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BS: Women who drowned her 5 children

Louie Roy 22 Jun 01 - 11:22 PM
TishA 22 Jun 01 - 11:25 PM
DougR 23 Jun 01 - 02:30 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Jun 01 - 04:34 AM
RichM 23 Jun 01 - 08:02 AM
GUEST 23 Jun 01 - 10:40 AM
RichM 23 Jun 01 - 10:43 AM
Wolfgang 23 Jun 01 - 10:45 AM
Sorcha 23 Jun 01 - 10:46 AM
JedMarum 23 Jun 01 - 10:52 AM
katlaughing 23 Jun 01 - 11:30 AM
Clinton Hammond 23 Jun 01 - 11:30 AM
Ebbie 23 Jun 01 - 12:00 PM
Little Hawk 23 Jun 01 - 12:06 PM
Sorcha 23 Jun 01 - 12:10 PM
Susan from California 23 Jun 01 - 12:54 PM
chip a 23 Jun 01 - 01:00 PM
Matt_R 23 Jun 01 - 03:24 PM
Mooh 23 Jun 01 - 03:49 PM
Mrrzy 23 Jun 01 - 04:03 PM
Sorcha 23 Jun 01 - 04:14 PM
SeanM 23 Jun 01 - 04:24 PM
JedMarum 23 Jun 01 - 04:47 PM
Sorcha 23 Jun 01 - 04:54 PM
Mrrzy 23 Jun 01 - 05:41 PM
thosp 23 Jun 01 - 06:04 PM
Little Hawk 23 Jun 01 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Joe 23 Jun 01 - 06:47 PM
SeanM 23 Jun 01 - 07:09 PM
SeanM 23 Jun 01 - 07:11 PM
JedMarum 23 Jun 01 - 07:54 PM
Amergin 23 Jun 01 - 07:57 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 23 Jun 01 - 08:20 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 23 Jun 01 - 08:32 PM
Little Hawk 23 Jun 01 - 08:33 PM
Mrrzy 23 Jun 01 - 08:35 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 23 Jun 01 - 09:54 PM
katlaughing 23 Jun 01 - 10:30 PM
Little Hawk 23 Jun 01 - 10:54 PM
Sorcha 23 Jun 01 - 11:07 PM
Amergin 23 Jun 01 - 11:26 PM
Áine 23 Jun 01 - 11:27 PM
Fiolar 24 Jun 01 - 07:35 AM
alison 24 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM
harpgirl 24 Jun 01 - 10:55 AM
guinnesschik 24 Jun 01 - 12:01 PM
MAV 24 Jun 01 - 12:23 PM
Little Hawk 24 Jun 01 - 12:29 PM
JedMarum 24 Jun 01 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Joe 24 Jun 01 - 04:53 PM
Louie Roy 24 Jun 01 - 05:01 PM
sophocleese 24 Jun 01 - 06:38 PM
Little Hawk 24 Jun 01 - 08:16 PM
GUEST 24 Jun 01 - 10:14 PM
Louie Roy 24 Jun 01 - 11:33 PM
Proudson 25 Jun 01 - 01:30 AM
Amergin 25 Jun 01 - 01:39 AM
Proudson 25 Jun 01 - 01:40 AM
Proudson 25 Jun 01 - 01:43 AM
SeanM 25 Jun 01 - 01:57 AM
Proudson 25 Jun 01 - 02:15 AM
Proudson 25 Jun 01 - 02:21 AM
Proudson 25 Jun 01 - 02:21 AM
SeanM 25 Jun 01 - 02:31 AM
Mrrzy 25 Jun 01 - 10:54 AM
Kim C 25 Jun 01 - 11:15 AM
SDShad 25 Jun 01 - 11:39 AM
KingBrilliant 25 Jun 01 - 12:26 PM
Amergin 25 Jun 01 - 01:43 PM
mousethief 25 Jun 01 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 25 Jun 01 - 02:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jun 01 - 02:13 PM
Margo 25 Jun 01 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,SharonA 25 Jun 01 - 05:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jun 01 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Joe 25 Jun 01 - 07:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jun 01 - 07:41 PM
Burke 25 Jun 01 - 08:21 PM
Coyote Breath 25 Jun 01 - 11:06 PM
Sorcha 25 Jun 01 - 11:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 01 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,SharonA 26 Jun 01 - 10:32 AM
Little Hawk 26 Jun 01 - 12:00 PM
sophocleese 26 Jun 01 - 12:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 01 - 12:21 PM
Fiolar 26 Jun 01 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,SharonA 26 Jun 01 - 01:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 01 - 01:19 PM
MMario 26 Jun 01 - 01:25 PM
katlaughing 26 Jun 01 - 01:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 01 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,SharonA 26 Jun 01 - 02:31 PM
harpgirl 26 Jun 01 - 02:31 PM
katlaughing 26 Jun 01 - 05:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 01 - 05:35 PM
Burke 26 Jun 01 - 05:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 01 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,Joe 26 Jun 01 - 07:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 01 - 08:06 PM
Burke 26 Jun 01 - 08:07 PM
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

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Subject: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Louie Roy
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 11:22 PM

Iwas sick when I read this article and wondered if others felt not only anger such as I but also a deep sickness in the pit of their stomach. Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: TishA
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 11:25 PM

I have 7 daughters and 2 sons and 8 grandkids. I just feel sad. Too sad to tell. Harmonica sad.

Chip A.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: DougR
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 02:30 AM

Do you think it likely, Louie Ray, that ANYONE is going to post a message expressing anything other than sorrow about this situation? I don't think so. But we will see.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 04:34 AM

I've lived with three wattering, chattering, sniveling, litle minions from hell...

And can only imagine, in nightmares, what five would be like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: RichM
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 08:02 AM

There ya go, Doug--gargoyle just answered your question!


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 10:40 AM

When and where did this happen please?

I've not heard about it.

Can anyone provide a news link, please?

Thanks


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: RichM
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 10:43 AM

In Texas, I think. Some are already calling for the death penalty.

Rich


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 10:45 AM

E.g., here

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 10:46 AM

Houston, Texas Don't know how long the link will work, it's from a newspaper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: JedMarum
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 10:52 AM

Louie Roy - sooo sad. My reaction was similar to yours Louie. How can one have gotten so deeply disturbed - and what mountain of pain has been created?


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 11:30 AM

the sad story


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 11:30 AM

Ug... it's a hell of a symptom...


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 12:00 PM

I've gotta say this, GAG: when you went to hell to get those minions, I'm surprised you didn't stay! Wanna try again?

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 12:06 PM

This sort of thing happens when a person has simply lost all hope and all sense that they can cope with a situation...and they can't figure out what to do about it...and they break under the stress and lose control. It's an act of desperation. Who knows why? You would have to be her and live her life (all of it) in order to even begin to know why.

Of course some Texans are calling for the death penalty. Duh. It's their standard way of resolving human tragedies after the fact. That's what you get when you combine a serious lack of empathy or imagination with a fearful and vengeful mindset, and just plain outright ignorance.

As if executing her will help anyone....!

