Andrea Yates, born Andrea Kennedy, was born in 1964 in Houston, Texas. Starting in 1999, she struggled with depression and psychosis, but had generally been happy with her husband Rusty Yates. Together, they had five children.
Her fifth child’s birth and father’s death spurred something new in her, and her depression worsened. In 2001, after a stint in a treatment network, she was prescribed Haldol, an anti-psychotic. Her psychiatrist, Mohammed Saeed decided later that year that the Haldol was no longer necessary, and took her off the medicine.
Only sixteen days later, while at work, Rusty Yates received a terrifying and disturbing phone call from his wife. She told him in simple terms that she had “[done] it.” He raced home to find that his wife had drowned their five children in the bathtub.
During her trial, Yates’ defense was insanity. Despite this, she was sentenced to life in prison. However, there was a retrial in 2006 after it was discovered that one psychiatrist, Park Dietz, had given testimony that turned out to be untrue. He had claimed that Yates got her idea to drown the children from an episode of Law and Order. It turned out that he had confused the plots of multiple episodes. Upon receiving this information, Yates was handed a new sentence: not guilty by reason of insanity. She and her husband got divorced. Now, she is living indefinitely in Kerrville State Hospital.
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