Ismael Gil is a psychologist and someone who has assessed astrology to model a profile of a murderer. In his book he is not so much interested in the motive of the murderer. This would be the field of the homicide detective. His interest is focused on the psychological traits of the person committing the murder.
In his book - twelve ways to kill (in the original title: 12 formas de matar) - he presents a study performed on 36 murder cases. There are a few famous examples, like Carlos Monzon, the Argentinean boxer who killed his wife, The Black widow who killed her husband Maurizio Gucci, Cunanan, who killed Versace. Many of the examples are less famous and focused on the Spanish situation. Gil lives and works in Barcelona.
The idea to setup profiles of murderers and associate them to the zodiac is new as I know. This makes it a very interesting book. The book also shows a historical view on these murders as much of these cases are hidden in our memory and not accessed frequently. Few of the cases gave me a “oh yes" sensation. Especially the case of Carlos Monzon which I read about when living in Argentina.
The practical approach made it an easy read. This was negatively compensated by the modeling approach which made the material - on itself not an easy subject - hard to finish. I often use models in my own approach and this book gave me the insight that using a model to present an idea has disadvantages; you must first explain the model and than apply it. This is a sort of two step approach. I know a few things about astrology, but not much more than the basic water, air, land and fire basics. For reading the book that is hardly enough and I got often dazzled by the planets, the houses, etc. . . And some kind of reasoning is not mine, for example the setting of the stars at time of the killings; this makes it hard to digest that it is “all in the stars. "
Some profiles where quite easy to understand, others I found less credible, or less characteristic. However for everybody who is interested in the human mind, this book which is focused on those extreme cases as murders, offers very nice insights.
H. J. B.
© Hans Bool