It's clear from the story that the woman was in a lengthy and deep depression, that she had lost confidence in herself and her ability to raise her children properly. When people are very depressed it alters their whole perception of reality. Their self-worth goes down the drain, and their ability to cope with ordinary things is severely curtailed. That can lead to suicide or it can lead to other desperate acts which a person would normally not consider. (Animals will also sometimes kill their young when under unusual stress...it's not an act indicative of evil, but of panic or loss of control on some level.)

My only reaction (aside from disgust at those calling for her exection) is sadness.

If she is sent to jail, of course, she will get routinely viciously beaten by inmates who see their own darkest fears mirrored in what she did, and take it out on her. It would probably be wiser to place her in a safe place in some mental institution.

There is no good or easy solution to this kind of tragedy once it has happened. No simple fix. Not even in Texas. No matter how many more lives are taken by the State. Those who are against killing ought not to do it themselves.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 12:10 PM

I do understand that Little Hawk, having had some serious bouts with depression myself, and my heart goes out to this woman and her family, but my question is:

If she was having such a difficult time with Post Partum Depression why did she keep having MORE babies????


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Susan from California
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 12:54 PM

Maybe she didn't know what else to do. Maybe she didn't believe in birth control. Maybe her husband thought that keeping busy was the best "cure". The poor woman had five kids, the oldest was seven AND she was homeschooling them. I cried this morning when I read that her 7 year old tried to get away, and that she did it because she felt that she had ruined her children beyond repair. She must have felt very alone. How often have Moms felt as if they skrewed up their kids? I know I have sure questioned my ability from time to time. But thank God I have been healthy enough to realize that even tho I mess up, the kids are ok. One can only hope and pray that the survivors will find some measure of peace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: chip a
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 01:00 PM

Gee, Little Hawk,

So easy for you to find sympathy and understanding for a woman who KILLED FIVE KIDS. How, in the same breath do you fail to find any understanding for "some Texans"?

Could it be that you have a serious lack of empathy or imagination with a fearful and vengeful mindset, and just plain outright ignorance?

I'd pretty much agree with your take on depression and also (maybe) on the death penalty. But your attitude sucks out loud.

Chip A.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Matt_R
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 03:24 PM

I found it sickening as well.

Who was it who said in a thread the other day that they loved singing songs about mothers murdering their children? Here's another sad sad event for one of those kind of songs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Mooh
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 03:49 PM

Yeah Matt, great folk song material, ain't it!

Makes me sick just to think about it, but think about it I must. I don't know how to respond to this most evil of tragedies. As both parent and child it is frightening beyond compare, and just as inhuman, I hope. My only reaction in this case is to hope and pray because I know no other reaction.

There is no justice available for this crime or this criminal or the conditions which spawned her.

Peace. Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 04:03 PM

Definitely just the kind of tragedy that makes the best folk ballads. Good point for a Mudcat thread, although some may think that gross (maybe folk songs are like sausages and laws, you don't want to know how they're made?)...

The other thought I had, besides the incredible how sads, wa that this may have been depression, but it isn't post-partum depression if it's lasted for 2 years, by definition. You can't re-up postpartum depression by having more kids. This was definitely an abandoned (-feeling, which is reality as we all know) woman with terrible inexorable (-feeling, again) something that (I guess I am now having a second thought) won't be cured by execution.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 04:14 PM

No, it won't be "cured" by execution, nor will it stop some other depressed parent from doing the same thing. I truly doubt that this woman would ever do this again if she gets the right kind of good help. If however, she ever truly realizes what she did, she could definitely be a suicide risk; as to that, perhaps she should be allowed to do that. I don't know, I am not G-d, nor am I the arbiter of her soul.

It is just too, too tragic, but I also suspect that the US at least, is going to start seeing more and more of this kind of thing for quite a few reasons. Perhaps other "civilized" (whatever the hell that means) countries. Too much Society, not enough caring help. Too much assigned blame, not enough "guilt free help".

Remember the mother in Idaho just a week or so ago? She was "too proud" to accept help, most likely because the "help" offered required her to feel some guilt about her inability to provide. Guilt seems to be a requirement of the current "help" system.

I could be wrong; I was wrong once........I hope I am wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: SeanM
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 04:24 PM

Here's the major song being referred to:

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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: JedMarum
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 04:47 PM

Good points here, all, except for Little Hawk's bigotry.

Thoughtful, compassionate comments for a deeply troubling event. I am very very sorry to have heard this news, and just wanted to sit and try to imagine how things could have gone so wrong, and remained unseen - how could she have slipped so seriously into such a depression and no one noticed, or found a way to get her out - or at least out of harm's way.

There are no pat answers, no sound bite explanations or solutions. These deeply sorrowful events, these human complexities cannot be given justice by a prying press or a sound bite driven talk show host. This poor woman crossed the line of no return. The rest of us pick up the pieces and move on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 04:54 PM

Jed, trust me, serious depression can easily be hidden, especially if your family, friends, SO's whatever don't really want to see it. Been there, done that. My family wouldn't even see it when I tried to tell them, until the night I OD's on over the counter stuff because I was so angry/isolated/unbelieved, etc.

Then, they got mad at ME for taking all that stuff instead of talking----I HAD been trying to talk for months but nobody would listen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 05:41 PM

I didn't find Little Hawk's posting bigoted - now had the phrase been "Texans" instead of "some Texans" - it would have been. But some Texans ARE calling for the death penalty, and it isn't bigoted to notice them. Nor to think uncharitable things about people who'd want to kill someone for doing something so beyond the pale that it has to be insane, almost by fiat. Not that I have anything against little Italian cars, either!


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: thosp
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 06:04 PM

it's heartbreaking -- makes me want to cry -- i agree with Sorcha that the woman might very well commit suicide --- i just wish she could be touched by the finger of God and be made well---

peace (Y) thosp


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 06:09 PM

Exactly. Some Texans. However, I am not surprised some of you didn't like my post. If one makes a strong statement about anything, there will always be some people who don't like it. I don't like capital punishment. Nor do I like murder. Judging from what I read about the woman in the article, she sounds like a person in a truly pitiful state, and I felt a sense of pity for her accordingly.

I don't necessarily feel as much compassion for people who sit comfortably at home, safe and sound, watch their TV, and demand that someone else be put to death.

But maybe I should...?

Well, can't expect to please everyone.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 06:47 PM

Damn sad ,I have to say there is no excuse for such a thing and it is your type of thinking little hawk that allows our society to let this type of person to live and lets others think they can get away with heineous crimes because they were depressed or had their ass beat when they were a child. I feel the Bitch should be dunked just like they did when they tryed to get someone to admit to witchcraft.I also feel if she commits suicide it will save us some tax dollars on the trial.I know not very compassionate and it will not bring those children back but something must be done remember the woman who drowned her children in the car by driving it into a lake and then tryed to blame it on someone else. I believe she got off fairly easy because she was not in her right mind, How would you feel if those Texans decided they were not in their right mind and had a good old fashion lynching.But they wouldn't be because murder is a part of human nature there fore how can you be mentally ill now if you broke into some ones home and cleaned it I would say that is mentally ill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: SeanM
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 07:09 PM

Wow... what... interesting views we have, Guest.

