It was 15 years ago when the Andrea Yates case made national news and broke the hearts of people all around the world. The very name Andrea Yates leaves a bad taste in most peoples’ mouths as this is the 36-year-old mother who drowned all five of her children in a bathtub in their Houston suburban home.
Sources close to Andrea Yates have told PEOPLE Magazine that Andrea lives a reclusive life at a mental health facility in Texas where she frequently spends time watching videos of the children she was convicted of drowning 15 years ago.
“I don’t think people understand how shy and reclusive and how afraid Andrea is, especially since all this publicity descended on her,” one of her lawyers, Wendell Odom, said. “She is truly afraid.”
[WARNING: The details of the crime below may be a little difficult for some to read.]
Andrea Yates suffered from depression. Yates had tried to commit suicide at least one time before she systematically drowned all five of her children on June 20, 2001. Her children ranged in age from 6-months to 7-years-old at the time of their deaths. TIME reported that according to her attorneys the murders were the result of exacerbated repeat episodes of postpartum depression and psychotic delusions.
At the time, her husband, Rusty Yates, said the two had planned on having a large family. Unfortunately, demons took hold of his wife. “The Bible says the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour. I look at Andrea, and I think that Andrea was weak,” he said.
“Think about a field of deer, and there’s one limping around, and that’s kind of the way I see it. Andrea was weak, and he attacked her.”
On the morning of June 20, 2001, Andrea Yates fed her children breakfast and drowned them one by one while their siblings were still eating breakfast after their father had left for work.
Andrea’s first born was 7-year-old Noah. Time reported that the boy tried to run away when he realized what was happening and that he was the last to die. Andrea chased Noah through the house and drowned him face down in nine inches of water while his baby sister’s body was floating next to him in the water.
TIME reported the trial of Andrea Yates was a long and emotional one. The evidence involved in the case was complex and overwhelming to most of the jurors. This is because the jurors had to listen to a taped confession where Andrea Yates told a detective she had killed all five of her children. Jurors had to look at the photographs of the bathtub where Yates drowned all of her children one at a time. Then, they got to see pictures of the bed where she laid the children side by side after drowning them.
The jurors heard stories of how one of the boys had strands of his mother’s hair balled up in his fist where he may have yanked them from her head as he struggled with her when she drowned him. Then, they watched videos of the children which are likely the same videos Andrea watches at the mental facility where she lives now. The videos showed children laughing and playing, a much happier time in the Yates family.
The defense, on the other hand, had expert witnesses who had different opinions about Andrea and why she murdered her children. Each expert witness told the jurors Yates was obviously delusional and psychotic at the time she committed the murders. After her arrest, jail psychiatrist Melissa Ferguson testified that Andrea had been placed on medications that allowed her to open up about the voices and visions she had which resulted in her in killing her children.
Yates opening up about the voices and visions did not happen until she was placed in a jail cell completely stripped of her clothing and on suicide watch. It was at that time that Andrea talked about Satan being inside of her and the only way to get rid of him was for her to be executed. Yates had to kill the children because Satan demanded it to be done so she would get the death penalty.
“It was the seventh deadly sin. My children weren’t righteous. They stumbled because I was evil. The way I was raising them they could never be saved. They were doomed to perish in the fires of hell.”
According to PEOPLE Magazine, Andrea Yates will likely live out the remainder of her life at Kerrville State Hospital, which is a low-security mental health facility located in Texas.
What do you think about Andrea Yates being allowed to continue to live while her children were drowned by her hands 15 years ago?
[Photo by Brett Coomer-Pool/Getty Images]