Lynne Brennan, a 53-year-old Manchester, NH mother of three was found dead in her apartment on October 11, 2010; it was ruled a homicide but no-one has ever been charged with her murder, and no further details were released by police.
I applied my “Rogue’s Gallery” spread to this cold case to see what I might learn from the cards about her killer. I used the Waite-Smith Centennial pocket edition, with reversals. One thing I’ve found over several uses of this spread is that, since I lay the cards counter-clockwise in a zodiacal sequence starting at the “horizon” point, it can serve as a current-location flag for the suspect and a “time-of-day” indicator as well as a “fingering” tool, so there is no reason to apply another spread for this purpose.
The Ace of Swords “pointer” card turned up on the third pass in the west-southwest location of the spread, with the King of Wands reversed at the bottom of the pile. The Wheel of Fortune intervened between the King of Wands and the Ace of Swords.
The King of Wands wasn’t located near the central Death card, so it’s unlikely that the suspect was anyone well-known to Brennan. The Wheel of Fortune suggests that she may have taken a chance on inviting an older man (King of Wands) into her home, and the reversal means that he could have had hidden motives. There were no signs of forced entry, so it looks like a random case of “bad luck” set in motion by Brennan.
The King of Wands would have been a mature man over 45 who was (or may have once been) blond and fair-skinned. The Golden Dawn stipulation that a King facing “with the flow” of the reading can show someone or something leaving the situation implies that he never had any intention of starting a relationship with Brennan. She had not been seen for almost a week, so she could have met this man at any time during that period, probably in the late afternoon or early evening.
Although this spread doesn’t provide a sense of distance from the scene of the crime, it seems likely that a killer would put as much territory between that spot and himself as soon as possible, so my assumption is that he is probably somewhere on the lower West Coast.
A new wrinkle I’m experimenting with is using the Hebrew letters associated with the tarot trump cards to come up with a three-letter set of initials for suspects in these cases. Staring with the court card, I pull three random trump cards, identify their assigned Hebrew letters, transliterate those letters into their English equivalents, and from those create the initials for first, middle and last names. In this case, I came up with the Hanged Man, the Chariot and the Tower. These cards suggest an emotionally withdrawn man, possible with a poor self image, who may have been “on the move” and who was possessed of a violent temper.
The Hebrew letters for these cards are Mem, Cheth and Peh, which transliterate into “M,” “Ch” or “H” and “P, “Ph” or “F.” So the full set of initials could have taken one of several forms: MC(h)P, MC(h)P(h), MC(h)F, MHP, MHP(h) or MHF, with the parenthetical lower-case letters signifying the initial sound of the name it is associated with (for example, “C(h)” could mean “Charles;” “P(h)” could be”Phillip,” “Phelps” or “Phelan”). For practical purposes, the sets can be reduced to their single-letter style, eliminating the parens: MCP, MCF, MHP or MHF.