TX - Five Yates children drowned, Houston, 20 June 2001 *Insanity*

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by indigomood, Jul 22, 2004.

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  1. indigomood

    indigomood New Member

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    HOUSTON - Andrea Yates, serving a life sentence for drowning her children in a bathtub, asked her husband why he didn't bring them to visit her in prison last weekend, her attorney said Wednesday.

    "She thought the kids were still alive," attorney George Parnham said.


    Andrea Yates was transferred from the prison near Rusk to a Galveston hospital Monday night after refusing food and losing more than 20 pounds.

    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040722/ap_on_re_us/andrea_yates
     
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  3. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    The husband should be in jail and she should be in a institution. IMO
     
  4. blueclouds

    blueclouds Former member

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    :clap: I agree
     
  5. Beffie

    Beffie New Member

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    Amen, to that!!
     
  6. deputylinda

    deputylinda Former Member

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    i don't believe that BS for one minute. i know, very well, a female who shot her 4 year old twin sons to death...and she is trying the same Sh-T. and the husband is as complicit as she (yates). i am SO SICK OF APOLOGISTS FOR KIDDIE KILLERS!!! :furious:
     
  7. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    Sorry, DeputyLinda, I have to take exception to this with you. I don't think Andrea Yates should be out in public for one minute BUT...she was clearly psychotic after her first child. Doctors told her husband that if she continued to have children, she was at risk for severe post-partum depression--but he thought they could just "fix it" with medicine.

    I don't know how familiar you are with the details of the case, but her husband moved her and the four children (before Mary's birth) into a small bus-sized travel trailer. They were going to move around the country and home school. They sold their previous decent-sized home and got the bus, but Andrea couldn't handle it, so they bought a smaller home in Clear Lake.

    I think she was a person driven to perfection, and the combination of the hormonal imbalances and depression--when she felt she couldn't live up to her ideals, and most definitely Rusty's--was a killer combination.

    She was not bathing or eating really at the time of the killings. She had tried to kill herself before, but oddly enough, no one saw that as a sign of violence.

    Rusty Yates said once she had "two hours all to herself" each week--and she usually chose to go grocery shopping with the baby then.

    The fact that Dee Parnham was ruled innocent by reason of insanity and Andrea was not is a travesty. Parnham went to church, was carrying on quite normally--even inviting her extended family over for dinner the next day--and all the time planned to kill her children. She told her husband "Everything's fine" when he heard the commotion as she tried to kill their toddler child--clearly, she KNEW what she did was wrong. By legal standards, she should have been found guilty just as Yates was.

    Yates in contrast was obviously mentally ill. She was not bathing herself--she had severe lice infestation according to one report--and she was barely speaking. Why anyone would leave her alone with children is beyond my comprehension.

    Andrea Yates should not ever be released because she is clearly psychotic. Unfortunately now, as soon as the drugs take effect, she realizes what she has done and she chooses to revert to her pyschotic stage, understandably.

    On medication and with only two children, maybe not with the emotional pressures of home schooling, I don't think Andrea would have ever killed her children.

    We must find a way to protect society from mentally ill people until we can find a way to prevent or cure mental illness for good--not just something that keeps the symptoms at bay.
     
  8. deputylinda

    deputylinda Former Member

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    TEXANA... that is an excellent, well-thought -out and persuasive post...and i see your points. i have mixed feelings about yates case. i think i am still shell-shocked over susan smith and the female that i know who killed her twins...i am jaded and sick of mothers killing children. my tolerance level is at zero. because i have to ride life-flight helicopter to city with two gunshot , headshot babies...i just don't give a damn about these mothers anymore. sorry. i do respect your opinion.
     
  9. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    I can understand your feelings. I started reading up on these cases when I was a new mother because honestly, I had such a personal fear of it. I was so afraid that I might end up like that--the news reports so often make it sound like the "perfect mother" just snapped.

    Seems like you can divide the cases where mothers kill their children into three groups:

    1) The young (or started having babies very young) mother who is basically an addict of some kind, emotionally immature from her own crummy background, who kills, often an infant, or leaves her infant with a boyfriend who turns abusive. The recent death of a one-year old about an hour or so from here, is an example--two or three guys showed up at the mother's house one evening, she jumped in the car, and the driver backed over her son. According to the police, "Nobody seemed to be lookingout for the child." Says it all, doesn't it? Or they suffocate their babies at birth, dump them in the trash, etc. Panic or neglect of some sort seem to be the main factors.

