Andrea Yates and the Drowning of Her Kids

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Andrea Yates and the Drowning of Her Kids

How does a perfectly normal woman, living in a typical suburban neighborhood wind up in jail on charges of murdering her five children? On June20, 2001, Rusty Yates receives a call from his wife Andrea to return home from work. He learns that his wife of eight years has systematically drowned each of his five children in the family bath tub. She is arrested in Texas on charges of capitol murder and is convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Andrea Yates was born in Houston, Texas on July 2, 1964. In high school she was valedictorian, captain of the swim team, and Valedictorian. She graduated from Milby High school in Houston, Texas in 1982. She graduated in 1986 from the University of Texas, school of nursing. For the next eight years she worked at a cancer center for children as a nurse. At age twenty five she met her husband Rusty in the apartment complex where they both lived. Rusty and Andrea married in 1993. During their eight years of marriage they had five children.

In 1998 Rusty moved his family into a three hundred and fifty square foot remodeled bus. With four young children in such a cramped space, Andrea began to show signs of mental decline. In June of 1999, Andrea had her first suicide attempt then was hospitalized and diagnosed with a major depression disorder. She was prescribed an antidepressant and released. Hallucinations, self mutilation, and the hearing of voices began.

On July twentieth of 1999, Andrea made a second suicide attempt. She put a knife against her throat, and begged to die. She was hospitalized and in a catatonic state for ten days. She was injected with the antipsychotic drug Haladol, and her condition improved. The attending psychiatrist warned them that having further babies might bring on additional psychotic episodes. She was released from the hospital, placed in outpatient care, and prescribed Haladol.

Upon the urging of Andrea’s family, Rusty purchased a home for Andrea and the children in a small suburban neighborhood and moved the family out of the cramped bus. Andrea’s condition began to improve to the point that she began to swim again, and socialize with the neighbors. She told Rusty that for the first time she felt encouraged about the future, but would always view their past life on the bus as failure as a mother.

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