David Milgaard’s chilling story of being imprisoned for 23 years between the ages of 16 and 39 for a crime committed by someone else stands as one of Canada’s most egregious wrongful convictions. He was living a hippie lifestyle when he was banged up in 1970 for the sexual assault and murder of a nursing assistant and was only freed after his mother’s tireless efforts in 1992. Her search pointed to a serial rapist who lived nearby and subsequent DNA tests proved it. Over the years, lawyers accused police of having “the worst kind of tunnel vision” during the investigation of the case. In prison he was raped and attempted suicide.
After his release David Milgaard became a passionate and effective defender of the wrongfully convicted, pushing to create an independent commission to review wrongful-conviction applications. After his release he settled down and had two children. Those close describe him as a gracious man who did not hold onto anger or animosity. “He wanted to live life to the fullest with the time that was available to him and not carry a grudge,” said Dr. Patrick Baillie, a psychologist who testified on his behalf at the inquiry into his wrongful conviction in 2006.
He died at the weekend from pneumonia.
Born 7 July 1952 in Winnipeg, he was a Sun, Uranus, Venus in Cancer square Neptune and Saturn in Libra and opposition a Capricorn Moon. He also had Mars in Scorpio which must have made living with injustice doubly difficult. And an upbeat Jupiter in Taurus sextile his Sun, Uranus, Venus and square his Pluto – which almost certainly kept his optimism alive through those gruelling years.
His Pluto was conjunct his South Node which Sakoian & Acker describe as ‘learning how it feels to be a victim of circumstances beyond his control.’ And being forced to build a life without the help of others. It can foster resourcefulness, self-reliance and the ability to survive under hardships. Not much to disagree with there.
When he was incarcerated there was significant pressure on his Mars in Scorpio with a panicky, undermining conjunction from Solar Arc Neptune and square from Solar Arc Venus; as well as the tr Saturn in Taurus opposition Jupiter sitting on top of it. And tr Uranus was conjunct his Saturn with tr Pluto conjunct in the years following for a jolting and then deeply depressing time.
Around the time he was released in 1992 tr Uranus Neptune in Capricorn was moving in opposition to his Sun, Venus Uranus in Cancer in the run up, maybe conjunct his Moon. The tough tr Saturn in Aquarius square Pluto in Scorpio were tugging on his Pluto NN/SN so it would not be an instant celebration but a sobering moment as he reflected on what he had lost. It was another five years before he was exonerated so he would be facing that further challenge.
Urrgh. Bless DNA and mothers. I don’t suppose the police who were largely responsible for the miscarriage of justice were ever brought to book. But they should have been.
10 thoughts on “David Milgaard – Pluto South Node and an unfair fate”
From the era of ‘as long as we bang up someone, we will live inn our minds with the real truth, he did not actually do it.’
The investigators used unethical means to pressure Milgaard’s own friends to testify against him. They even ignored the wife of Larry Fisher, the man who was eventually found guilty of the crime, when she came forward and told the police she thought her husband had committed the murder. As far as the police were concerned, the case was closed. So I think you are right, Delia, about their mentality. They wanted the case closed, not solved.
Thank you for the tribute, Marjorie. I didn’t know of this man either.
I can’t imagine how horrific it must have been to go through that abusive experience. And then to come out as a humble and gracious man.
People tend to think of Canada as a kinder, gentler version of the USA. But there are plenty of skeletons in official closets up north, too. Lauren, that 12th house connection is interesting.
Well, we do get a bit smug here when we compare ourselves with our southern neighbours, especially in light of gun violence, lack of access to medical care, and partisan politics. But we would be better served to focus on our own shortcomings and fix them. Having said that, there is nowhere else in the world I would rather live. But I try to recognize that not everyone’s experience of Canada has been positive and work needs to be done to address injustice and inequality.
I was saddened to hear that on top of Milgaard’s already tragic life that he died at a relatively young age before his work with the federal government to set up an independent commission could be completed. The Saskatoon Police Force did apologize to him in 2006 but by then I am sure the officers who fitted him up were long retired and, as you say, never held accountable for their actions. Milgaard’s Sun-Uranus were closely square Canada’s Neptune-Ascendant conjunction at 14 & 16 Aries which to me suggests his miscarriage of justice challenged Canadians’ overly idealized self-identity. I have wondered if Canada’s Neptune, Chiron, South Node, and even Jupiter in the 12th house relate to the many miscarriages of justice that have come to light over the years. His Saturn was exactly square Canada’s Sun-Uranus-IC conjunction at 8 Cancer and his story has brought shame to Canada. His Chiron is conjunct Canada’s 8 Cap MC so his suffering did eventually come to the attention of government and produce positive change. His natal Jupiter is conjunct Canada’s natal Pluto presumably indicating that his experience of victimization eventually led to judicial reform but with both planets in Taurus perhaps this also represents the government compensation he received. From a medical astrology point of view I thought it was interesting that the April 30th solar eclipse at 10 Taurus was square Milgaard’s Mercury which rules the lungs, and he died of pneumonia. Thank you, Marjorie, for a great write-up on his tragic life story.
thanks for this Marjorie,
and thank-you Laurien for your further astrological insights re: Mr. Milgaard’s astrology and that of Canada.
I was an 10/11 year old child living in Saskatoon at the time. This might have been my first real awareness of a crime. The death of the young woman, the media attention, and this name.. David Milgaard… are vividly in my memory.
What a beautiful face he has.. as a young man and then in your second picture.
what a Soul he as to have come through his life with such integrity.
The best of that Moon widely conjunct Chiron in Capricorn.
Yes… Canada is a young country with many skeletons. Great insight, Laurien, about where that might be in the country’s chart.
I, too, am saddened that his life was so short.
I can only imagine the impression the terrible crime would make on a young child especially since it occurred in the wake of several other assaults that were eventually attributed to Larry Fisher.
BTW I’ve never been able to find a birthdate for the victim Gail Miller, but I do have one for Larry Fisher who was eventually found guilty of the crime and the assaults. He was born August 21, 1949 in North Battlefield, Saskatchewan. His Mars at 19 Cancer (and possibly his Moon) is exactly conjunct Milgaard’s Venus and his Neptune-South Node at 13 and 17 Libra hooks up with Milgaard’s Saturn-Neptune conjunction in Libra and squares his Uranus-Saturn-Venus in Cancer. It’s like it reflects how Fisher pinned his secret violence against women on Milgaard.
A touching tribute, especially as his life story was unknown to me.
Many thanks Marjorie
A touching tribute, especially as his life story was unknown to me.
Many thanks Mjoried
Thank you, Marjorie
What an incredible resource of inner strength he had, plus his amazing Mum.
May he Rest In Peace <3