I agree! Kill EVERYONE who's attached to the story! Kill the mother! Kill the father, for not being there to stop her! Kill the neighbors for not noticing that she was that depressed! Kill the guy at the local grocery store who bagged her last order of groceries for not stopping her! Kill EVERY police officer in town, because obviously they're criminally negligent for not stopping not one but FIVE murders! Kill every judge in the nation, for not knowing who this woman was, and not ordering her to stay away from her children! Kill everyone working for the media, because dammit they HAVE to have caused this somehow! Kill everyone reading this thread, because they didn't figure out how to stop this before it was too late!

Or better yet, realize that by teaching people that killing is the way to remove something (or someone) undesirable from society and/or your life you teach them that life is cheap, and figure out something new to do with 'captial' criminals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: SeanM
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 07:11 PM

BTW, I fully support anti-crimes. If you've got to have criminals, I think breaking and cleaning, criminal giving, and unauthorized civic cleanup are great ways to vent.

Start a crime wave now! Go to your nearest park and weed and mow the lawns! Repaint the basketball courts! Anarchy!

M


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: JedMarum
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 07:54 PM

Sorcha - I know that depression can be 'missed' or ignored by family members. I guess my question was rhetorical, but it is sooo sad that there were probably signs that went un-noticed or un-acted upon. But we cannot know the details.

Little Hawk, your point-of-view about Texans, or some Texans leaves little room for opposing points-of-view. If your comments weren't bigoted, they were at least closed minded. But this is an emotional issue, and I think we all reacted emotionally.

There are good, educated people who examined the issues deeply and who have a real love for their fellow man - and find the death penalty a viable action, as it is currently applied in this society. They are not just Texans, and they are not simply self-centered idiots, and some of them even listen to your points-of-view, different as they are, and don't cast venom back at you. The world is big enough for differing perspectives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Amergin
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 07:57 PM

Guest, JoeBlowme, your compassion for those with mental disorders astounds me.

I am deeply shocked and saddened by this tragedy, but I can't help the feeling that people like myself who suffer from mental disorders such as severe depression, anxiety, and whatnot, will be further stigmatised by this event. Folks already do not understand depression....they certainly will be less understanding of it now....

This woman needs a hospital not a needle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 08:20 PM

What sickens me is the hypocrisy that allows Mooh to sign off a vengeful remark with the word "peace."

Who says a crime's been committed, Mooh? Let's wait and see. Just a guess, but I think it's going to become clear that Andrea Yates was out of her mind when she killed the kids. The fact that she had already been prescribed haloperidol is one indication that she has a serious psychotic illness.

Even if she's convicted, no indication so far that the prosecution is even looking for a punishment. Looks like you might have to organise a lynching, Joe. But I'm afraid you're not going to get any support from the family of the victims.

I'm surprised no-one's thought it worth mentioning that Russell Yates - the the father of the victims - is standing by his wife, which to me is just incredible. So are all other members of the family. Russell Yates said he recognises that Andrea has a psychotic illness, and is going to try to help her through it. He puts some of the people here to shame, and my heart goes out to him.

I go along with Little Hawk on depression, but would just add that in this case it is the clinical variety, and not likely to have been caused by events, environmental factors or the fact that "nobody would listen," as Sorcha suggested.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 08:32 PM

Hadn't seen your second post, Jed. I read Little Hawk's post as a criticism of those Texans who have been demanding the death penalty specifically for Andrea Yates.

To me such people are beneath contempt, but if you think they're worth defending, maybe you'd address LH's point and tell us exactly what purpose would be served by killing this woman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 08:33 PM

GUEST Joe - Gosh, that's a pretty compelling argument! I may just have to rethink my whole position on this. Breaking into someone's home and cleaning it? Definitely a sign of insanity. I saw someone throw a whole bunch of litter out of their car on the street yesterday, and after thinking about it for awhile (it was blowing around in the wind) I took a little walk to the grocery and picked up as much of it as I could find on the way and put it in one of the trash cans.

I should probably be executed...or at least committed to the loony bin. I mean, hell, it wasn't my litter, was it? It wasn't my road, either. Who the hell do I think I am anyway? People like me, I mean really ignorant people, should simply not be tolerated any longer. I am scum.

I'm gonna go and turn myself in right after I finish posting this...thanks for opening my eyes.

(not that I don't get what you actually meant, I just thought I should respond in an appropriately respectful manner to it...)

Jed - I may have overspoken my case, cos the thing hit me emotionally. I've suffered a lot of depression in my own life, though it has never driven me to commit a destructive act...it just saps my energy and grinds everything to a halt. It's really an awful thing to go through.

Accordingly, I guess I felt for the woman more than some people might. I also feel terrible for the children, but there's nothing anyone can do for them anymore at this point.

GUEST Joe said that "something must be done" after such an incident. Well, the fact is that really nothing can be done, except to arrest the person and take her off the street (so to speak) and then decide from there, and that has been done. It's before these incidents that something must be done. Afterward is too late.

That's what makes people so mad...they just can't accept that they are powerless to make things right again...nobody likes feeling powerless.

As usual, I thank God I am not a politician...but just another folkie on the forum.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 08:35 PM

"For better or for worse, in sickness and in health." Bully for the husband, I say - this is the worse, all right, and the sickness too. The one good point about this whole story, I think, is that he realizes that. She has a much better chance for some kind of recovery with his support - although (in total ignorance of any facts) one does wonder where he was with his support the last 7 years).

Also, the clinical variety of depression can easily be triggered by events, environmental factors or the fact that nobody would listen. The predisposition isn't usually enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 09:54 PM

Mrzzy, right now this guy could probably manage without inuendos from people who know fuck-all about it.

"Support" doesn't matter a damn, if what is needed is vinegar and brown paper. Just like TLC goes only so far, if what's needed is a triple bypass. We've been slower to undertand mental illness than physical, but we surely know enough by now to realise that both will sometimes respond to clinical treatment, and nothing else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 10:30 PM

Well, Little Hawk, I know you would understand if I say, besides all of the sadness and feeling of disbelief that something like this could actually happen, the only way I can explain it, for myself, besides the actual physical and mental problems she obviously has, that in my belief system, we choose the families we are born into and we hope to work through any karmic lessons necessary in order to achive soul growth and move on i the next incarnation.

It is difficult to imagine a soul choosing to come into a life where it would be murdered by its mother; that seems like pretty "heavy-duty" karma, but I do believe there are reasons for things happening that we can only hope to someday know.

On the mundane side, I feel a great horror and sadness; it seems so monstrous, even knowing she is mentally ill. My heart goes out to her, her family, and the children, esp. the 7 year old.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 10:54 PM

Thanks, Kat. I am familiar with those concepts, but I sometimes hesitate to introduce them...for fear of triggering a very rabid response from people who don't believe in such things.

But, yes...and that is why I try not to judge the person in any ultimate sense. I am simply not equipped to judge them, because I don't know the whole story.

I'm still trying to understand why I chose my family, as a matter of fact. It's been a pretty tough ride, though it surely could have been a lot worse...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 11:07 PM

I just plain give up. I thought I was with Fionn until his last post; I thought I was with Little Hawk until his last post.........now I discover I am not really with either of them, just with Andrea.
<>BR>

I will NEVER forget the night I called my mother and told her "if you love these children come get them because tomorrow I am calling Family Services. I just can't deal with it alone anymore". I was not a Single Mother, the Mr. was just away at a Cop Academy for 12 weeks.....one child was 6 and ADD, the other was in the Terrible Twos....

