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Psychiatrist Warned Yates Against Having 5th Baby
CBS2CHICAGO ^ | 07 JULY 2006 | AP

Posted on 07/07/2006 6:26:30 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist

(AP) HOUSTON A psychiatrist testified Friday that she warned Andrea Yates not to have any more children after she tried to commit suicide twice within months of having her fourth child in 1999.

"I could pretty much predict that Mrs. Yates would have another episode of psychosis," Dr. Eileen Starbranch told jurors in Yates' second murder retrial.

Starbranch said Yates suffered from postpartum psychosis, which she said causes a mother to have delusions and lose touch with reality, making it much more severe than postpartum depression.

Yates drowned her five young children in a bathtub in June 2001, 6 months after the birth of her fifth child, Mary. She is being tried again because an appeals court overturned her 2002 murder conviction based on erroneous testimony that might have influenced the jury. She has again pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.

Yates' attorneys have never disputed she killed the youngsters but say she didn't know that the drownings were wrong.

Prosecutors say Yates may be mentally ill but does not meet the state's definition of insanity.

They say Yates planned to drown the children when she was alone with them, after her husband went to work and before her mother-in-law arrived. Then Yates called 911 and later told a detective she killed them because she was a bad mother and wanted to be punished, according to witnesses.

Along with Mary, Yates drowned 2-year-old Luke, 3-year-old Paul, 5-year-old John and 7-year-old Noah.

Starbranch said she treated Yates after she tried to kill herself by overdosing on sleeping pills in June 1999.

About a month later, Starbranch said, Yates' then-husband, Rusty, told her that Yates had held a knife to her own throat the previous day.

Starbranch said Yates had a bald spot on her head from scratching it, had not been taking her antipsychotic medication, had filthy hair and could not function. Starbranch said she sent the couple immediately to a mental hospital so Andrea Yates could be admitted.

Under cross-examination, Starbranch acknowledged that the words "filthy" and "catatonic" were not in her notes and said that Yates' nervousness and anxiety may have been a sign that she simply did not want to be at a psychiatrist's office. But Starbranch maintained that Yates was psychotic and not lethargic or exhausted from caring for four young children.

Over the next two weeks or so while hospitalized, Yates steadily improved while on antipsychotic drugs, Starbranch said.

But then in March 2001, Rusty Yates called Starbranch's office trying to make an appointment, saying his wife was getting worse since having the couple's fifth child in November, Starbranch testified.

"I knew that was a very ominous sign ... that lives were at stake, so I asked that she be brought in immediately," Starbranch said.

The couple never showed up, but Starbranch later learned that Yates was admitted to another mental hospital, the psychiatrist testified.

Yates, being tried in only three of the children's deaths, will be sentenced to life in prison if convicted. After the first jury rejected execution, prosecutors could not seek the death penalty again because they found no new evidence.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: children; crazywench; insanity; richardpryor; yates
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1 posted on 07/07/2006 6:26:32 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Unfit to live -crazy or not.


2 posted on 07/07/2006 6:34:00 PM PDT by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

It pi$$es me off to no end, that we have to go through this again. Give the b!tch a razorblade and put her in a room with a drain.


3 posted on 07/07/2006 6:36:27 PM PDT by digger48
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To: sgtbono2002
Unfit to live -crazy or not.

I find myself feeling more pity than hate. She was obviously profoundly disturbed.

4 posted on 07/07/2006 6:36:44 PM PDT by Zeroisanumber (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Zeroisanumber

Try pitying her poor dead children who she held under water and drowned while they were kicking and screaming.


5 posted on 07/07/2006 6:47:54 PM PDT by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: sgtbono2002
Try pitying her poor dead children who she held under water and drowned while they were kicking and screaming.

I do pity them. However, their mother killed them because of her illness rather than out of malice, so I feel pity for her too.

6 posted on 07/07/2006 6:55:06 PM PDT by Zeroisanumber (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Zeroisanumber

Yeah, we should have compassion for folks who drown children. The poor woman.


7 posted on 07/07/2006 6:56:34 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (What you know about that?)
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To: sgtbono2002

Since her husband knew her situation and knocked her up for the 5th time, he is an accomplice to the crime.


8 posted on 07/07/2006 6:59:23 PM PDT by SoCalPol (.We Need a Border Fence Now.)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Yeah, we should have compassion for folks who drown children. The poor woman.

I have compassion for the insane, as Andrea Yates clearly is.