    2) The plotting sociopathic mother. Diane Downs is the poster child here. Susan Smith probably fits in, too. Key point: like group #1, they aren't good mothers BEFORE the killing. Diane Downs was a lousy mother before she shot her children. The children were poorly fed, ignored, and neglected overall. They were the children you see in your neighborhood where you think, "What is that mother thinking?" Nothing about her children, it seems. They can plan and lie afterwards about the deaths because they are basically devoid of feeling. Group #1 doesn't seem to have the ability to lie so easily .

    3) The third group is the mentally ill, or those who show signs of it. They differ from the others in that they seem to be "perfect mothers" before they kill. Their delusions often have a religious base. The common refrain is "She seemed like such a good mother and the children were so loved."

    I still can't understand why Dee Parnham was acquitted (although she is more or less incarcerated in a mental hospital) and Andrea Yates was convicted. Parnham had no history of mental illness, while Yates had been hospitalized for mental illness. Yates' mental condition had been documented by professionals as well. Guess that's what a jury will do for you--and an expert witness or two--

    The one who testified in both trials said that Yates should have known that what she was doing was wrong since it was the devil who supposedly told her that her children were going to hell. Parnham thought her instructions were coming from God. I thought that line of reasoning was insane in itself. If you are hearing voices, you are supposed to reason that if it's the devil, you shouldn't do it? Hell, they're hearing voices! How can you expect an insane person to reason at all?

    But that said, I don't think Yates OR Parnham should ever get out. For whatever reason, both women did not seek help or get help from their family. Parnham's religious network supported the idea that one might hear voices or have visions. Yates was isolated in the extreme, although one female friend of hers did try repeatedly to get Rusty to take different action with Andera.

    Rusty Yates (maybe you can tell I don't like him) has a problem with authority. He never found a church he could agree with--although for a time he supported a radical preacher whose views included the idea that women were basically susceptible to the devil and often were the pawns of the devil. He said later that Andrea continued with the preacher more than he did (Rusty doesn't take a lot of responsibility for the situation.)

    Rusty also ignored the doctors' warnings that having more children would very likely result in further post-partum psychosis for Andrea. He told people he wanted a "baseball team" of children. He seemed to have a hard time accepting "It's not going to happen" when it came to his dreams. I think when they abandoned the bus idea, there may very well have been a lot of guilt placed on Andrea for not being able to cope with four very young children living in a school bus.

    When the police arrived after the killings (Andrea called 911) they wanted to get a drink of water--I think for Andrea--and Rusty said (according to police) "You won't find a clean glass in the house."

    This says it all to me. If his wife wasn't capable of even washing the dishes, why was she left alone with the children? Supposedly Rusty's mother arrived an hour after Rusty went to work, but did she not do a minimal bit of housework while she was there? Were there not even enough glasses in the house that during the day, the children would use them all up? (remember, Rusty sold all their belongings prior to getting the bus/trailer home.) Or did Rusty not help in any way when he got home each evening?

    Rusty also said that he "offered" to get help with the children but Andrea didn't want it.

    I'll let you draw your own conclusions on that comment.

    Is Yates dangerous? Absolutely, although she is physically too frail to hurt anyone right now. Like so many mentally ill people, she refused to take her medicine, etc, and wasn't honest when she was in therapy. (although according to a couple who attended group therapy with Andrea and the couple's daughter when both were hospitalized, Rusty repeatedly talked "for" Andrea during group talk.)

    I really do think she is the poster child for everything that is wrong with mental health today, including the idea that a few "drugs" can fix a person.
    There are five beautiful children that didn't have to die that day and most days I cannot bear to think about what the oldest child said or did before he died.
     
  10. snorky

    snorky New Member

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    :clap: :clap: :clap:
    Texana~ Very well written and thought provoking. You certainly reminded me of what I already know of mental illness (I have a sibling suffering - I know a little bit, wish I didn't) As a mother, it's so hard to phantom another mother, committing what I consider the worst crime possible. But, not being in a state of mental illness (praise 'GOD'), it's very hard to think a mother would be in such a state of mind to do this. Your hope brings in a little light, and answers some of the questions I have asked in this tragedy.
     