I think it is possible that I could have done this then if I had no support system as Andrea seems not to have had. I only had two children, she had 5.

Executing Andrea will NOT stop the problem!! I don't know just where to go from here, but your friend Sorcha has come awfully close to just choking the living shit out of her children, and she might have if not for a big network of support.........


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Amergin
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 11:26 PM

I'm with you, Scorch....people who are prone to depression and other disorders tend to crack when too much shit gets piled on them....I know I have been to that brink myself....and in two cases have actually broken down....I think dear hubby had a bit to do with it....now that he has suffered this loss, he feels remorse....and you are right, Fionn, no one here knows shit about this particular situation....but remember you are coming off as an authority on this case yourself....remember that before you criticise others for their speculations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Áine
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 11:27 PM

Dear Little Hawk,

Speaking as a native Texan, and one who is very proud of her Texas heritage, I'd like you to look at the song in this thread that I posted a year and a day ago, so you'll understand that all Texans aren't cut from the same cloth.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Fiolar
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 07:35 AM

Who can really understand the state of mind of someone who goes to the extreme that the Texas woman did. Was there a previous history of neglect or depression? Was the woman suffering from post-natal depression as I understand one of the children was quite young. What was the husband doing to support her? Questions and more questions. As a psychiatric nurse manager in a British hospital, one of most distressing things I and the nursing staff on one of my wards had to contend with was the case of the wife of an American service man who had killed her two chidren in cold blood. Having spent some time in prison, she was then admitted to us for psychiatric assessment and reports. My problem as a manager was not with her but with the staff who needed a lot of support and counselling as to how to deal with a child killer. To the best of my recollection, she never showed any signs of remorse. She went from us to a hospital in the States. My sympathy is with the Texan woman when the enormity of what she has done finally penetrates the shell. God help her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: alison
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM

Post natal depression is a terrible thing.... and can change from depression to psychotic VERY quickly..... I've seen it happen in hospital.... I've seen 2 police landrovers bring in one woman who had gone completely over the edge....... someone I knew... who seemed to be OK actually filled the bath with water and was ready to drown her two toddlers, but thankfully walked out of the house instead and found someone to talk to...

unfortunately people tend to ignore the real problem "its not post natal depression - she just needs a good sleep!"... she probably does, but it won't help the depression..... there is still a stigma attached to any sort of mental illness so people don't get the support they need.... and the kindly relatives who may see the signs try to muddle on through.....

I feel so sorry for the family concerned......

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: harpgirl
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 10:55 AM

...having treated several young mothers successfully,(thank God) for post-partum psychotic depression, I agree with the compassionate remarks made about this tragic unfolding...these mothers are also very isolated; by distance from supportive family, by rigid religious beliefs, by role division which prevents sharing of responsiblities,and often lacking meaningful community support.

Psychotic depression can completely unbutton anyone and make them think their children are demons from hell and must be eliminated. No one is really exempt from becoming psychotic given the "right" combination of stressors.

I think these young people's families', their community, their church, and institutions ostensibly in place to help such familes have failed, to a very tragic end.

Please consult professionals if this could happen to you...And remember, a very enlightened individual who once walked this earth would extend forgiveness to this woman....hg


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: guinnesschik
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 12:01 PM

It would truly be interesting to know the husband's role in all this. How much did he help with the raising of these five children? How much support did he offer his wife when she really needed it? The fact that he's going to "stand by" (his words from a news report) her now comes a bit late in the game, if you ask me. There is no way ANY amount of treatment would assuage the guilt and horror this poor woman must feel at her own actions. There is no treatment that will repair the damage done to her psyche. At this point in Andrea Yates' life, an execution would be a mercy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: MAV
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 12:23 PM

First Think about the Murdered Children!!

Excuses, excuses, excuses!!!...All criminals are now either mentally retarded or temporarily insane.

After all, how could anyone in their right mind knock off a liquor store etc...?

This is not the first time on the national scene. Remember Susan Smith? Her new boyfriend didn't like the kids, so she strapped them into the backseat and then drove into a lake....blaming a mythical "black man"?

We had a case here in Maine, the most liberal state in the US, where a woman killed her three kids, got "treatment", was declared sane and was released. She had three more kids with the same husband and then killed them and herself as well.

We had another horrifying case here where a couple of "born again" but otherwise psychotic "Christians" BAKED their little girl in the kitchen OVEN!!! They thought she was possessed. One cop who responded to the call said he thought it was a doll that he was looking at. Think of his nightmares.

That woman is now out and living in the same community.

Time for a reality check. These are all symptoms of the pop culture's cheapening of life, a woman's right to kill her children (and a man's right to say "Get rid of it..bitch)

THROW UP!!!

These people need civil commitment to an institution until they are no longer a threat to themselves or society, then.....

LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE!!!

Being childless (not by design), I otherwise have no strong opinions on the topic.

mav out


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 12:29 PM

Aine - Thanks. I definitely don't paint all Texans with the same brush. Your song is well appreciated.

Sorcha - I'm curious...what threw you about my last post? Reincarnation references? It's not something I can prove to anyone, and I wouldn't presume to, but it is something I have no doubt of at this point (that I've lived other lives).

I can understand if someone doesn't believe in it, though. I certainly didn't at an earlier stage in this life, but then I had some odd experiences and changed my mind.

Anyway, I'm just wondering.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: JedMarum
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 01:21 PM

A few final thoughts;

This issue is NOT the same as the Susan Smith or other recent high profile cases. This woman is clearly a lost soul and had no obvious self-serving motivations which led her to this unthinkable act.

There is actually much compassion for this woman, horrible as her deeds were. There are a few angry people calling for exceution and/or torture (witness a comment or two above) but many more address the extreme sadness of the event, and recognize the utter madness of the murders and the woman who committed them. The press may have hyped the volume of death penalty calls - but I think it is clear that most people (even Texans) are simply shocked and saddened by the event - and willing to the let the legal process work throuh in its own time.

Standing by his wife? Yes, this is a good thing, but I can't help wonder where he was standing before this ... and why he didn't see it coming. I cannot help but wonder how he can so easily talk to the press about his feelings and why he doesn't just act his support for her without explaining his position to the inquiring world ... but I cannot know the details. Maybe there's more there then I can see.

