Who Killed Craig? – A Rogue’s Gallery “Whodunit” Reading

I know I said I wasn’t going to do “cold case” readings any more, but this one keeps showing up in the New Hampshire news media so I decided to tackle it. The fact that it is 30 years old makes discovering anything new with the tarot highly unlikely, and in fact what I received was more a corroboration of what little is already known than any kind of revelation.


I used my “Whodunit” Rogue’s Gallery spread with the Waite-Smith Centennial Pocket Edition, and included reversals. In the layout I concealed all of the “placeholder” stacks that aren’t part of the formal narrative to avoid visual clutter, but in practice I leave them all face up and just focus on the stack of interest.


All images copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT

As always, I used the Death card as the Significator, and the Ace of Swords (Ace of Spades in playing-card cartomancy, one of the traditional “death” cards) as the “pointer.” It turned up on the second pass in the outer ring of court cards, suggesting that the assailant was not from the immediate area and wasn’t known to the victim. The 12-card periphery resembles a zodiacal “compass,” with the left side showing the East, the right side the West, the top the South and the bottom the North. The Ace of Swords appeared in the easternmost position, indicating that the suspect’s home was somewhere distant from Peterborough in that direction, perhaps in the Manchester, NH area.

The card at the bottom of that pile was the Knight of Cups, describing a male between 25 and 45 of medium skin tone and hair color; witnesses reported seeing a brown-haired Caucasian male around twenty fleeing the area, so I would peg this card at the low end of the age bracket. The 5 of Cups reversed between the Knight and the Ace of Swords implies that the individual was emotionally disturbed at the time of the killing, and the visual appearance of the Ace of Swords reversed evokes the “stabbing” action that brought about Craig’s demise. (It always makes me think of a “thumbs-down” for the vanquished gladiator in a Colosseum battle.) There is nothing new here beyond the mention of an easterly origin for the killer. The knight may also show that the perpetrator made his escape in a vehicle. Another possibility is that the reversed 5 of Cups means Craig gave the robber some grief, instigating the unfortunate outcome. As a final note, I see a striking visual resemblance between the Knight of Cups and the figure of Death, almost like the former is the “cup-bearer” for the latter; it could even suggest that there was a symbolic inevitability to the event.

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