F Lee Bailey – a circus master in court

Flashy showmanship in court gave F. Lee Bailey, the celebrity criminal lawyer, an infamous reputation for bamboozling juries into reasonable doubt which allowed many to walk free including  O.J. Simpson, the army commander at the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, Dr Sam Sheppard (The Fugitive) and the Torso Murderer (later convicted of another killing). He failed in his defence of Patty Hearst and the Boston Strangler.

  His New York Times obituary said: “He was a riveting courtroom performer, a stocky badger-like man with a cleft chin, intimidating blue eyes —. He had the ventriloquist’s trick of directing questions at the witness box but throwing his points at the jury box. He had an actor’s voice, by turns bullying, cajoling, sarcastic or sympathetic, searching for seams of doubt. Under his reductions, a prosecutor’s “fact” could be whittled down to a probability, then to a mere possibility or just a silly idea.”

  He flew warplanes, sailed yachts, wrote books, touted himself on television, was profiled in countless newspapers, ran a detective agency, married four times, carried a gun, courted trouble and was finally disbarred in 2001 for misappropriating millions from a drug-trafficker client.

  He was born on the 10 June 1933 at 2am (from memory) in Waltham, Massachusetts, just days after Joan Collins, the actress. His communicative Gemini Sun in his 3rd house was revved up by a square to a super-confident and risk-taking 6th house Mars Jupiter in Virgo. His Mars sextile Pluto, attracting him to danger and the darker side of humanity, was in a tricky fated Yod inconjunct Saturn in Aquarius. His Saturn was also trine his Sun. Despite his devil-may-care reputation he was obviously a hard-worker.

“Behind every performance lay enormous preparation: a gathering of facts by his private investigators, hours of legal analysis, all crammed into the encyclopaedic Bailey memory.”

  He was also a status-quo-upsetter with a 4th house Pluto opposition a 10th house Capricorn Moon square Uranus in his 1st. He was designed for a public role as a trailblazer and rebel.

  Oddly enough he had no 9th house planets which is the legal arena so he was arguably not driven by a thirst for justice but more for a platform to display his verbal skills and cause chaos.

  His can-be-self-defeating 10th and 16th Harmonics were strong as was his money-making 9H.

A tornado of a personality for whom winning was the only goal.

Pic: John Matthew Smith.

14 thoughts on “F Lee Bailey – a circus master in court

  1. The June 10, 2021 Total Solar Eclipse conjuncts his natal Sun.
    He was about 7 days short of his 88th birthday. Maurice Weymss’s Table for Age Incidence of Disease/Death, shows that
    at 88 years the axis 20Scorpio/20Taurus is activated. This axis
    falls exactly conjunct his 8th cusp of death at 20Scorpio. If you’re interested in this very accurate table, see this book,
    “A Handbook of Medical Astrology” by Jane Ridder-Patrick, page
    145. Who says death can’t be predicted.

    • I say death can’t be predicted and certainly not on this website. There have been multiple studies done over the years which show no reliable methods for predicting death – and it’s not something you want to get wrong. Hindsight can be a wonderful thing but isn’t the same as foresight.

  2. Fascinating. We’re in the Age of Gemini it seems. Now you see it, now you don’t! The yod is very descriptive of his career isn’t it? And just coming up to his Saturn return as well.
    I think that sometimes Geminis get carried away with the game, and fail to see or take on board any deeper meaning. Mercury was, after all, god of thieves. There are Geminis in my life who are very dear to me, but I’ve also encountered the total tricksters with their extreme lack of empathy and accountability. Trickster gods indeed!

    • “fail to see or take on board any deeper meaning”

      Which is exactly why they’re opposite Sag – which has no interest in the details, only finding patterns, meaning and the rules/laws behind life and debating the ethics that Cap then codifies.

      That said, I’m not sure how if you’re in the legal profession where your job is to get clients off, you’re giving your best if you don’t try to create reasonable doubt where you can see an avenue for it.

      Maybe it’s telling that people like him don’t go down the prosecution route which is about building a watertight case rather than tearing someone else’s apart.

    • I’ve had some very bad experiences with 2 Gemini bfs and a Gemini rising friend. I found these relationships extremely painful but the experiences did make me look deep within myself and see patterns that I hadn’t recognised before. It’s strange because for them, there was little to no emotional cost or consequences at all, they simply flitted on to the next person unscathed.

      • I don’t want to mansplain if you have good astro knowledge but remember archetypically Gemini is only interested in learning about the world so it can orient itself within it. building It compares one thing to another trying to figure out which is better. That could be an endless task because there’s always different measures … (“I like that woman better than my current girlfriend – she is taller” … “that woman over there is thinner than new tall girlfriend” … “there’s a woman over there with blonde hair which looks better than current thin girlfriend’s ginger hair” etc, etc). It could easily keep going round in a circle. It needs to progress into Cancer to start figuring out what matters emotionally to it and therefore what is worth attaching itself to.

        Virgo, as the other mercury-ruled sign, compares things against a standard of perfection. So it can be more decisive because it has its ‘objective’ measure and knows when it’s slipping backwards.

        • Not mansplaining at all, GN. Yes, you’re right – I have a packed third house so I can sort of understand that. I do love knowledge and never tire of learning, but it’s in Scorpio so I hope there is some depth there as well as passion. But as you say, the first three signs are more self-orientated. My relationships with Geminis have always taught me something though, perhaps that is Gemini’s purpose on some level.

          • Gemini is good at coming up with a counterpoint or alternative. I think that’s part of the twins thing. Every time Sag says “This is the truth”, Gemini tries to throw a spanner in the works by saying “Ah but how does this fit in?”. It’s very useful energy for testing one’s theories and assumptions. But it’s very tiring energy if the aim is only to win the argument.

            As you say below to Jo, without some Virgo sifting, Gemini just has a collection of facts and figures that it can always throw into an argument.

            When I did my degree it was focused on “critical thinking” e.g. how valid is the experiment? How relevant is the argument to the topic of discussion etc. Since UK’s education system got reformed by Pluto in Sag it turned into a degree-selling business and critical thinking has gone out the window.

          • The gods of postmodernism and post-structuralism played havoc at universities, particularly when diluted. Possibly Pluto in Sagittarius was involved in that movement? Interesting ideas run wild, and a Mercurial playground I think. Excellent training for any lawyer or barrister. Mental gymnastics are always fascinating, but definitely dangerous in many areas of life. Those who are skilled practitioners must be handled with great care I feel.

    • Isn’t Virgo governed by Mercury too? I wonder if having it in an earth element keeps the mercurial temperament grounded? Because we are not seeing this conveyor belt of deceitful and ambitious Virgos in the news like we are Gemini. I’m wondering when Mercury governs the air sign of Gemini all that trickster energy is blowing all over the place it can’t even keep up with itself!

      • I think that Virgo takes information and digests it, Jo if that makes sense, it does rule the intestines after all. Virgo can be painfully analytical and it’s fear of not being perfect can sometimes hold it back – it’s generally a far more reticent sign than Gemini. In earthy Virgo, I’ve found Mercury works more pragmatically, gives more practical intelligence.

  3. Good heavens, another male trickster Gemini in the news! If he wasn’t a lawyer he has all the character traits of a slippery politician in the making. He would have fit right in to the populist political arena today. No integrity whatsoever.

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