And if somehow the death penalty is the result of the legal process, I expect its application would be a mercy, and her husband and family could continue their support of her through this end. I would. But it doesn't look like that will be the direction this one goes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 04:53 PM

Well well well I seemed to have upset the applecart.Littlehawk Ok I guess I was to harsh on you being a compassionate person. I think if I had put it as Mav did it would of came across better.SeanM No By doing so you show that if you kill someone you in turn will be killed an eye for an eye.Amergin I know a few people with mental illnesses who have not killed anyone I am sorry If you felt I lumped All of them together. My niece is bi-polar,my uncle has post traumatic syndrome,my older sister has suffered from severe depression and the list gos on.SeanM you know you said about killing her husband as well, this does raise some questions where was he when she drowned the children,did he know of her mental condition,and if he was away when she did this then she had enough reasoning to do it while he was away.Ok now I am ready for the retort so let it fly


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Louie Roy
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 05:01 PM

Maybe this tragic and sickening event will alert other families to recognize this sickness before it is to late and get professional help,I surely hope so.I noticed several who responded to this thread berated the Texans,but this tragic crime could have happened anywhere in the world and where the person lived had absolutely no bearing on the crime.Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: sophocleese
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 06:38 PM

The tricky part here is that she did get professional help. She was on prescribed medication for her illness. But I can't see much sign in the reports of any other kind of support for her. Medication is one useful tool for dealing with depression but it should not be taken as the only method of dealing with it.

This is a tragedy and sorry as I am for her kids I'm sorrier for those who are alive and having to deal with it. She seems, despite her husband's support, to have been very, very isolated.

For those who wondered why she (what about him? it takes two to do it) kept on having kids I have some possible answers. Perhaps her hormonal balance while pregnant made her happier. Perhaps she, and her husband, have a religious reason for avoiding contraception. Perhaps depression, which can make simple tasks seem impossible, meant that she wasn't using contraception well. In that case why the hell didn't her husband use a condom or get a vasectomy?


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 08:16 PM

Thanks, Joe. Well, as usual if we all get a chance to talk about it in some depth, I think we can reach reasonably common ground on these things. First I flew off the handle, then you did, and on it went...

I'm sure we all agree that someone who commits a crime should be arrested and incarcerated, and kept there as long as they are any threat to society. We may disagree about the merits of capital punishment, but we all agree in protecting the public from violence.

I don't think this woman is any danger to the general public, but probably only to herself at this point. She clearly needs to be institutionalized, and for how long...well, I don't know how long...I'm not well enough informed to know that. I'll leave it to people who are better informed than me.

I actually don't believe in the old "eye for an eye" stuff. That's Mosaic Law from the Old Testament. Jesus changed that perspective entirely around when he taught, and he repudiated it. He taught the law of love, not the law of vengeance. I have to side with Jesus on this one, not with Moses. (not that I wouldn't incarcerate murderers, I just wouldn't kill them, that's all...).

I have a friend who's been working in the prisons here, in Ontario, Canada, providing various forms of educational assistance and counseling to the inmates. He helps them find useful work they can do while they're in prison, among other things.

The weird thing is, he tells me that the people he feels safest around, generally, are the murderers who commited crimes of passion...as opposed to people who committed crimes for the sake of money.

He says the murderers usually killed someone they knew personally (most often a family member), because of some emotional situation that got out of hand. He said it's the embezzlers and business criminals that he feels most nervous around, because a lot of them are natural born con artists, and you never know what the hell they're up to. And he says they are far more amoral in most cases than those who commit crimes of passion.

Not that that has necessarily much to do with the case we're discussing in this thread, but I think it's interesting in its own right...

MAV, you are pretty well right that any person who commits a crime of violence can be deemed to be temporarily "out of their mind". I would agree. Although...they may not see it that way themselves. Depends what kind of a life they've had, and what kind of a peer group they hang out with.

It's always a big debate about whether someone is crazy or not, and in the end it's a matter of individual opinion.

A career Mafioso, for instance, sees crime as a normal way of life. Is he crazy? Well, I think he is, but his organization doesn't...and he is going to listen to them, not me. He would figure I am just a small time loser who doesn't have the guts to live close to the edge the way he does and to reap the rewards. As long as he doesn't get caught (or shot) his system of dealing with life appears to be working as he wants it to. I wouldn't trade places with him for a million dollars.

Then there are people who commit financial crimes, like fraud and embezzlement. Are they crazy? Probably just shortsighted and greedy. And amoral. But to me, to be amoral is a form of insanity.

But I guess we're not talking about those kind of crimes here.

Then too, with violent crime...is it insanity, or just stupidity that would lead someone to rob a bank or a liquor store...or is it recklessness....or desperation? Or all of the above. Or none?

Life is complicated, and no single solution any one of us comes up with will fit all cases properly.

That's why being a judge is not an easy job.

I agree, MAV, that life has been cheapened by pop culture. No question of that. It's also been cheapened by overpopulation, consumerism, and dwindling natural resources. I've seen the deterioration happening all around me every with every year that passes.

Soph - Yeah, I was wondering too...why did they have 5 kids??? You've got to wonder about that.

Cheers,

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 10:14 PM

The world would be a better place if MAV's mom had done the same thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Louie Roy
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 11:33 PM

I have come to the conclusion that Little Hawk is from Canada and I don't know what kind of a judicial system they have there but here in the USA we are weak on this type of crime this lady committed and I'm sure through her attorney she will cop a plea of temporary insanity and some judge will grant the request and she will be convicted and sentence to a mental institute for rehabilitation and in two years she will be living back in society again and probably sue somebody for her incarcination.That will be nearly as bad as the crime she committed Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Proudson
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 01:30 AM

Hmm...interesting posts here..assume that most of you would want her to live..assume you all live in countries that never avocated the death penalty.....Germany,Britan,France..Very amazed at the sympathty for the woman..She chased her last son down for her last kill...Oh well..guess you will all blame this whole thing on Bush...and not on her own actions...or make a nice folk song about her..and make her a hero...


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Amergin
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 01:39 AM

my god that is one of the most asinine posts I have ever read....

1. I live in Oregon...

2. Yes, I do feel sympathy for the woman. Depression is no bag of tricks. I am also horrified at this, and am deeply saddened. But a human being can only deal with so much before they break. She needs a hospital not a needle.

3. What the hell does Georgey Boy have to do with this? Why would anyone blame it on him? He does enough crap on his own without anyone trying to pin something he had nothing to do with on him....

4. I saw no posts here about anyone glorifying her or putting her on a pedestal...all I saw at the most was that people were a few tears dropped for a broken woman...nothing about heroism...

5. Folks songs don't get "written" they get passed on....


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Proudson
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 01:40 AM

I really am sorry for my last comment...was a very stupid comment on my part


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Proudson
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 01:43 AM

But why should we feel sorry for her?


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: SeanM
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 01:57 AM

I feel sympathy for the whole family, living AND dead.

It (to me) says a lot for how disposable some people seem to feel life is that there are a substantial body of people calling for her execution before any trial has occured... How would following through with their wishes be any less horrifying than any crime she may have commited? More importantly, how would killing her do ANYTHING to stop future incidents of this kind from happening again?

I find myself (partially) agreeing with MAV on this - IF in trial it were to turn out she'd not only killed the five children, but had been planning it with OJ Simpson since she were in high school AND was a satanistic Klansman who'd sold her and her children's souls to the devil, I STILL think the proper 'punishment' would at most be life in prison.

We teach our children that killing and violence doesn't solve anything.

Then we kill murderers to solve a problem. Well, it DOES teach them that a) we're hypocrites and b) it doesn't work as a deterrent.

*sigh* Sorry for fragmented post. Worked up.

