On April 6, 2010 Samuel James Cooper was convicted in Wake County for a deadly shooting spree between 2006 and 2007 that claimed the lives of Ossama Haj-Hussein; LeRoy Jernigan; Timothy Barnwell; Ricky High, and Tariq Hussain.

According to the N.C. Department of Correction website, Cooper was born on January 12. He’s a Capricorn.

According to a new study Capricorn is the deadliest sign in the zodiac.

In the spirit of Halloween horror and that eternal ice-breaker question, “what’s your zodiac sign?” the INDY thought it appropriate to report the findings of a study, Most Common Zodiac Signs of Serial Killers by Astrology Zodiac Signs.

The study was released last week after its authors analyzed 485 serial killers responsible  for the murders of 5,125 people, according to a press release.

Key findings?

Perhaps this nugget of discomfort will slow the deluge of newcomers moving to the Tar Heel State: North Carolina isn’t a very safe place. The state accounts for 266 serial killer victims, the fourteenth most in the country.

The study also found that four signs Scorpio, Cancer, Sagittarius, and Pisces make up nearly 40 percent of all serial killers.

And what’s up with water signs and their apparent repeated inability to control the deadly bursts of anger? The study found that water signs Scorpio, Cancer, and Pisces are the deadliest element with the highest number of both killers and victims: 28 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

According to the study, Scorpio, Cancer, Sagittarius and Pisces have had the most serial killers with 46 each. Aquarius and Libra have 44, Capricorn, 42, with Virgo at 40. Leo weighs in with 39, and Aries, 38.

For students of astrology, Scorpio’s top ranking isn’t  surprising, “given that the sign’s biggest weaknesses include violence, manipulation, and jealousy,” according to the study. 

Similarly the study notes “Pisces may be prone to allowing their outer emotions to run out of control, while Cancer may feel isolated, as they are unable to blend in with the world around them, and Sagittarius approaches life with no filter on their words or actions.” 

The signs least prone to wholesale killings are Gemini and Taurus, tied at 27 each.

“Though Taurus is stubborn, they are also emotional and tender,” the study’s authors concluded.

Still, with a tip of the hat to Wake County’s Samuel Cooper, the study determined that despite Capricorn’s number seven ranking, the sign in aggregate has killed the most victims; 813 in all, at an average of 19 per killer.

But why pray tell, are Capricorns who the study notes are known for being disciplined and having good self-control, are most likely to be serial killers?

“Capricorns,” note the study’s authors, “are also known for being rigid when it comes to forcing others to conform to their values. They are also quick to respond with defensiveness, as well as being prone to secrecy.”

Meanwhile, sweet Virgos account for the fewest average victims per killer, with only seven.

The rather puzzling study methodology relied on data from 485 individual serial killers whose birth dates were available from a variety of sources, including Wikipedia, Murderpedia, and several news organizations. The individual known or confirmed serial killers include those who were not convicted. 

The morbid analysis excludes serial killers who remain unidentified, like the Atlanta Ripper and the Zodiac Killer whose birth dates remain unknown. Nor did the study check out the zodiac signs of folk who killed in pairs or groups.

The study reports that the most prolific killer in U.S. history was Samuel Little, who, before he died in prison last year, confessed to killing 93 people between1970 and 2005. Only 61 victims have been confirmed.

Little was a Cancer.

Likewise, the deadliest serial killer of all time is Harold Shipman, a British doctor who authorities believe killed more than 200 of his patients between 1975 and 1998 by injecting them a form of medical heroin and then falsifying their medical records to make it seem like they were in poor health, according to the study.

Shipman later took his own life in prison.

He was a Capricorn.

What’s your sign, indeed.

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle. 

Follow Durham Staff Writer Thomasi McDonald on Twitter or send an email to tmcdonald@indyweek.com.