Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


BS: Women who drowned her 5 children

katlaughing 26 Jun 01 - 09:09 PM
DougR 27 Jun 01 - 01:05 AM
alison 27 Jun 01 - 01:55 AM
Wolfgang 27 Jun 01 - 04:28 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jun 01 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,SharonA 27 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM
Little Hawk 27 Jun 01 - 12:08 PM
mousethief 27 Jun 01 - 12:34 PM
DougR 27 Jun 01 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,SharonA 27 Jun 01 - 05:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jun 01 - 06:20 PM
Little Hawk 27 Jun 01 - 06:20 PM
mousethief 27 Jun 01 - 06:33 PM
DougR 28 Jun 01 - 01:02 AM
harpgirl 28 Jun 01 - 01:43 AM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 28 Jun 01 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,SharonA 28 Jun 01 - 04:21 PM
SINSULL 28 Jun 01 - 05:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jun 01 - 05:24 PM
MAV 28 Jun 01 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Joe 28 Jun 01 - 07:45 PM
Kim C 29 Jun 01 - 05:45 PM
Fiolar 30 Jun 01 - 06:37 AM
Louie Roy 30 Jun 01 - 11:09 AM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 09:09 PM

Thanks for that, Burke.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: DougR
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 01:05 AM

I wonder if the type depression that would drive a mother to murder her babies is a a type that was unknown in the early twentieth century, or did it exist then? Those of you who are far more conversent with this disease than I am might know the answer to that question. The reason for the question: In the 19th century and early twentieth century, families with 10 or 12 children was not uncommon. My father had sixteen siblings and my grandmother died giving birth to twins. My mother had 7 siblings. Rural families, in particular, were composed of lots of kids to help out on the farm.

Did those mothers become so depressed, and frustrated, due to coping with their kids that they murdered them?

I certainly never heard of that happening when I was growing up in the 30's and 40's. The biggest news I can remember as a child was the birth of the Dionne Quints in Canada and the kidnapping of the Lindburg baby. Never did I hear of a mother killing all her babies.

Are the burdens of motherhood in the later 20th and early 21st century that much greater than they were in earlier years?

To me, it's a puzzlement.

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: alison
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 01:55 AM

there was a difference back then Doug... people had big families... but the extended family was around to help out.....

certainly at home the relatives if not living in the same street were withing walking distance so if things were getting too much you sent the kids to their Aunt or Granny to have a break..... and because most other people ahd kids too there were other kids to play with and mothers to talk to..

nowadays the extended family may be nowhere near.... in my case I'm in australia, they are in Belfast.... and having only been here for a short while when I had my first... you suddenly realise just how isolated you are ...... thankfully I had a great neighbour who had her kids the same time as I had mine so we helped each other.... other people aren't so lucky......

slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:28 AM

for Doug (and others):

There is ample historical evidence to document the incredible propensity of parents to murder their children under an assortment of stressful situations. In nineteenth century England, for example, infanticide was so rampant throughout the country that a debate over how to correct the problem was carried out in both the lay and medical press. An editorial in the respected medical journal Lancet noted that "to the shame of civilization it must be avowed that not a State has yet advanced to the degree of progress under which child-murder may be said to be a very uncommon crime.

more to read here: History of infanticide.

Obviously common throughout societies. If a child is murdered the probability that it was one of the parents is much higher than the probability that it was a stranger. The younger the child is the higher is the probability that it is murdered by the mother.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 06:59 AM

"I certainly never heard of that happening when I was growing up in the 30's and 40's."

Nor did I. (40s and 50s in my case).But that doesn't mean it may not have happened. It's very hard to be sure whether the fact that we read about something in the paper more often these days it's because it happens more often, or because the papers pick up on it more, even when it happens round the other side of the world. Bigger papers (and other media) with more space to fill in between the adverts affect the way we see the world.

