Mother That Drowned Her 5 Kids Refuses Release

Andrea Yates, the Texas mother who tragically drowned her five children in 2001 while suffering from postpartum psychosis, continues to reside in a mental institution. Yates, who has the option to request a review of her mental state annually, has consistently declined these assessments. She recently refused another hearing that could have potentially led to her release from the institution.

Yates, now 60, leads a quiet existence within the confines of Kerrville State Hospital. This facility is designed to provide inpatient mental health services to individuals who have been acquitted of criminal charges due to mental health reasons. Yates fills her days by creating greeting cards and other craft items, often adorned with images of rainbows and butterflies.

She sells her handmade crafts at various art shows and festivals. The money she earns from these sales is donated to the Yates Children’s Memorial Fund, a charity that supports individuals battling postpartum depression.

Yates has internet access and frequently visits a family website created by her ex-husband. This site contains photographs of the children she killed. On June 20, 2001, Yates, then 37, drowned her five young children in the bathtub of their suburban Houston home while her husband, Rusty, was at work.

Court records reveal that Yates waited for her husband to leave for his job as a NASA engineer before she began to drown her children – Noah, 7, John, 5, Paul, 3, Luke, 2, and Mary, 6 months – one after the other. After the horrific act, she called 911 multiple times to report the deaths of her children. She then called Rusty and asked him to return home.

Yates was charged with five counts of capital murder. The prosecution described the crime as “heinous” and pushed for the death penalty. However, the defense argued that Yates was suffering from severe depression and psychosis following childbirth, which led her to commit the unthinkable act. They advocated for intensive mental health treatment instead of imprisonment.

Initially, Yates was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Even while incarcerated, she exhibited signs of delusion, confessing to authorities that she had contemplated killing her children for two years to save them from eternal damnation.

Her lawyers appealed the case based on her mental health condition, and a retrial was granted. In 2006, Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was sent to Kerrville. Although she is eligible for a hearing to assess her sanity, she is not obligated to seek release. She can spend the rest of her life in the facility, as per court orders. She maintains monthly contact with her ex-husband, despite their divorce and his subsequent remarriage.

Yates’ defense attorney, George Parnham, has consistently stated that Yates is content and thriving at Kerrville, the only place she has considered home for the past 17 years. He believes that she is exactly where she wants and needs to be.