Andrea Yates Essay, Research Paper
Charged with five horrific murders, Andrea Yates faced the death penalty. Believed Satan controlled her, Mrs. Yates was convinced her children were not developing correctly and they needed to die to be saved. Andrea Yates admitted to drowning her children one by one after two years of contemplating this psychotic act. People cannot imagine the horror of what Yates did to her children, drowning them in the bathtub, one by one. Even chasing down the oldest one in order to do it. I believe that the enormity of her crime caused a cynical nation to shudder.
These articles lend themselves to children who are murdered by their mothers, in light of the trial of Andrea Yates. Andrea Yates admits to the drowning of her five children. Mental illness is often the reasoning behind this uncontrollable violence. Statistic shows that these deadly acts go back in time and are extremely common today. ?In 1999, 485 children under the age of five were murdered. Their parents committed Fifty-six percent of the killings. Sadly, a mother kills one of more of her children at least once every three days in America?. (Mothers and Murder)
There are many motives that a severely depressed mother may endure. Women will sometimes kill their children through abuse and/or neglect that have gotten out of hand. Sometimes mothers murder in order to seek revenge on a spouse or lover, while others will kill a newborn after an unwanted pregnancy. A very high percent of these women are found to be mentally ill. In other cases, postpartum depression, which affects a minimal percent of new mothers, has been known to attribute to many ill-fated actions.
In the Yates?s case, according to testimony, Yates believed she needed to murder her children because they were ?tainted?. These thoughts or beliefs reflect profound mental illness. Some mothers suffering from this type of psychosis may also believe they are marked by the devil or believe death free the children?s souls from other evils. No one has doubted that Mrs. Yates is insane; the psychiatrist who interviewed her the day after the killings called her ?one of the most severely mentally ill people she had ever examined.? (A dark State of Mind)
Andrea Yates knew her actions were wrong when she called for help to the operator. A jury may convict her on this action alone, Yates was considered to have been both suicidal and psychotic. Postpartum, according to experts was the likely cause of horrific acts.
Until recently, postpartum depression was not taking as seriously as it should be. Perhaps recognizing early signs of these abnormal behaviors may decrease the death rate amongst children.
In comparing the two articles pertaining to the Andrea Yates case, the history of postpartum psychosis was highlighted. The author of ?Mother And Murder,? Marianne Szegedy-Maszak focused on the mental illness that haunted Yates, also postpartum depression among women who murder their children. While Anne Belli Besalman?s article ?A Dark State of Mind? focused on the actual trial, as well as the interviews with forensic psychiatrist Dr. Melissa Ferguson. Yates also told Dr. Ferguson that Satan controlled her. She referred to her children as ?precious?.
?Mothers and Murder? has covered much of the uncontrollable violence and madness Yates, has suffered, while the ?A Dark State of Mind? article spiraled into her deep darkness of her earlier days of medications, hospitalizations and severe psychotic episodes.
I would say what differs these two articles is that the first article discussed many of the motives for these horrendous acts. While the second article has taken the question of whether Mrs. Yates received adequate care during these episodes. However, both of these articles possessed the well-documented history of postpartum psychosis.
In discussing my opinion of these articles, I strongly feel that in this type of case, more could have been done to stop these actions taken by mentally ill individuals. We hear way too often how people ?lose the edge? and cries for help go unnoticed. There are many signs along the way that point toward insanity. Society seems to push issues under the rug, resulting in permanent damage and even death. As in the Yates case there were many warning signs that would lead many to believe she and her family could be in serious danger. I believe a series of negative events would give a good indication that trouble will result in the end.
I support the ?Mothers and Murder? article because I feel this article pertains to the need for further evaluation of these cases. The Yates case has raised more awareness for the need to treat depression and maternal mental illness.
To the present, knowing the actual result of the trial, I feel that justice has been served. I believe Andrea Yates knew what she was doing and sadly her whole family is gone. I agree with the jury about not giving her the death penalty. Killing Andrea Yates would be a gross injustice. I truly believe that Mrs. Yates is an extremely sick individual, one that needs help. What she did was a cry for help. Her act was not one of malice, but out of madness. Mrs. Yates was in a deranged state of mind and needed to be helped.