I think we just don't know. It could indeed be that other changes in the way we live have cut away some of the things that could have made this kind of thing less likely, and I think that is quite probable. It would be very valuable to have people with the right skills seriously investigating questions like that, without preconceptions about the result they want to find.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM

Burke, thanks very much for that "blueclickeything" link to the Houston Chronicle articles about these murders and related subjects. The information there answers several of the questions I'd posed.

For instance, according to the link, the children were apparently killed about an hour after their father left for work, not immediately as I'd heard previously. Autopsies on the bodies have indeed been performed but the results will not be known for several days.

Also, the husband is reported to have said that recently he had had to check in from work on his wife's well-being frequently (by phone? Doesn't say). Lots of anecdotal info from people who knew her (one said it was rumored in high school that she was suffering from depression), but not much historical background on the husband yet.

On the subject of getting more involved to avoid tragedy: My teen-aged niece is bipolar and has spent much of her high-school years in the hospital and in an institutionalized setting that includes schooling. During those periods, she is not allowed to receive visitors outside her immediate family, and her visits home are strictly structured. So the rest of us in the extended family are forced to limit our involvement, leaving us to simply hope for the best. Sometimes there's only so much one MAY do (as opposed to CAN do).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 12:08 PM

It's true that we hear about things much faster and on a much more universal basis now, because of the nature of modern media (which is really a huge, advertising-driven, entertainment system...in a sense...they report whatever they think will draw attention from the viewing public...cos if they can't draw attention they lose their sponsors).

There were plenty of horrible domestic tragedies in the past, but they were not necessarily reported right across the whole country instantly, the way they are now. I bet even people in Europe and Asia know about this story. They would not have known about it in the 1800's, but that doesn't mean such things didn't happen then. They did.

However, I feel that people are living very isolated lives nowadays, without an extended family and community to help them, and that has got to be causing a lot of psychological damage, as was suggested above. I know it has damaged my life to some extent.

- LH


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: mousethief
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 12:34 PM

In my folk sheet music collection (hey! on topic!) I have a book of American murder ballads. One chapter is devoted to mothers who kill all their kids. They are all based on actual, historic incidents. It did happen. People did know about it -- at least the ones who wrote the songs did.

alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: DougR
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 12:57 PM

Thanks, all of you, interesting comments and Wolfgang, I will take advantage of the blue clicky you provided.

No doubt today's rapid communications allow us to hear of such things much faster.

I think that a mother or father who takes the life of a child must be insane. One troubling aspect of the Houston situation (to me at least)is the mother chasing down the older child when he resisted her, putting him in the bathtub and drowning him. She had plenty of time to reflect on what she was doing if she was capable of thinking at all.

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 05:41 PM

According to the news reports, she'd been reflecting for months on doing the deed, her stated "reason" being that she didn't think they were developing normally (but how could one tell by the 6-month-old?). Not a very good reflection on home-schooling, I'm afraid.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 06:20 PM

"I bet even people in Europe...know about this story."

Well, yes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 06:20 PM

Yes, well, when one is deeply depressed for long periods of time it plays havoc with one's sense of reality. You ask yourself a lot of questions and they all seem to come up with a negative answer. It literally seems like every door is closed, and there's no way out. I've been there, and that's what it's like.

Not that there isn't an awareness that your own thinking is disturbed...there is such an awareness...but it just adds to the overall feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness that are pulling you down.

Depression is the most insidious and tenacious thing, because by its very nature it tends to keep adding more weight to the load, so to speak.

Some people break under that strain, while others just quietly retreat from life a little bit at a time.

This woman obviously broke. By all accounts, she was a very likeable and gifted person when she was in High school. The whole thing is just utterly sad.

- LH


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: mousethief
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 06:33 PM

Not sure what this has to do with home schooling, Sharon. That's like saying "So much for the public schools" when something like Littleton happens. The problem in both cases was not systemic, but personal. Lots of people raise and school many kids without murdering them. Lots of people have trouble getting along in school, and get tormented by peers, without shooting them.

Alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: DougR
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 01:02 AM

I'm with Alex on this one, Sharon. I can't see the connection between home schooling and murder. Enlighten us ...please?

DougR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: harpgirl
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 01:43 AM

...LH, you speak so eloquently about depression...to paraphrase Florida's black hat troubador Will McLean, "your soul is a hawk"...hg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 01:33 PM

I work for a mental health organization and this morning we got a crash course in postpartum depression. Clinical depression can have a psychotic component to it, which causes people to do very strange things. It is extremely rare, but it does happen. Apparently Mrs. Yates had already experienced psychotic episodes because she had been taking Haldol, which is an anti=psychotic drug. The doctor took her off it just a few days prior, as I understand.

Anyway, a person in a psychotic state is experiencing what you might call an alternate reality. In her mind, she had to drown those children, for whatever reason. Yes, it could take awhile to kill 5 kids. We are rational thinking people and to us it simply doesn't make sense- but to her, in her psychotic state, it made perfect sense.

Saying the father may be involved because his outward state of grief is seemingly unacceptable, is not right. Everyone has different ways of dealing with bereavement. Some people weep and wail and others wait until they are behind closed doors. Even in our modern society there are still men who don't want to cry in public.

This man was trying to provide for a large family. He was getting treatment for his wife. It didn't work. It is simply an awful tragedy all the way around. I don't know what the answers are.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 04:21 PM

Let me try to explain the home-schooling statement I made earlier. I didn't mean to say "So much for home schooling"; I meant to say that it is not a good reflection on home schooling when people see a teacher decide that her pupils and their siblings must be killed because they are not "developing properly".

If Mrs. Yates had sent her children to public or private school and had raised this issue with their teachers, she could have been reassured that the development was within normal parameters, or the children might have been tested and possibly placed in a special program if need be. Also, the children would have been able to confide in teachers and counselors about any behavior by their mother that they found frightening; teachers are trained, as well, to observe each child's behavior and watch for signs that they are troubled or are being abused.

If Mrs. Yates were a certified teacher in a public school, her concerns about her pupils' development would have been similarly addressed and her behavior with her pupils would have been continuously assessed. I don't know how much influence the public schools have in deciding whether/when to remove a teacher from the classroom environment if (s)he is determined to be a danger to her pupils... but I presume (I hope!) there are guidelines. If it were known that a public-school teacher was taking a drug that "is prescribed for psychotic patients hearing voices or thinking delusionally" (Houston Chronicle), I should hope (s)he would be carefully monitored.

What are the requirements and qualifications for a person to become a home-school teacher? What training do they receive? What certification do they need? Who monitors them? Who notices a child's learning problem that a parent may be turning a blind eye to? Who assesses the teacher's performance (who "fires" him/her if need be)? Who counsels children when they need to confide in someone other than a parent? According to the Houston Chronicle, Mrs. Yates and her children belonged to a home-school support group that meets at a nearby church (though the family was not affiliated with that church); what other support system is in place for home-school teachers? Did this woman simply "slip through the cracks" or does the home-school system need to be examined, revised or possibly overhauled?

Was something heard in that support group, or read in the home-schooling materials the Yateses were provided, that might have planted the idea that their children's development was not "normal"? If so, such information without the proper training to interpret it can lead to all sorts of problems.

I'm sure that some home-school environments offer a superior education to that found in the average public school. I'm sure that, in some cases, the reverse is true. In this case, we'll never know how the kids would've turned out.

BTW the injury to or death of each child is a personal tragedy, but the problem of children bringing weapons to school is certainly widespread, if not systemic.

