750 WORDS MIN
Was Yates insane? Does her (ex) husband bear any responsibility in the
crime? Why or why not? Remember to respond to two of your classmates'
postings and cite all sources in Bluebook format.
Education and Achievements:
(Kennedy) Yates was born on July 2, 1964 in Houston, Tex. She graduated
from Milby High School in Houston in 1982. She was the class
valedictorian, captain of the swim team and an officer in the National
Honor Society. She completed a two-year pre-nursing program at the
University of Houston and then graduated in 1986 from the University of
Texas School of Nursing in Houston. She worked as a registered nurse at
the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1986 until
Andrea Meets Rusty Yates:
and Rusty Yates, both 25, met at their apartment complex in Houston.
Andrea, who was usually reserved, initiated the conversation. Andrea had
never dated anyone until she turned 23 and prior to meeting Rusty she
was healing from a broken relationship. They eventually moved in
together and spent much of their time involved in religious study and
prayer. They were
married on April 17, 1993. They shared with their guests that they planned on having as many children as nature provided.
Andrea Called Herself "Fertile Myrtle":
their eight years of marriage, the Yates had five children; four boys
and one girl. Andrea stopped jogging and swimming when she became
pregnant with her second child. Friends say that she became reclusive.
The decision to home-school the children seemed to feed her isolation.
The Yates Children:
Feb. 26, 1994 – Noah Yates, Dec. 12, 1995 - John Yates, Sept. 13, 1997 -
Paul Yates, Feb. 15, 1999 - Luke Yates, and on Nov. 30, 2000 - Mary Yates was the last child to be born.
Their Living Conditions:
accepted work in Florida in 1996 and the family moved into a 38-foot
travel trailer in Seminole, FL While in Florida, Andrea got pregnant,
but miscarried. In 1997 they returned to Houston and lived in their
trailer because Rusty wanted to "live light." The next year. Rusty
decided to purchase a 350-square-foot, renovated bus which became their
permanent home. Luke was born bringing the number of children to four.
Living conditions were cramped and Andrea's insanity began to surface.
Woroniecki was a traveling minister from whom Rusty purchased their bus
and whose religious views had influenced both Rusty and Andrea. Rusty
only agreed with some of Woroniecki's ideas but Andrea embraced the
extremist sermons. He preached, "the role of women is derived from the
sin of Eve and that bad mothers who are going to hell create bad
children who will go to hell." Andrea was so totally captivated by
Woroniecki that Rusty and Andrea's family grew concerned.
Andrea’s First Suicide Attempt :
June 16 1999, Andrea called Rusty and begged him to come home. He found
her shaking involuntarily and chewing on her fingers. The next day, she
was hospitalized after she tried to commit suicide by taking an
overdose of pills. She was transferred to the Methodist Hospital
psychiatric unit and diagnosed with a major depressive disorder. The
medical staff described Andrea as evasive in discussing her problems.
However, on June 24 she was prescribed an antidepressant and released.
home, Andrea did not take the medication and as a result she began to
self mutilate and refused to feed her children because she felt they
were eating too much. She thought there were video cameras in the
ceilings and said that the characters on television were talking to her
and the children. She told Rusty about the hallucinations, yet neither
of them informed Andrea's psychiatrist, Dr. Starbranch. On July 20,
Andrea put a knife to her neck and begged her husband to let her die.
Warned About the Risks of Having More Babies :
was again hospitalized and stayed in a catatonic state for 10 days.
After being treated with an injection of different drugs that included
Haldol, an anti-psychotic drug, her condition immediately improved.
Rusty was optimistic about the drug therapy because Andrea appeared more
like the person he first met. Dr. Starbranch warned the Yates that
having another baby might bring on more episodes of psychotic behavior.
Andrea was placed on out-patient care and prescribed Haldol.
New Hopes for the Future :
family urged Rusty to buy a home instead of returning Andrea to the
cramped space of the bus. He purchased a nice home in a peaceful
neighborhood. Once in her new home, Andrea's condition improved to the
point that she returned to past activities like swimming, cooking and
some socializing. She was also interacting well with her children. She
expressed to Rusty that she had strong hopes for the future but still
viewed her life on the bus as her failure.
The Tragic End:
March of 2000, Andrea, on Rusty's urging, became pregnant and stopped
taking the Haldol. On November 30, 2000, Mary was born. Andrea was
coping but on March 12, her father died and immediately her mental state
digressed. She stopped talking, refused liquids, mutilated herself, and
would not feed Mary. She also frantically read the Bible.
end of March Andrea returned to a different hospital. Her psychiatrist,
Dr. Mohammed Saeed, treated her briefly with Haldol but discontinued
it, saying that she did not did not seem psychotic. Andrea was released
only to return again in May. She was released in 10 days and in her last
follow-up visit with Saeed, she was told to think positive thoughts and
to see a psychologist.
Two days later, Rusty left for work and
before his mother arrived to help, Andrea began to put into action the
thoughts that had consumed her for two years.
Andrea filled the
tub with water and beginning with Paul, she systematically drowned the
three youngest boys, then placed them on her bed and covered them. Mary
was left floating in the tub. The last child alive was the first born,
seven-year-old Noah. He asked his mother what was wrong with Mary, then
turned and ran away. Andrea caught up with him and as he screamed, she
dragged him and forced him into the tub next to Mary's floating body. He
fought desperately, coming up for air twice, but Andrea held him down
until he was dead. Leaving Noah in the tub, she brought Mary to the bed
and laid her in the arms of her brothers.
confession she explained her actions by saying that she wasn't a good
mother and that the children were "not developing correctly" and she
needed to be punished.
Her controversial trial lasted
three weeks. The jury found Andrea guilty of capital murder, but rather
then recommending the death penalty, they voted for life in prison. At
the age of 77, in the year 2041, Andrea will be eligible for parole.
Source: Charles Montaldo, Profile of Andrea Yates, crime.about.com, http://crime.about.com/od/current/p/andreayates.ht... (last visited March 10, 2010).
Please note this assignment is in bluebook format with citations.