  11. bookbakery

    bookbakery New Member

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    Is Yates dangerous? Absolutely, although she is physically too frail to hurt anyone right now. Like so many mentally ill people, she refused to take her medicine, etc, and wasn't honest when she was in therapy. (although according to a couple who attended group therapy with Andrea and the couple's daughter when both were hospitalized, Rusty repeatedly talked "for" Andrea during group talk.)

    I really do think she is the poster child for everything that is wrong with mental health today, including the idea that a few "drugs" can fix a person.
    There are five beautiful children that didn't have to die that day and most days I cannot bear to think about what the oldest child said or did before he died.

    __________________
    Texana
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Texana, as you know, the oldest child told his mother (Andrea Yates) that he was sorry. And, of course, he ran from her in the house when he realized that she was going to drown him in the tub, like he saw that Mary had been. This just breaks my heart. Poor child must have thought it was his fault for him to tell her that he was sorry. Yes, I believe that she is/was extremely mentally ill and should be permantly hospitalized instead of in jail. I also believe that it would be merciful to let her live in her la-la land rather than for her to realize what she did while psychotic.

    I'll probably get flamed for this, but I truly believe that she had no idea what was going on. And her husband, Rusty, is as much to blame. To think that living in a bus-sized home with four children would be acceptable. Hmmph.
     
  12. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    Thank you, Snorky, very kind of you to say so.

    I agree Bookbakery, Rusty Yates is far more responsible than he was legally held to be. Would you leave your children with a babysitter in the same condition as Andrea? Of course not. I think the d/a decided that he has been punished enough, but I feel he had some responsibility. A friend of Andrea's even tried to warn him that Andrea was in serious danger (she was a nursing friend from Andrea's working days--oddly enough, Andrea was a nurse) but Rusty blew her off. If you look at the photos of Andrea before and after the crime, it is just shockingly apparent that something awful was going on.

    Also, I've always felt that there is a definite element of rage--and I think against Rusty--in what Andrea did. It takes enormous energy and strength to do what she did--chasing down that older child--Apparently those little wet footprints were still visible on the tile floor when the police arrived. Such a horrific thing--

    Some therapists believe much depression can be traced to unresolved anger--people unable to express their frustrations, anger, etc, become depressed. It makes sense to me. I think it was true for Andrea. Her mother said and of course, this is "hearsay" that at one point when Andrea was hospitalized, she asked Rusty to change a diaper for one of the children and he said, "Well, that'll be a first." Whatever happened, her family feels very strongly that he did not do enough to help her and he brought this on by his insistence on a large family.

    BTW, her attorney, George Parnham, is on Fox News tonight as a TH for the Kobe Bryant case.

    Also, Bookbakery, I think when she is pyschotic, she doesn't eat. So it become an issue of making her well enough to eat by herself...and then of course, she realizes what she did.

    The woman in Hawaii who committed a similiar crime about 20 years ago, committed suicide finally when she was lucid enough.
     
  13. Newswolf

    Newswolf New Member

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    I hadn't read this till today, because this is one of those cases that gives me nightmares.

    I think her husband is culpable too and having read this, I dislike him even more.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5505550/site/newsweek/

    "Those close to her say they think they know what triggered this relapse in psychosis: vivid memories of her drowning her five children in the family bathtub, and her husband's telling her that he wanted a divorce.
    When close friends Robert and Debbie Holmes went for a visit in late May, "she went straight to discussing her divorce," Robert Holmes told NEWSWEEK. The conversation got emotional, he said, when Andrea recounted her husband's reasons. "Rusty told her that if her appeal were successful and she is actually able to get out, there would always be the trust issue," Holmes said. "He told her he could never trust her alone with children again. And she said Rusty wants to have more children." Later in the visit, Andrea turned to Debbie and told her she was haunted by memories of June 20, 2001, when she killed her children. "She was wailing and kept asking, 'How could I have done this?' " Holmes said. "We told her she was sick, that she wasn't herself. She cried hard that day." Shortly after, she began refusing food and drink, her doctors say. Rusty thinks his wife's relapse may have been prompted by the third anniversary of the children's death, her 40th birthday in July and "the uncertainty of where we will be going in our marriage."
     