M


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Proudson
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 02:15 AM

Sean..I am new here so forgive me....but..she chased her oldest child down...Now if the courts find her not fit..I understand...but I have no sympathy for her..none at all..There has to be a moment when she knew what she was doing...


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Proudson
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 02:21 AM

Doug R. Guess there are those here who feel like that the wife is the victim...that is the tragedy....


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Proudson
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 02:21 AM

We tend to forget about the husband also...


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: SeanM
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 02:31 AM

Given the possibility that she was depressed to the point of a psychotic episode, why NOT feel pity for the woman? Where does it say that just because you feel that she's been through something that noone should have to go through say that you must also not think the same of the children?

As to the 'chasing down' - I personally don't see where that enters into it. Yes, it does make the act a bit more horrific (as if that was even possible), but just because she moved around the house while in commision of the murders doesn't seem to say that by default she was not 'impaired' during the act. I'd say that the vast majority of psychotics can move more than a few feet without suddenly turning sane.

M


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 10:54 AM

I am respondin to the comment that "'Support' doesn't matter a damn, if what is needed is vinegar and brown paper. Just like TLC goes only so far, if what's needed is a triple bypass." Actually, the bypass without the TLC is pretty much as useless as the TLC without the bypass. People without hope do not survive even healthy lives very well.

Also, please note that I preface my lack-of-fact-based opinions with the fact that I have no facts, so I don't think I'm as bad as I've been painted as being!

Also, having grown up in a more ancient society, I can't say that I agree that all persons who commit crimes should be incarcerated. What happened to making retribution instead of being punished? But that's another thread...

Also, even if she is sick rather than evil, that is should be hospitalized rather than incarcerated, I'm not sure it ought still not to be a life sentence. There are those ones who get out, then have and kill more babies... even if they then also kill themselves, I'm not sure I'm in favor of second chances here...


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Kim C
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 11:15 AM

Well..........

Depression is a funny thing. It's estimated that less than 20% of women with depression ever seek treatment. Most people don't even know what's wrong with them, and others are afraid that all their friends and family will think they're crazy.

Medication helps people. But notice there are several antidepressants on the market... what works for one person may not work for another. Then if someone receiving treatment does something like this, people want to blame the drugs. In a way that's true - maybe the drugs weren't working.

It's possible to be so down that you can't think straight. That's what causes people to do unthinkable things. Because they can't think under the circumstances.

This woman is sick, very sick. I think Susan Smith was just plain bad. But admittedly, sometimes it's very hard to draw that line.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: SDShad
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 11:39 AM

Re: Proudson's first post and Dubya:

Well, let's not forget that Newt Gingrich blamed Susan Smith on Bill Clinton and the Democrats, so it shouldn't be too surprising that some might expect the favor to be returned....

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 12:26 PM

Proudson - your comment about making a folk-song about this is interesting (probably not a nice song though). This is the sort of thing that provokes deep and disturbing thought, and there is a conflict between feeling sympathy for the murdered children and feeling sympathy for the dispairing mother. Songs can be one way of exploring such issues, and dealing with strong emotions. Some songs are like prodding a sore tooth. I like Mrzzy's comment about such songs being like sausages...
Seriously I think we shouldn't now feel songs like The Cruel Mother are innappropriate. Its a truly aweful thing to have happened. It also provokes different resonances in the lives of people who hear the story. Prodding the tooth might help.

Kris


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Amergin
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 01:43 PM

Proudson, have you ever wandered a store...just forgetting about time...just wandering the aisles not even looking at anything....not even really knowing what you are doing, much less why you are there in the first place...I have....I have gone into a store...not even knowing why I was there...and then awhile later...no idea how much later I have realised where I was....it is not a very fun feeling....


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: mousethief
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 01:52 PM

Amergin, I do that too! I thought it was just me.

SDShad: the difference is that we all now know that Newt Gingrich had the morals of Calligula -- that's no reason to try to be like him.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 02:07 PM

I think punishment in these cases...in most cases, is not the key point..but making dead certain she will never ever do this again. I think mandatory sterilization is absolutely essential in any situation like this...definitely the mother, possibly the father. And it needs to be looked at if a church made her keep having those children when it was clear from the 4th child (she was said to be suicidal after that) that she should have no more children at least till this was resolved. Who made her have the 5th child? They are responsible. If it is the Catholic Church, and I am a Catholic, this is exactly the sort of situation we were trained to keep having babies in...no matter what the situation, no matter what scenario we could come up with, the answer was always that birth control was out of the question. I would like to see this really explored, because I feel we as a church, if she was Catholic (or whatever religion) are really really responsible for this and other tragedies. mg

mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 02:13 PM

although (in total ignorance of any facts) one does wonder where he was with his support the last 7 years

Mrrzy, I think you should take note of what you put in brackets there. And so should the others who are unloading blame on the husband, also "in total ignorance of any facts".

It's not our business to go round making judgement and blaming people when we don't know the facts. Casting blame doesn't help, finding out the reasons and learning from them that is what matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Margo
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 03:55 PM

I've been close to the edge myself. I never thought about suicide seriously, though. It did cross my mind. But my depression was due to my situation and not due to any inherited imbalance. My kids are disabled with autism and that is what was driving me nuts. They still have their disability but several things have changed that have mitigated my mental state.

My kids are a bit more mature (every little bit counts) and I am taking better care of myself (exercising daily and taking time to do music). I can't imagine having the notion to kill my kids for months and not confiding in my husband.... I just plain don't understand being that far out. I really have no sympathy for her.

Margo


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 05:54 PM

I hope I can say this without starting a forest fire of flaming, but this has been gnawing at me since the news story broke:

How long does it take to drown FIVE children? How long did it take to chase the 7-year-old down? Was it, in total, less time than it took for the husband to leave the house and get to his place of business??? Or was he involved in the murders?????

He says he got the phone call from his wife immediately after his arrival, and then left work. If he were involved in the crime, his co-workers would have had little or no opportunity to interact with him and notice that his behavior was odd... and he would have had an alibi (the trip to work).

In the tapes of his interviews with the media, he appeared awfully calm, not really surprised. His attitude seemed to be "oh, well, that's just Andrea, ya gotta love her" (not a direct quote, of course). The whole thing just "scans" wrong for me.

If he did not murder his children, did he direct his wife to do it? Did he order her to confess? Did he abuse her to such an extent that she would obey in a zombie-like state? I know this all sounds very cruel, and I have nothing but my feelings to support my doubts of his sincerity, but it wouldn't be the first time an abusive husband did something so dastardly.

I hope I'm wrong. I fear I may be right, and the real murderer may be in his glory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 06:39 PM

Once again "in total ignorance of the facts"... There's a lynch mob mentality out there in a few places. And that isn't a flame, it's a sober and worried comment. This is a public place were talking in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 07:17 PM

hello SharonA you seened to have brought up a few good points so SeanM we may just have to kill the husband as well.I know you think I believe life is cheap when actually I feel why should I put value on some ones life when they don't think anyone elses is worth a damn.LittleHawk well as a good Christian I can see why you have compassion unfortunately I am not a good enough Christian to forgive such an act.Mgarvey it is not the fault of the church for this or anyone else it is hers she did the act whether her Husband had anything to do with this will have to remain to be seen.SharonA if that was the case why the frell didn't she just kill him?So many whys and hows,Little Hawk you said earlier I might feel this way because I was powerless as we all where to do anything about it,I have to say your right I know I will not gain any power or become mightier but might feel a sense of peace with severe justice being served.They weren't my children so why should I feel this way maybe in the hopes it will be a deterent,maybe so others will be shown they can't get away with this type of thing and other children won't have to suffer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 07:41 PM

It's not your place to forgive, or not to forgive, Joe. That goes for all of us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Burke
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 08:21 PM

My first reaction to the little I first heard was the sadness expressed in the first messages here.

