British psychologist Havelock Ellis wrote up a fascinating case study of eight-year-old Marie Schneider. I rectified it based on her account, giving her a 01 Aquarius Ascendant; John Dillinger has this same degree on his Descendent according to  E. C. Chambers claims it should be the other way and similar to Marie.  We will have to check that one day.

Dr Ellis’s preface

This account is verbatim from Dr. Ellis’s book The Criminal from 1 Ellis, Havelock, The Criminal, London, Chas. Scribners & Sons, c. 1892. This book was scanned by Google.

Dr Havelock Ellis

I will now give, in some detail, the history of a more decisive and significant example of this same moral insensibility. It is in a child, and I take it from German records. Marie Schneider, a school-girl, twelve years of age, was brought before the Berlin Criminal Court in 1886. She was well developed for her age, of ordinary facial expression, not pretty, nor yet ugly. Her head was round, the forehead receding slightly, the nose rather small, the eyes brown and lively, the smooth, rather fair hair combed back.

With an intellectual clearness and precision very remarkable for her age, she answered all the searching questions put by the President of the Court without hesitation or shrinking. There was not the slightest trace of any inner emotion or deep excitement. She spoke in the same quiet equable tone in which a school-girl speaks to her teacher or repeats her lesson. And when the questions put to her became of so serious a character that the judge himself involuntarily altered his voice and tone, the little girl still remained self-possessed, lucid, childlike.

She was by no means bold, but she knew that she had to answer as when her teacher spoke to her, and what she said bore the impress of perfect truth, and agreed at every point with the evidence already placed before the court. Her statement follows:—

Marie Schneider’s account

“My name is Marie Schneider. I was born on the 1st of May 1874, in Berlin. My father died long ago, I do not know when; I never knew him. My mother is still living; she is a machinist. I also have a younger brother. I lost a sister a year ago. I did not much like her, because she was better than I, and my mother treated her better.

My mother has several times whipped me for naughtiness, and it is right that I should take away the stick with which she beat me, and to beat her. I have gone to school since I was six years old. For the past two years, I have been in the third class. I stayed there from idleness.

Marie Schneider’s account to Dr. Ellis 2 ibid. pg. 8

I have been taught reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and history, and also religion. I know the ten commandments. I know the sixth: it is, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ I have some playfellows at school and in the neighbourhood, and I am often with a young lady [believed to be of immoral life] who is twenty years old and[Pg 9] lives in the same house. She has told me about her childhood, and that she was just as naughty as I am, and that she struck the teacher who was going to punish her.

Some time ago, in playing in the yard, I came behind a child, held his eyes, and asked him who I was. I pressed my thumbs deep in his eyes, so that he cried out and had inflamed eyes. I knew I hurt him, and, despite his crying, I did not let go until I was made to. It did not give me special pleasure, but I have not felt sorry.

When I was a little child I have stuck forks in the eyes of rabbits, and afterwards slit open the belly. At least so my mother has often said; I do not remember it.

I know that Conrad murdered his wife and children, and that his head was cut off. My aunt reads the newspapers. I am very fond of sweets, and have several times tried to get money to buy myself sweets. I told people the money was for some one else who had no small change. I know that that was deceit. I know too what theft is. Any one who kills is a murderer, and I am a murderess. Murder is punished with death; They execute the murderer; his head is cut off.

My head will not be cut off, because I am still too young. On the 7th of July my mother sent me on an errand. Then I met little Margarete Dietrich, who was three and a half years old, and whom I had known since March. I said to her that she must come with me, and I took her hand. I wanted to take away her ear-rings. They were little gold ear-rings with a coloured stone.

I did not want the ear-rings for myself, but to sell at a second-hand shop in the neighbourhood, to get money to buy some cakes. When I reached the yard I wanted to go somewhere, and I called to my[Pg 10] mother to throw me down the key. She did so, and threw me down some money too, for the errand that I was to go on. I left little Margarete on the stairs, and there I found her again.

From the yard I saw that the second-floor window was half open. I went with her up the stairs to the second floor to take away the ear-rings, and then to throw her out of the window. I wanted to kill her, because I was afraid that she would betray me. She could not talk very well, but she could point to me; and if it came out, my mother would have beaten me. I went with her to the window, opened it wide, and set her on the ledge.

Then I heard some one coming down. I quickly put the child on the ground and shut the window. The man went by without noticing us. Then I opened the window and put the child on the ledge, with her feet hanging out, and her face turned away from me. I did that because I did not want to look in her face, and because I could push her easier. I pulled the ear-rings out. Grete began to cry because I hurt her. When I threatened to throw her out of the window she became quiet.

I took the ear-rings and put them in my pocket. Then I gave the child a shove, and heard her strike the lamp and then the pavement. Then I quickly ran downstairs to go on the errand my mother had sent me. I knew I should kill the child. I did not reflect that little Grete’s parents would be sorry. It did not hurt me; I was not sorry; I was not sorry all the time I was in prison; I am not sorry now.

The next day a policeman came to us and asked if I had thrown the child out of the window. I said no, I knew nothing about it. Then I threw away the ear-rings that I had kept hid; I was afraid they would search my pockets and find [Pg 11] them. Then there came another policeman, and I told him the truth, because he said he would box my ears if I did not tell the truth.

Then I was taken away and had to tell people how it happened. They took me in a cab to the mortuary. They gave me a piece of bread and I had a good appetite. I saw little Grete’s body undressed on a bed. I did not feel any pain and was not sorry. They put me with four women, and I told them the story.