9 posted on 07/07/2006 7:00:28 PM PDT by Zeroisanumber (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Zeroisanumber
I have compassion for the insane, as Andrea Yates clearly is.

I'm inclined to agree with you but neither of us will find much agreement here. If killing ones children isn't a very definition of insanity, I don't know what is.

10 posted on 07/07/2006 7:10:20 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Graybeard58

This case is stomach-churning, no doubt. And why on the Earth the husband impregnated her for a 5th time is baffling. I guess denial ain't just a river.


11 posted on 07/07/2006 7:12:27 PM PDT by truthkeeper (It's the borders, stupid.)
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To: Graybeard58
If killing ones children isn't a very definition of insanity, I don't know what is.

A decent prosecutor would remind you that the words 'premeditated' and 'aforethought' belong in the mix before one simply declares her insane....from the little I know of the case, these are salient points.

12 posted on 07/07/2006 7:13:02 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Meep Meep)
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To: Graybeard58

"If killing ones children isn't a very definition of insanity, I don't know what is."

What a ridiculous statement. Many angry, frustrated parents have shaken their children to death. That's insanity? No, it's lack of patience.


13 posted on 07/07/2006 7:15:16 PM PDT by jdm
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
This psychiatrist may have been right about Adrea Yates but I think she would like veto power over which people are allowed to have children.

I had no sympathy whatsoever for Adrea Yates before this testimony. I thought she deserved the death penalty for the viciously killing her children. She also deserves the death penalty for indirectly attacking other parents.
14 posted on 07/07/2006 7:16:21 PM PDT by after dark (I love hateful people. They help me unload karmic debt.)
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To: jdm
What a ridiculous statement. Many angry, frustrated parents have shaken their children to death.

5 of them at the same time?

Who's being ridiculous?

15 posted on 07/07/2006 7:18:43 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: truthkeeper

Not having had any children, I can’t speak directly about post-partum depression but I did have infertility treatments that included several months of birth control pills – hormones (to regulate and balance my cycle) followed by infertility drugs – more hormones. Hormones have powerful effects both physically and mentally.

During treatment, one day my husband came home and I very calmly told him I felt like destroying something, breaking dishes or punching a hole in the wall then I told him I felt like killing something, a bug, a mouse, something, anything….think PMS on steroids.

I truly did not feel like myself. I wasn’t angry at any person or at any one thing but everything in general and nothing at all – I just felt like destroying something. I felt some kind of unspecific, undirected rage that I never felt before or since - thank goodness. It passed but it scared the hell out of both of us.

If I’d acted out in any manner, I should have been held accountable as Andrea Yates should be – nothing is an ascuse for what she did to her children but to a much lesser extent, I can understand the loss of reason and control.

But like you, I’d like to know the husband’s contribution, role and accountability for this. He knew her problems after the 4th child and yet impregnated her a 5th time (bad judgment on his part) and then didn’t even see fit to supervisor her, not leave her alone with the children or follow up to make sure she got the help she needed knowing her history of suicide attempts and depression. Perhaps he is not accountable for the murders but he is at least guilty of being oblivious to the obvious.


16 posted on 07/07/2006 7:21:53 PM PDT by Caramelgal (There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.)
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To: Graybeard58

She's crazy as an crap house rat. Unfortunately, our legal system doesn't deal with crazy folks very well nor does society, since she was still allowed to run around nutty until she did something heinous.


17 posted on 07/07/2006 7:27:47 PM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: Graybeard58

If a man had done what Adrea Yates did ,you would want him to die painfully.


18 posted on 07/07/2006 7:31:53 PM PDT by after dark (I love hateful people. They help me unload karmic debt.)
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To: Caramelgal
I tend to agree with you. I've experienced ppd myself (feelings of deep and desperate sadness), but still agree that the woman must be held accountable for her actions, out-of-control hormones and all.

As for the husband, I don't know what to say. The term "clueless" seems appropriate.

19 posted on 07/07/2006 7:32:17 PM PDT by truthkeeper (It's the borders, stupid.)
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To: Graybeard58
"5 of them at the same time? Who's being ridiculous?"

The murders were sequential; not concurrent.

She was chasing them down, one by one. And drowning them one by one.

That takes time to accomplish.

It's not like going berserk for a few seconds, on one single person.
20 posted on 07/07/2006 7:32:20 PM PDT by jdm
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To: Zeroisanumber
I have compassion for the insane

I suppose you have compassion for Jeffrey Dahmer and other serial killers too? After all they claimed insanity at their trials too.