I've been reading the news stories on Yahoo to get more information. The more I read there, the more I'm bothered about the father. It sounds as if Andrea had given up all she wanted to in life for her husband. Not working and home schooling both sound like what he wanted. She's from a Catholic family of 5 children, but the size of the family sounds like his idea as well. How can any one woman be expected to care full time for 5 children under the age of 7? At the very least having the older ones in school would have helped. No wonder she felt she was doing a terrible job & was damaging them.

Before her first depression & suicide attempt they had sold their house & furnishings, to either buy bigger or take off & travel (different neighbors, different accounts). Never doing either, they lived with her parents first, then bought a smaller house. Their old neighbors seem to have known her, but the new neighbors did not. Sounds to me like something was unravelling for some time.

My heart breaks for the children who knew Mom was killing them. I feel deeply distrubed by her actions, if she could call for help immediatly after, why not before? I also respect Sorcha's "been there" story. Sorcha could have, "I stopped myself, why not her?" Instead she tries to give us understanding.

I have a co-worker who served on a jury for homocide. New York did not have the death penalty at the time, but still she found it an awful & awesome responsibility. I came close to being on a jury for a child abuse case & was glad when others were selected. It's so easy to pass our coffee break verdicts, but being called on to actually judge would be terribly difficult.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 11:06 PM

wow. I am stunned by all that which went on before my little bit.

I think we are all just plain human beings who can sometimes get twisted into something frightening and muderous. I remember a "folk" song which is more to the point of this story than The Cuel Mother:

His name was Charlie Lawson He had a loving wife And nobody knows what caused him To take his family's life

They say he killed his wife at first As the little ones stood by Oh Daddy do not take our lives We are too young to die

But the raging man could not be stopped He did not heed their call He gave them five and fatal shots Ubtil he'd killed them all

They did not carry him to jail No lawyer will he pay He'll have his trial in another land On that final judgement day

I weep for the mother, the children, the father; all who have been smothered with this thing, seared by this thing, saddened by this thing

All of us


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 11:20 PM

Thank you, Burke. There were several other incidents as well--if I related them here, I could be arrested for child abuse. I loved, and still love, ,my children, but raising children without a Support System is impossible.

I find myself still wondering about the "religion" involved and the involvement of the husband......

I thought I was through posting to this thread, but I guess not......

(Little Hawk--now I don't know what it was that tripped my trigger--forgive me, OK? It sure wasn't the "lives" thing.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 07:51 AM

I still think pointing a finger of blame at the father without knowing a hell of a lot more about it than any of us do is not right.

It's as if people think there is a limited supply of compassion. If they feel they should give it to one person, they have to take it away from someone else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 10:32 AM

McGrath, please tell me what facts I was ignoring in my previous post (mostly, I raised questions and spoke about my own impressions). I absolutely agree that we would need a hell of a lot more information about the father before absolutely blaming him. I'm not about to "lynch" him. On the other hand, I'm not ready to call him a saint, either, without knowing a hell of a lot more about the situation. And every tidbit I read and hear about the man, such as Burke's posting above, cause me to doubt him a little more.

At best, the guy turned a blind eye to a dangerous situation. The wife had a history of attempted suicide AND it was stated that she was too depressed to attend a party with her children the previous weekend (NOT stressed out & needing a break, DEPRESSED). According to the link that katlaughing provided on June 23 @ 11:30 am, Andrea Yates had just been taken off Haldol two weeks previously, and on the Monday prior to the murders had just started a new dosage of several anti-depressants and had discussed starting therapy with her doctor, so apparently she wasn't even in therapy at the time. At the very least, her husband should not have left her alone with the kids for fear that she might kill HERSELF and leave the young ones in the house without supervision. Was he in denial? Is he just not too bright? Or what???

The link also says that the wife's brother stated that the Yates couple "didn't like to ask for help... didn't want to talk." Sorry, but such behavior CAN be a sign that there's spousal abuse in a home. OR it could simply indicate embarrassment about or fear of discussing mental illness, even with close family, which again points toward denial, pride and an unwillingness to accept emotional support. Either way, not good.

Does anyone know if autopsies have been performed on the kids to determine whether, in fact, the cause of death was drowning, and to determine the time of death? The wife's confession wouldn't amount to much if the kids had been killed the previous night, and the bodies dipped in water in the morning. BTW, how much credence DOES the law give to the confession of a person deemed to be psychotic?

Yes, we do need more info before we draw ANY conclusions about this case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 12:00 PM

Hey, Sorcha, no sweat...

You didn't hurt my feelings any. I was just curious what it was that bothered you, that's all.

I think, if nothing else, this thread has helped some of us understand where someone else is coming from, anyway...

I hope so.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: sophocleese
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 12:20 PM

When I was depressed I didn't talk about with people, even family members, until things blew up in my face and I had to talk about it. My interior dialogue usually included these kinds of lines. "Why talk about it with others? They've got far more serious things to think about.I'm not important." "Its not really depression I'm just feeling down a little. I'm okay really." Hell If I want to kill myself its because I'm not worth anything alive." Better if I don't say anything because it just upsets people and then they get hysterical or think I'm just saying it to get attention."

Part of being mentally ill is that you don't make the best decisions that could be made. You don't always make the wrong ones but you're not thinking the same way you usually do. Wondering why the mother didn't do any number of sensible things doesn't help because she wasn't able to make consistently sensible decisions. Ideally the father should have been able to make many of these decsions himself but he probably didn't know what he needed to do. The father may well have thought that he was being supportive but was instead woefully ignorant of what kind of support was really needed. He may also have made lousy decisions because of stress and embarassment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 12:21 PM

"Was he in denial? Is he just not too bright? Or what???"

Maybe. Or maybe there was one of a load of other explanations, or maybe some of the "facts" aren't quite right or there are other that haven't come out. Who knows - I certainly don't, and nor do the people who've been leaping in here with accusations.

In time the full facts can be properly looked at. But grabbing facts out of the air at a distance and casting blame that way is in my view just a wrong thing to do. It's rushing to judgement, and that is a key part of the lynching mentality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Fiolar
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 12:46 PM

Not knowing all the facts I have little wish to comment on the reasons why the kids were killed. I would hesitate to blame religion, Roman Catholic or other that is too simplistic. Many thousands if not millions of families have been more than five and there is no history of multiple killings. I would assume that in all probability the woman had post-natal depression and got little if any support from relatives. The attitude in many of these cases is "come on snap out of it." The medical profession can on occasion be less than helpful - "have another pill Mrs, and if that doesn't help come back and see me again."


