Back in 2001, Andrea Yates, then aged 36, drowned her 5 children in a bathtub in her Houston home, and then called 911. She told first responders “I just killed my kids.” The crime threw Andrea Yates and her husband Rusty Yates into the midst of a media frenzy.
The Yates children, Noah (7), John (5), Paul (3), Luke (2), and Mary (6 months), were pronounced dead at the scene when first responders arrived. During her trials, Yates was defended by her attorneys who claimed she was suffering from extreme delusions brought on by severe postpartum depression.
At the time, the court sentenced her to life in prison but this conviction was later overturned on appeal. In 2006, Yates was finally sentenced to a mental hospital after the courts found her Not Guilty by reason of insanity. Postpartum depression is a very severe and often underestimated medical condition. If left untreated, it can result in severe symptoms.
Now, Yates is living in a mental facility, where not a day goes by where she doesn’t think about her kids. Her defence lawyer, George Parnham tells us she’s always thinking about them, and even watches movies of her kids in her private room. When asked if her husband Rusty forgave her, Rusty said “yes.” He added: “Forgiveness kind of implies that I have ever really blamed her. In some sense, I’ve never really blamed her because I’ve always blamed her illness.” There’s no date yet for when Yates will be released and no plans to have her released from the facility right now.
Now at 53, Andrea Yates lives out her years at the Kerrville State Hospital where she is not allowed to leave, as of yet. The facility does not have armed guards, fences, or even bars.
To most people, it looks more like a college campus than it does a mental institution. Now, Andrea Yates makes art such as aprons and cards in the facility’s craft room.
She sells her wares with an anonymous account and the money goes towards the Yates Children Memorial Fund, a charity founded by Andrea Yates’ defence lawyer, George Parnham. The charity goes towards victims of women’s mental health.
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