On 15th October 2005 a small but determined group demonstrated on the steps of Manchester Town Hall. They were family and friends of Gordon Park, a 61 year old retired schoolteacher from Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria who was convicted in January 2005 of the murder of his wife Carol in 1974. His children staunchly protest his innocence and have set up a campaign to overturn what they regard as a gross miscarriage of justice.
Known to the press as the Lady in the Lake, Carol Parkís body was discovered at the bottom of Lake Coniston in August 1997 by amateur divers. She had disappeared on 17 July 1976. Lying deep under water, her body had not decomposed as one might expect after 21 years. Her blue baby doll nightdress was still intact and positive identification was possible.
Carol Park was born on 18th December 1945 in the Bristol area. (Source: Westmoreland Gazette) The mid-day solar chart gives her moon at 18 Gemini, conjunct Uranus and making a wide trine to Neptune, which speaks of her media fame and "Lady of the Lake" sobriquet. She married Gordon in 1967 and they had two children. She had been a teacher like her husband (Sun, Mercury and Venus in Sagittarius). However, she found it hard to settle to her life as wife and mother, feeling restless and suffering from depression. With Saturn in detriment inconjunct her sun and sesquisquare her Mercury and with Pluto sesquisquare her sun, there are serious undertones to her bubbly nature (sun in Sagittarius, moon in Gemini). Some press reports describe her husband as Ďcontrollingí. She had several extra marital affairs and left the family for another man for a few months in 1975. Gordon always forgave her and took her back. When she disappeared for good in 1976, it was assumed by family and neighbours that she had gone off again with another lover. Freedom loving Uranus conjuncts her Gemini moon and opposes her Mercury and Venus.
Her chart lives on after her death, reminding us that nothing that is born actually dies. As Pluto moves across the sky it tends to bring to the surface that which has been hidden. When Carolís body was discovered in 1997, transiting Pluto was coming up to conjunct her first house Mercury in Sagittarius, ruler of 7th.
Her husband was charged with her murder in 1997 but there wasnít enough evidence and the case was dropped. Pluto conjuncted her Venus and new information emerged. Gordon was re-arrested in January 2004 just after transiting Pluto opposed Carolís mid-day moon. He was convicted of her murder in January 2005, at what would have been her second Saturn return. She was murdered just after her first Saturn return. This looks like justice but was it?
Neptune is prominent in Carolís chart as it squares the nodal axis. There are still mysteries surrounding the case, and much of the evidence could be regarded as circumstantial.
Gordon has appealed against his conviction and his children have vowed to campaign as long as it takes to free him. Next year transiting Pluto travels over Carolís sun at 26 Sagittarius, and the next episode of this story may be revealed.
During Plutoís sojourn in Sagittarius, with its 9th house legal connection, many cold cases have been reopened and new forensic technology has been applied to old evidence, leading to subsequent convictions. Courts now bow to the opinion of experts. However, this has led to new miscarriages of justice, notably the recent cases of Angela Cannings and Sally Clarke, both wrongly jailed for murdering her children. Our faith in the power of knowledge is being tested by Plutoís journey through Sagittarius and Gordonís case may serve to this end.