Assassinations and the Gregorian Calendar


Long-time readers of my blog may remember the post I did a long time ago in which I looked at the zodiac signs of the Presidents of the United States in conjunction with assassinations/assassination attempts.

For whatever reason, that little exploration popped back into my head the other day so I decided to do a more thorough analysis along the same lines.

I went to Wikipedia’s list of assassinated people and pulled both assassination dates and birthdates (when available) into a huge-ass dataset.

Questions of interest:

  • Is there a time of the year where more assassinations have tended to occur throughout the world?
  • Do assassination victims tend to be born at certain times of the year (and in certain zodiac signs, just for fun), taking into account the general overall frequencies of specific birthdays?
  • (And I was going to see whether trends in assassinations differ between the continents, but I totally forgot to for this blog, haha. Maybe later.)

So! The data!

As I said, I looked at both the birthdate (when available; n = 612) and the assassination date (just month and day, not year; n = 778) for all of the victims. I didn’t think it made any sense doing any sort of paired data analysis (pairing birthdate and death date of each individual) because when you think about it, the two should be independent on one another. My being born on February 2nd shouldn’t affect the day and month on which I’d be assassinated, right?

In fact, I figured there’d be no relationship between birth date and death date at all…but I was kind of wrong.

Take a look at this plot (click to enlarge).

This shows all 1,390 points of data—the 612 birthdates and the 778 death dates—and their frequencies by month of the year. Does anybody else find the fact that the two lines are kind of a reflection of each other along a horizontal axis…strange? Especially the fall/winter months (August – March), holy crap.

Keep in mind that this is NOT paired data. Haha, I had to keep telling myself that while looking at this because I kept trying to make logical sense of it. There’s no reason (that I can think of anyway) why this pattern should be occurring, and yet there it is. Yes, I know it’s not a perfect reflection and I know that the differences in instances given the sample size are pretty small and the differences are exaggerated by the Y-axis range (my fault), but still. You have to admit that’s freaky.

Anyway.

Months in which assassinations were most common: June, February, and October.

Months in which most eventual assassination victims were born: March, January, May, and September. Nothing too remarkable; the general frequency of people born in these months versus the number of assassination victims born in these months doesn’t seem markedly different to me.

Most commonly assassinated zodiac signs: Virgo, Aries, Aquarius, and Gemini (which, if you believe in the zodiac affecting personality, could just mean that people of these signs are more apt to take positions that leave them more vulnerable to assassination attempts).

Vroom!

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