  14. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    Why does the Ahold, Rusty, need to be talking at all to her about their marriage right now? If he's going to divorce her, he needs to just do it and leave her alone. If he's not going to do it, he needs to try to help her recovery (if that's possible) and not add to her pain.
     
  15. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

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    I could not agree more.

    And notice how Rusty wants more children--he didn't protect the ones he had--and he's still the same old Rusty--"I want more children." I think he was talking about having more children before she even went to trial. He has a very odd sort of "just replace them with more children" mentality.
     
  16. NewMom2003

    NewMom2003 Former Member

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    From one Texan to another ... I couldn't agree with you more on this. Being from Houston, I've had the same (very heated) debate with many people I know.
     
  17. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    A bunch of us from Dallas couldn't agree more NewMom! This is the only case I can remember that honestly made me question the system when dealing with mental illness.
     
  18. Arielle

    Arielle New Member

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    The thing I wonder about Andrea Yates is how she could not possibly know what she was doing was wrong. It takes considerable time and strength to drown 5 children. My 4 year old often fights me when I'm trying to wash her hair. She can put up quite a struggle. Can you imagine these children fighting for their lives and the struggle they put up trying to breathe? And the one running through the house, that she had to chase down. How could she not know that what she was doing was wrong? Somehow I can find it in my heart to forgive a mother who shot her children more than I can Andrea Yates. The shooting takes seconds. Methodically killing 5 children by drowning takes a long time.
     
  19. Rachael

    Rachael Team Rachael

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    I think she should be in an institution as well. I don't blame the husband as much as everyone else does. He was not the one who drowned the kids. His mother was there helping her with the kids every day since she became really sick. He would leave for work and within an hour his mom would be there. She killed the kids within the hour that the husband left and the mother was due to arrive. I am not saying he's a great person because I do think he put too much responsibility on her knowing after the fourth child that she was weak. I think she went into the marraige the same way he did by thinking they would have as many kids as god would give them. I also believe it was her idea to homeschool the kids.
     
  20. Txswthrt5

    Txswthrt5 New Member

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    You are correct Rachel - BUT... Andrea had mentioned to her husband, and her therapist, prior to the crime that she was thinking about killing the kids. Something to the effect that that was the only way she could get out of the hell she was in. That is why his mother stayed with her every day. They had prior warning, and still left her alone with the kids. Andreas doctor told the husband she should not have any more kids, it would be too much of a psychological strain on her, yet he decided he wanted more. Andrea was a straight A kid in school and very adept nurse at one time. As she succumbed to her husbands abuse (yes, he was mentally abusive) she sank into the depths of phycholigical illness. He is as much to blame in this as she is, IMO. He operated under the "Man is the KING" & Keep them "Barefoot and pregnant" regardless of what professionals and doctors told him. If he had waited til his mother got there to leave for work, the kids would still be alive. If he had gotten Andrea the proper care, the kids would still be alive. He had prior warning that all was not right, he should have taken further precautions to insure that Andrea was never alone with those kids. I do NOT excuse her from culpability in this case, but I believe her husband needs to be held responsible too. IMO -

    PS - A friend of mine was in jail with Andrea for a time, and she says the lady is WAY out of it. She was in a private cell in the "baby-killer" section of the Prison, and under suicide watch since she arrived. She was never allowed to mingle with the GP either. She has now been moved to a smaller prison in Galveston where she can be watched more closely.
     
  21. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    I'm no doctor, so I can't really answer your question with any degree of certainty. I can only offer my opinion, such as it is. On a purely human level, I think that at the time, she was so deep into her depression, that she may have knew that she wasn't doing a good job parenting them and may have thought that they'd be better off in Heaven than with her. I think her religeon played a part in her "decision." When she's taking her meds, she now knows how absolutely horrible it was for her to do, but at the time in a sick mind, it may have seemed "reasonable" to her. She had been trying to get medical attention, so its not an "out of the blue" illness (like the mother who stoned her children to death, yet was found to be "insane.")

    On the "legal" side of this, I think the standard is flawed. I think that you can know what you're doing is "wrong," yet still be "insane" or "temporarily insane." Especially since we now know for a fact that "post partum psychosis," is real and is devastating. I believe that if an established mental illness was the "deciding factor" in these cases, and that mental illness doesn't "miraculously" get "cured" in the days following the murder, then it should be allowed.
     
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