The Yates Tragedy

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RUNNING HEAD: The Yates Tragedy

The Yates Tragedy
CJA/314: Criminology
April 3, 2013

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Psychopathy (sociopathy) describes personality traits that could lead to criminal behavior. The person cannot feel guilt or remorse and they receive some type of gratification or satisfaction from this criminal behavior (Thomas, 2013). Andrea Yates killed her five children one by one because she felt she was a bad mother so her children were destined for Hell and she had to prevent it by killing them. Who is Andrea Yates?

Andrea Yates was born Andrea Pia Kennedy on July 2, 1964 in Houston, Texas. Andrea Kennedy, the youngest of five children was born to Juitta Koehler and Andrew Kennedy. She was raised in a Catholic household but suffered from depression during her teenage years. Andrea graduated in 1982 from Milby High School as the class valedictorian, officer of the National Honor Society, and captain of the swim team. Andrea graduated from the University of Texas School Of Nursing and began working at a cancer center as a registered nurse from 1986 until 1994 (Bio.True Story, 2013). In 1993, Andrea began dating Rusty Yates and they spent most of their time involved in prayer and religious study. In April, 1993, she married Rusty and to this union, five children were born (four boys and one girl). Their religious beliefs were such that they believed they were to produce as many children as nature would allow them to bare. In 1996, the family settled in Seminole, Florida but could only afford a mobile home. A year later, the family returned to Houston and purchased a renovated bus which became their permanent home. The living conditions became cramped which made Andrea’s insanity began to surface (Montaldo, 2013).

Andrea Yates’ Behaviors and Mannerisms
According to Montaldo (2013), Andrea Yates became a withdrawn individual after the birth of her second child. She stopped socializing with friends and family. In addition to her religious belief that she was to bare many children, her beliefs also caused her to read the Bible wildly. She believed that bad mothers created bad children who would eventually go to Hell. In addition to these odd thoughts and behaviors, she attempted suicide and received psychiatric care for depression. She showed her husband, family, friends, and doctors repeatedly that she was having some psychiatric issues. She began to mutilate herself and would refuse to feed the children because they were eating too much. She became very cautious of her surroundings because she believed that she was being watched by others. Her husband realized eventually that he needed to purchase a better home for his family. After purchasing a more spacious home, Andrea’s psychiatric state began to improve. Unfortunately in March 2000, Andrea stopped taking her psychiatric medicine and returned to her previous habits of isolation and abuse. During this time, she also lost her father and became pregnant after being warned by doctors not to have any more children. Her psychotic episodes became more severe and on June 20, 2001 she killed all five of her children (Montaldo, 2013). Andrea waited until Rusty went to work then she filled the tub with water. She began drowning the three youngest boys one by one, then placed them on her bed and covered them. Mary, the youngest, was left floating in the tub. The eldest child asked his mother what was wrong with Mary then he turned and ran away. Andrea ran after him, dragged him to the bathroom and forced him in the tub with Mary and although the child fought desperately, coming up for air twice, she held him down until he was dead. She left the eldest child in the tub but brought Mary to the bed and laid her in the arms of her brothers (Montaldo, 2013). Psychopathic Behaviors

When looking at the case made against Andrea Yates, some may wonder what made Yates want to kill her five children. She had displayed...
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