21 posted on 07/07/2006 7:32:55 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (What you know about that?)
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To: jdm
Many angry, frustrated parents have shaken their children to death

Really? Why haven't I read news accounts of them?

22 posted on 07/07/2006 7:34:29 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (What you know about that?)
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To: after dark
If a man had done what Adrea Yates did ,you would want him to die painfully.

No.

I have been consistently against the death penalty all my adult life.

23 posted on 07/07/2006 7:35:24 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Caramelgal
I’d like to know the husband’s contribution, role and accountability for this. He knew her problems after the 4th child and yet impregnated her a 5th time (bad judgment on his part) and then didn’t even see fit to supervisor her, not leave her alone with the children or follow up to make sure she got the help she needed knowing her history of suicide attempts and depression. Perhaps he is not accountable for the murders but he is at least guilty of being oblivious to the obvious.

Rusty Yates did not help this woman by continuously impregnating her. If he needed sex, he should have used birth control. When he was interviewed on tv, he appeared to be intelligent and well-groomed. Didn't he notice his wife had "filthy hair" and was acting like a mental patient? The murder was shocking. This woman can never be let out. It's too bad the husband was such a self-obsessed jerk. (IMO)

24 posted on 07/07/2006 7:35:40 PM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: SoCalPol

Sure its all the mans fault we all know that.


25 posted on 07/07/2006 7:45:35 PM PDT by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: Dr. Scarpetta

I noticed the hair the first time I saw her, so I think it's a safe bet she had not been bathing either. Apparently her husband was blind to the obvious.


26 posted on 07/07/2006 7:47:08 PM PDT by truthkeeper (It's the borders, stupid.)
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To: Dr. Scarpetta
I understand that "Rusty" is either engaged or already married again.

He should be arrested and tried as an accomplist.

27 posted on 07/07/2006 7:50:30 PM PDT by mickie
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To: durasell
She's crazy as an crap house rat. Unfortunately, our legal system doesn't deal with crazy folks very well nor does society, since she was still allowed to run around nutty until she did something heinous

Perhaps, one day when we have the technology to specifically identify most diseases in the brain that will change.

28 posted on 07/07/2006 7:55:38 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Graybeard58
"I have been consistently against the death penalty all my adult life."

Good!You have more patients with evil people than I will ever have.You are either a Saint or you are evil.

I am bothered by the psychiatrists description of Andrea Yates hair. I am willing to bet that the psychiatrist is either a blond, a red head or close cropped . Whatever she is , she tied the condition of Andrea Yates' hair with her opinion Andrea Yates should have no children. I do not want the condition of a woman's hair to become a determining factor as to whether she is allowed to have children. That the psychiatrist was caught lying about observing Andrea Yates with skanky hair makes the psychiatrist seem strange to me. The psychiatrist is taking advantage of this case.
29 posted on 07/07/2006 7:57:00 PM PDT by after dark (I love hateful people. They help me unload karmic debt.)
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To: Moonman62

Probably not. There are a lot of people running around with heads full of bad wiring. It's just much simpler to attribute their actions to broad terms as "evil" than to believe we're just machinery.


30 posted on 07/07/2006 8:00:08 PM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: Moonman62
>Perhaps, one day when we have the technology to specifically identify most diseases in the brain that will change.

Do you ever worry that such technology could end up like phrenology?
31 posted on 07/07/2006 8:06:00 PM PDT by after dark (I love hateful people. They help me unload karmic debt.)
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To: after dark
Good!You have more patients with evil people than I will ever have.You are either a Saint or you are evil.

I am neither.

I have heard every concievable argument pro and con. I don't discuss or debate my position here, but I don't hesitate to state it either.

Pro death penalty members are in the huge majority here and I respect their opinions, whether they respect mine or not.

32 posted on 07/07/2006 8:08:25 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
"Really? Why haven't I read news accounts of them?"

They're much harder to prosecute. Louise Woodward is but one example.

33 posted on 07/07/2006 8:50:23 PM PDT by jdm
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To: after dark
Do you ever worry that such technology could end up like phrenology?

No, we already have card readers and psychics to fill in that void. If we worried about the study of the brain devolving into such nonsense we'd never make any progress.

34 posted on 07/07/2006 8:59:52 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: durasell

I think we'll discover that the mind is more than just machinery.


