Andrea Yates

Essay by UmmmHuhUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, August 2009

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A young mother of five very beautiful children seemed to have a very wonderful and happy life. Andrea's husband Russell was very proud of his family. Most people thought of the Yates family to be very charming, loving and respectful. So what would posses the young mother of five, to commit such a heinous and most unforgettable crime? Andrea Yates drowned her five young children not all at once, but one by one for each to see his ill fate at the hands of their own mother. Young and innocent children brought to a short life, left many shocked and confused to this horrific story.

Each child was laid on her bed after the drowning. One by one Andrea would lay each child next to the other to form a line, and then covered them up with a sheet. She left Mary the youngest daughter floating in the bathtub. What made Andrea do that? She wanted people to believe she was possessed by the demon Satan himself.

Satan was making her a bad mother and she felt "the need to protect her children" an excuse I find far fetched. Andrea would later say she wanted to give her children a chance to "go to heaven"(Ramsland).

For years Andrea suffered from depression and at one point wanted to take her own life by suicide. Andrea was often medicated and her psychiatrists advised her not to become pregnant as it would trigger further episodes of postpartum psychosis. Despite the warnings Andrea and Russell became pregnant one last time, with little Mary. According to reports, Yates suffered from severe depression, psychosis and not just thoughts of suicide but murder. She was hospitalized and then later was allowed to go home to her beautiful family she often thought about murdering.

Her doctors' were all aware of her psychosis, depression and bouts of postpartum psychosis and yet the fault does not lie on just them. If Andrea Yates was as ill as they say, who was monitoring her the whole time? One can argue and make a case that Russell Yates has as much blame as she. Did he not see the fraud in her eyes each day as he spent with her and his family? Child endangerment and negligent homicide were never filed against Russell Yates. While she was ill why were the children left in harm's way? My argument is Andrea should have received the proper care in an institution for people with mental illnesses and disorders. A good Psychiatrist should have monitored Andrea more closely.

Andrea Yates was eligible for capital punishment, but after three short weeks she was found guilty of capital murder on March 13, 2002. She was given life at the Skyview Unit at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice at the Rusk Penitentiary in Rusk, Texas. This case was brought to the Texas first Court of Appeals but because of an expert witness for the State, Dr. Park Deitz made a false statement saying that Yates was a big fan of the "Law and Order" and she may have been influenced by an episode that was aired. Defense contacted NBC and confirmed that there was not an episode that was ever aired. The appeals court later stated they believe that Dr. Deitz did not commit perjury intentionally and had no idea he was giving a false statement.

Today Andrea Yates still believes that Satan tries to contact her while she is in her jail cell. Plagued by psychosis, depression and perhaps schizophrenia Andrea is not a healthy woman. Had Andrea had the help she needed all along, the right supervision, correct diagnosis, medication and therapy, perhaps this shocking crime may never have happened.

Reference:Retrieved May 20, 2009 from (CNN & Copyright, May 2006)