion to the cosmetic-and-feminine-garbed, female-appearing shooter. Asteroid Rossi at 26 Virgo conjoins Requiem at 28 and Nicky at 29 Virgo, placing Zaragosa (Nicky) at the Ross Cosmetic building (Rossi) for his death (Requiem).
Asteroid Zaragosa at 21 Leo is on the fulcrum of a T-Square with Roberta/Cremona and asteroid Wesson at 24 Scorpio, again identifying his killer and the weapon that would be used to end his life. Damocles at 29 Aquarius, the doom hanging unseen overhead, fills in a Grand Cross. In the shooter’s chart, natal Zaragosa at 20 Libra is in an exact triple conjunction with Osiris and Wesson, squared Atropos at 24 Capricorn.
It seems that Nicolas Toledo Zaragosa’s end was laid out for him from birth, and he traveled thousands of miles to fulfill it.
Which brings us to the shooter himself. What prompted Robert Crimo III to commit this horrible atrocity? The timing may have been triggered by a station of asteroid Roberts on May 23, when this body which approximates his first name turned retrograde at 29 Capricorn, closely conjoined Pluto, modern ruler of death and planetary ruler of homicide, at 28 Cap. Police speculate that Crimo had been planning his crime for weeks; this is borne out in the Roberts station transits, which included a trine to the transit Sun/Mercury (planning) conjunction at 0 Gemini the day before, and a sextile to transit Mars (attacks) at 28 Pisces. Transit asteroid Gunn at 14 Virgo is exactly sesquiquadrate Roberts, with transit Tantalus at 26 Aries in square, completing the psychic circuitry. By the day of the shooting, Roberts had retrograded back to exactly conjoin the natal degree of asteroid Atropos at 24 Capricorn, named for the Fate who severs the thread of life at death.
Born 20 September 2000, Robert Crimo’s 28 Virgo Sun squares asteroid Roberts at 25 Sagittarius, a typical placement for one’s own PNA. The Sun isn’t especially well-integrated in the chart, on a planetary level, with two out-of-Sign trines to Saturn at 0 Gemini and Neptune at 3 Aquarius forming a Grand Trine. Grand Trines can be difficult to actualize, needing a trigger to bring into manifestation, in the form of a String, a fourth point in opposition to one of the others.
This Grand Trine suggests a core identity (Sun) focused on fantasies (Neptune) of death (Saturn), certainly in evidence in his online presence, and the trigger is especially unfortunate: it’s TNO Ixion at 3 Sagittarius, named for the first murderer in Greek myth, opposed Saturn. The musical/artistic talent and focused application which can also be a result of Neptune and Saturn in combination were given an outlet that pointed only to others’ destruction.
A strong focus on death and dying is also seen in the bodies at station – Anubis at 22 Taurus turned retrograde two days after Crimo’s birth, with Lachesis turning direct from 5 Aquarius two days after that. Anubis is part of a Grand Cross, opposing Roberta and Rossi at 15 and 19 Scorpio, with Rip and Achilles at 15 and 21 Leo and Uranus at 17 Aquarius on the crossbars. This ties Robert Crimo (Roberta) personally to the fatal (Anubis, Rip) shooting (Uranus) from the Ross Cosmetics building (Rossi), also incorporating the female garb disguise (Achilles) utilized there.
With a stationary Lachesis, Crimo may have felt justified in determining the span of other people’s lives. Lachesis is also part of a Grand Cross, opposing asteroids Parks and Tantalus at 2 and 4 Leo, squared Gunn at 3 Taurus and centaur Pholus at 3 Scorpio. This depicts mass casualties (Pholus) from a heinous crime (Tantalus) in Highland Park (Parks), with firearms (Gunn) truncating lives (Lachesis).
We’ve briefly mentioned the Apophis/Drago/Requiem conjunction, but Apophis is also conjunct Mars at 2 Virgo, trine Gunn at 3 Taurus. Interesting that Crimo was associated not just with guns, but also knives, another item in Mars’ bailiwick. Mars/Apophis signals extremes of violence, and a square to Saturn at 0 Gemini suggests that these may be fatal. Add in TNO Ixion at 3 Sagittarius and Pluto at 10 Sag, and the effect is definitely homicidal. Asteroid Cremona at 5 Pisces makes this a Grand Cross, and ties Crimo very personally to how the energy expresses itself.
Perhaps the clearest indication that Robert Crimo felt driven to do what he did comes in another Grand Trine, from the Sun at 28 Virgo conjunct asteroid Karma at 20 Virgo, trine to both Anubis at 22 Taurus and Atropos at 24 Capricorn, combining his self-identity (Sun) with a sense of Fate (Karma) and the theme of death (Anubis, Atropos). In one of his online videos as his alter ego, “Awake the Rapper”, titled “Are You Awake?”, which focuses on animation sequences of gun violence, Crimo can be heard narrating, “I need to just do it. It is my destiny.”
The stars seem to say, perhaps it was.