35 posted on 07/07/2006 9:01:22 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Moonman62

A few years ago one of my states forensic experts was caught faking evidence. No one was ever put in jail or in a nut house on the word of a psychic or a card reader. Scientists are powerful ,so they need to be more careful than psychics or card readers.


36 posted on 07/07/2006 9:14:44 PM PDT by after dark (I love hateful people. They help me unload karmic debt.)
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To: mickie
I understand that "Rusty" is either engaged or already married again. He should be arrested and tried as an accomplist. For what? Is getting engaged a crime now? Or perhaps it is the crime of being married to a mass murderer? Or perhaps just the crime of being a man?
37 posted on 07/07/2006 9:47:59 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad
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To: Graybeard58
I have been consistently against the death penalty all my adult life.

Well at least you have been consitantly wrong your entire life.

38 posted on 07/07/2006 9:50:16 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad
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To: Zeroisanumber
Try pitying her poor dead children who she held under water and drowned while they were kicking and screaming.

I do pity them. However, their mother killed them because of her illness rather than out of malice, so I feel pity for her too.

Yet kill them she did. One after the other. She is evil and should be put down. She will never be right in the head again.

39 posted on 07/07/2006 9:51:33 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad
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To: SoCalPol
Since her husband knew her situation and knocked her up for the 5th time, he is an accomplice to the crime.

An accomplice? WRONG.

40 posted on 07/07/2006 9:52:09 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad
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To: Pikachu_Dad

What is your legal background?


41 posted on 07/07/2006 9:55:09 PM PDT by SoCalPol (.We Need a Border Fence Now.)
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To: Moonman62

I think we'll discover that the mind is more than just machinery




A very complex machine is still a machine.


42 posted on 07/07/2006 9:58:56 PM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: SoCalPol
What is your legal background?

ROFLOL. That is a completely irrelevant question.

Do you have any legal training or do you just enjoy making up crimes out of whole cloth?

43 posted on 07/07/2006 10:06:57 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
St. Paul, prior to his conversion, murdered Christians along with the Romans. Stoned them to death, crucifixtion, you name it, he did it.

I am glad that unbelieving people like you will not be the One to judge us in the end.

44 posted on 07/07/2006 10:07:06 PM PDT by Windsong (Jesus Saves, but Buddha makes incremental backups)
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To: Pikachu_Dad

I have delt with cases like this and worse working with the County Attys.


45 posted on 07/07/2006 10:11:29 PM PDT by SoCalPol (.We Need a Border Fence Now.)
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To: SoCalPol
I have delt with cases like this and worse working with the County Attys.

Then you clearly need a new line of work if you have devolved into the position that you think Mr. Yates committed a crime.

"delt"???

46 posted on 07/07/2006 10:14:00 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad
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To: Pikachu_Dad; SoCalPol

Husband isn't guilty of a crime, but did show incredibly bad judgement in all respects. Fortunately or unfortunately bad judgement is not always a crime.


47 posted on 07/07/2006 10:19:07 PM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: durasell
Husband isn't guilty of a crime

Correct. Husband ... did show incredibly bad judgement in all respects. Fortunately or unfortunately bad judgement is not always a crime.

Did he now? When did he show bad judgment?

48 posted on 07/07/2006 10:21:45 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad
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To: Pikachu_Dad

Leaving an emotionally unstable person in charge of a bunch of kids isn't great judgement.


49 posted on 07/07/2006 10:23:52 PM PDT by durasell (!)
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To: Graybeard58
I have compassion for the insane

So do I. Unfortunately many FReepers don't show much compassion for anyone.

I have known someone who was literally a walking nervous breakdown for months before anyone else realized the problem was so serious. Once the depression, or extreme anxiety sets in it can be too late for the ill person to ask for help. Even if they do ask for help they make not be able to express themselves well enough for well-meaning family and friends to "get a clue". In a situation like this things can escalate out of control very quickly. What seems like a simple decision to an unknowing participant can in reality be a life or death decision.

That being said, I do think Andrea Yates' husband is more at fault than she was. He had seen her condition and been told by her doctors that she should not have more children. He kept her barefoot and pregnant year and year knowing that she became progressively more depressed at each pregnancy. At one point they even lived in an old school bus and home schooled all her children. That would drive many people over the edge even without the hormonal changes caused by pregnancy.

50 posted on 07/07/2006 10:24:15 PM PDT by jamaly (I will never forget 9-11-01!!!!)
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