SharonA, taking one giant step off the soapbox.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: SINSULL
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 05:01 PM

I admit I am having a hard time understanding the circumstances that led to a seriously depressed, suicidal woman homeschooling her children. I am also confused as to how an eight year old retarded child who had once been put up for adoption by her mother ends up locked in a closet for four years...another horror story. Poor little thing had a family ready to adopt her as an infant and they are still ready to take her in. But imagine the damage done. I don't understand.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 05:24 PM

Kim C's last post summed it up very well indeed for me.

"Understanding" of this kind of thing from the outside is never going to be fully possible. You can't make sense of it because it doesn't make sense. You can tiptoe round it and try to get a greater understanding, but in terms of the sort of motives and reasons we have to do things in normal life it just doesn't add up.

The analogy that makes some sense to me is the way you can have a dream and it all seems to make sense, but you in which you aren't in control, you are present, but as a kind of passenger. A nightmare.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: MAV
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 06:18 PM

Dear Guest Kim,

Here, have a cookie while you read this.

Clinical depression can have a psychotic component to it, which causes people to do very strange things. It is extremely rare, but it does happen. Apparently Mrs. Yates had already experienced psychotic episodes because she had been taking Haldol, which is an anti=psychotic drug. The doctor took her off it just a few days prior, as I understand.

It sounds to me like this woman was in WAY over her head with that many children and domestic work load considering her KNOWN fragile mental condition and family history of depression.

I'll bet you that the good doctor has now hired all the lawyers in the world.

I don't know what the answers are

Neither do I, but I still believe all US citizens are equally accountable for their actions. In cases of violent crime and murder, they should be isolated from peaceful society.

Once again, for her, I'm advocating treatment and supervised incarceration, not harsh punishment.

Please re-visit my above post and notice the three cases mentioned there. With all due respect to Jed, I think there is an equivalency, only this case is much worse.

The fact that Susan Smith is in jail, and that of the two Maine cases, one killed children again (and herself) and that the other is out free, demonstrates the differences in how individual states deal with such issues.

I think my state is wrong.

By the way, we just had another child killing case here where the DHS chosen "foster mother" tied the little girl in a high chair in the basement and duct taped her mouth shut.....she suffocated.

Pray/wish/give thanks for sanity folks.

mav out


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 07:45 PM

hello McGrath how would it be punishment enough if she wanted to kill them to feel regret she would have to love them and I think she lost all feeling for them if she was able to drown them.That would be like any other murderer saying I feel real remorse for killing them isn't that punishment enough hmm NO KimC well about being in an altered state of mind I don't know She was able to call the police and say what she done if she was able to do this why didn't she realize it was wrong to do what she did. McGrath you said maybe it being like a dream or nightmare never in my worst nightmare have I ever seen me killing my children. But then again I can control the dreams that I remember. KimC about the Husband feeling the way he does I know no matter how I love my wife if she killed my children I could not support her it would take everything to even killing her with my bare hands


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Kim C
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 05:45 PM

MAV you will get no argument from me. And thanks for the cookie. ;-)

Joe... as I said... she was AWARE of what she was doing but that doesn't mean she was aware that it was WRONG. And it doesn't mean she lost her love for her children. It means she literally lost her mind.

Mental illness is a field in which there is still so much to learn. These are the kinds of questions our staff were asking during our seminar the other morning... a person in a state of psychosis simply isn't thinking like a rational person. I don't know any other way to explain it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Fiolar
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 06:37 AM

My local evening paper (in England) was delivered last evening and on the front page in letters over an inch high was the banner "Mother Admits Killing Baby." The full story was given on the inside pages. She had smothered her ten-week old baby daughter on New Year's Day. Tragedy knows no frontiers I am sad to say. A single mother who suffered from depression, she believed she was protecting the child from being abused.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Louie Roy
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 11:09 AM

I started this thread and I think it is time we ended it.We have expressed sickness, anger,sorrow,solutions,and understanding, different types of punishment and we are all still trying to forget that this actually happened but it did so lets say goodbye to this thread Louie Roy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


 


This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 12 July 3:45 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.