I laughed while I was telling it because they asked me such curious questions. I wrote to my mother from prison, and asked her to send me some money to buy some dripping, for we had dry bread.”

That was what little Marie Schneider told the judge, without either hesitation or impudence, in a completely childlike manner, like a school-girl at examination; and she seemed to find a certain satisfaction in being able to answer long questions so nicely. Only once her eyes gleamed, and that was when she told how in the prison they had given her dry bread to eat.

The medical officer of the prison, who had watched her carefully, declared that he could find nothing intellectually wrong in her. She was intelligent beyond her years, but had no sense of what she had done, and was morally an idiot. And this was the opinion of the other medical men who were called to examine her.

The Court, bearing in mind that she was perfectly able to understand the nature of the action she had committed, condemned Marie Schneider to imprisonment for eight years. The question of heredity was not raised. Nothing is known of the father except that he is dead. Marie Schneider differs from the previous cases, not merely by her apparent freedom from pathological elements, but by her rational motives and her intelligence.

The young French woman intended nothing very serious by her brutal and unfeeling practical jokes. Marie Schneider was as thorough and as relentless in the satisfaction of her personal desires as the Marquise de Brinvilliers.

But she was a child, and she would generally be described as an example of “moral insanity.” It is still necessary to take a further step, although a very slight one, to reach what everyone would accept as an instinctive criminal.

 BTW, her Chiron, the Asteroid that demonstrates the natives Respect for Others,  is at 19 Aries, that chart is at right.

           All that Glitters is not Gold, Marie

Alas, all that Glitters is not Gold, Marie 3 from Hali Meidenhad, c. 1220 in Latin from an English treatise extolling the path to virtue and wisdom, akin to Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack — Non omne quad nitet aurum est. Alas the author of Hali is unknown, but it was a popular book in the middle ages. and it seems she learnt that the hard way.

Miss Schneider has several clues in her horoscope that point to her cold-blooded killed of little Grete.  One of the first thing is that her first house as two rulers, Saturn and Uranus at 07 Leo directly opposite working as Mr. Vivian Robson wrote nearly a hundred years ago, a translation of light between the two.   Robson tells us that Saturn conjunction, as it via Uranus, makes the person “mean spirited,” while Uranus square Mars in the third house suggests the person will express their personality through violent means.

We would agree as Saturn is a cold planet found here in the first aspect, giving her a rather abstract and detached attitude towards those around her while Uranus found opposite it, in its detriment in animal loving Leo, would make her feel the same way with them as well.  Her confession bares that out.

Next to Uranus is her part of Fortune found at 09 Leo, that Dr. Jones says is a symbol of “A glass blower,” who when positive has the ability to breathe new life into things and when negative, as it is here, a distortion of reality leading to destructive acts.  Unfortunately, that is true, as Marie did not seem to value the fragility of life highly compared to the fear of being found out as a thief by her mother.

Finally, her Moon at Scorpio 04, suggests a “simple minded creature” according to E. C. Chambers.  Dr. Ellis agreed.

                                      Lines of Hope?

Marie has the Line of Culture in her chart trined, similar to Helen Keller who also has Uranus elevated.  Dr. Jones writes, that this suggests a person who is self-motivated and ignorant of social convention.  Other aspects would determine how well the native uses that beneficial line.

Her Line of Efficiency is conjunct, semi-sextile the supernumerary of Mercury giving Marie a certain keen insight to her world, and also a fast reflex action to instinctively push Grete out the window.

She has a strong Line of Vitality, that aspect between her Sun and Moon, here in opposition, giving her a remarkable ability to see every situation with an eye of how to benefit from it.

She has no line of Personality, which comes as no surprise as even Dr. Ellis found that lacking.  Today she would be said to have Proactive Aggressive behavior.


Ellis, Henry Havelock. The Criminal. 1st ed. Broadway, NYC: Scribner & Welford, 1890. Hardcover.
Robson, V.E. (2010) A students’ textbook of astrology. Bel Air, MD: Astrology Center of America.
Jones, M.E. (1976) Sabian symbols in astrology: A symbol explained for each degree of the Zodiac – Marc E. Jone.. Roberts Studio Press edn. Stanwood, WA: Sabian Publishing Society.
Jones, M.E. (1972) The Guide to Horoscope Interpretation. First Quest Edition edn. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House.
Swart, J., & Mellor, L. (2017). Homicide A Forensic Psychology Casebook. Baton Raton, FL: CRC.



  • 1
    Ellis, Havelock, The Criminal, London, Chas. Scribners & Sons, c. 1892. This book was scanned by Google.
  • 2
    ibid. pg. 8
  • 3
    from Hali Meidenhad, c. 1220 in Latin from an English treatise extolling the path to virtue and wisdom, akin to Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack — Non omne quad nitet aurum est. Alas the author of Hali is unknown, but it was a popular book in the middle ages.


  • 1
    Ellis, Havelock, The Criminal, London, Chas. Scribners & Sons, c. 1892. This book was scanned by Google.
  • 2
    ibid. pg. 8
  • 3
    from Hali Meidenhad, c. 1220 in Latin from an English treatise extolling the path to virtue and wisdom, akin to Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack — Non omne quad nitet aurum est. Alas the author of Hali is unknown, but it was a popular book in the middle ages.

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