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 01:13 PM

You're right, McGrath; casting blame is wrong. I'm sorry if I've fired up anyone to "go after" Mr. Yates. I'm just alarmed at all the people ready to string up MRS. Yates without considering the possibility that she may not be telling the whole truth of the matter, that she may not even be able to discern truth and reality. As many here have said, we don't know ALL the facts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 01:19 PM

In a situation like this any talk about punishment isn't relevant, because she's already inflicted on herself a worse punishment than any court could ever impose. And that goes for her husband too, regardless of whether he's a saint or a villain or just something in between like most of us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: MMario
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 01:25 PM

" How can any one woman be expected to care full time for 5 children under the age of 7?

My Mom did - so did at least 4 mothers of kids who were in school with me. I can think of 5 or 6 more who had at least 4 within seven years.

None of them Roman Catholic. None of whom killed their kids, themselves or their husbands. Most of whom are still active and happily grand-parenting and great grand-parenting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 01:54 PM

SharonA, I am glad you brought up those questions. I didn't want to say it because it sounded too paranoid, but I've really been wondering about the father; whether he might have been involved, driven her to it, or whatever.

This is not judgement, just speculation. Religion may have had a part in it, especially if one considers her supposed comments that her children were damaged. Where did that judgement of herself and her children come from? Yes, it could have come from deep within her apparently damaged psyche, but could easily have come from years of verbal and mental abuse.

I am fortunate that I grew up being praised and therefore had a healthy ego. Married at 16, with a baby on the way, whom I had at 17, my first husband who was 19, came from an abusive, alcoholic family. From the day we were married until the day I left him 5 years later, there was never a time went by that he did not mentally and verbally abuse me. At 5'2", I was 110 lbs and I had a name, but I was "short, fat, & dumpy" and "Hey, you!" as far as he was concerned. He beat on one of our dogs (before I gave it away), except when I pointed a small gun at him and told him to stop and one time shot it over his head to stop him.

I am convinced the main reason I didn't wind up beaten or dead, or worse, killing him myself, is because I met a man who told me how beautiful I was and treated me just as beautifully. With his support and nurturing of my very bruised ego, I was able to take my by then, two children and leave. There were other supportive factors, family members to live with, friends to talk to, BUT in those days, spousal abuse, and even child abuse were still not really talked about or considered that awful.

Anyway, I just meant that as an example of how a spouse can have profound effects on the other. We do not know if that is the case, but something in me does not trust this father.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 02:25 PM

"Could have" - blaming the victim takes a new twist here.

This is a public forum. Hints and rumour and speculation feed on hints and rumours and speculation, and real people can get hurt.

Just try and imagine it - your wife has killed your five children, and you're probably trying to work out whether there was anyway you did or didn't do that contributed to it happening, as inevitably you would, whether there was orvthere wasn't. And out on the net total strangers who don't have the facts about it are pointing fingers of blame at you and saying they reckon you are responsible.

And if that kind of thing is happening in a restrained kind of way here, on what is a pretty decent forum, God knows what kind of stuff is being thrown around on some of the other sites around.

And I suppose if the man were to kill himself now, people would just say "well, that shows he must have been to blame".

Tragic terrible things happen to people. Rushing to judgement and playing "blame the victim" is a horrible game.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 02:31 PM

Thank you, kat. I'm so sorry you went through all that horrible abuse, and I'm glad to hear that you got out of it with your life and the lives of your children. I hope you continue to find love and support; from what I've read on the Catspaw-Update threads, I think you will. Just in case you haven't heard enough good stuff there, let me chime in with all the other voices: I think you must be a fantastic person to know!

For my own part, I don't care to go into the details but I too have been abused verbally, emotionally and in other ways, by an alcoholic boyfriend and others. Thankfully, I have no children who had to share that. Thanks to all you Mudcatters for providing a caring, supportive environment; it helps!!!

SharonA


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: harpgirl
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 02:31 PM

...I thought similar thoughts, kat. But I didn't want to start a firestorm. (At any rate, now that I understand McGrath better, I can say to SharonA that he isn't mad or trying to stir up trouble. He likes to debate and enjoys turning the subject every which way to have a look at it.)

Regardless of who is to blame, this tragic situation might have been avoided if the FAMILY had the right kind and MUCH more support...hg


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:16 PM

Thanks hg, I agree.

SharonA, thank you,too. That was a long time ago. I've been through a second, very short marriage, and my third one, which has lasted 21 years with him having adopted all three of my children and helping to raise them. It hasn't always been ideal, but there has never been that type of abuse ever again in my life. Thank you very much for your concern and compliments. The Mudcatters are a very incredible lot of people and will do anything possible to help anyone who asks. I hoep you can join as a member sometime, soon. That way you can share private messages, as well as do other things, such as trace specific threads, etc. I hope you have found ease form the abusiveness you've experienced, too.

McGrath, what can I tell ya? We went through this during COlumbine, during the Russian submarine sinking with all of the men trapped. We are a curious lot and we do try to be careful about how we term our speculations. It is human nature to discuss the horrors and the joys of our times. I understand the horror of what less kindly sites may be saying and I understand your concern that it is not fair.

As you have seen, though, I have been a victim, of much mroe than I worte of above. I did not say I was blaming the father, only that I had questions, most of which will probably never be answered.

As for how he might feel if he read or heard the speculations of complete strangers? That goes back to one of my earliest posts on this thread and my belief system of karma and choosing our families, etc. It does not mean I think he deserves this and has to go through it without any support etc.; just that at some level, his higher consciousness had an awareness and will help him to deal with this. Some would use the old adage about god not giving us more than we can handle.

Well, I hope I didn't just make a muddle of what I was trying to say.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:35 PM

This time anyway I'm not trying to stir things up, but to damp them down.

I've seen how this kind of thing can get out of hand, and get a bit nervous at times. When the target of speculation and so forth is some government agency or whatever, I tend to think they can take it, it comes with the job and with the rewards of the job. Also they are in the business of hiding the truth if it's embarassing to them, and sometimes wild speculation can be a way of opening things up.

But this one is a bit different. It's about two people in whose life something indescribably awful has happened, and the right thing is to stand back and avoid saying anything out of hand.

More important, we should maybe be looking around the people we know, and imagining whether there might be someone or some family desperately needing support or intervention of some kind, and is there anything we might be doing. (The publicity around this kind of thing can be a factor in triggering it off elsewhere, as has been repeatedly demonstrated.)

And I am quite sure that there are in fact going to be people round the Mudcat who are doing exactly that right now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Burke
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:54 PM

I know there are people who have 5 children in 7 years. How many of them try home schooling with little or no extra help? Unless there are multiple births involved at least one, probably more, will be school age by the time no. 5 comes along. She was supposed to be teaching 5 & 7 year olds to read while nursing maybe? Notice her first post-partum depression set in about the time no.1 should have been going off to school and when no.4 came she had no home of her own? It sounds to me like more pressure than hormonal imbalance; pressures the father could at have helped alleviate but may actually have created.

Ultimately the official investigators should be talking to a lot more people than those who talk to the media. There will be no official recommendation for 30 days. The trial will, no doubt, bring in family members who have a much better picture of her life the past 7 years than we can glean from brief news articles.

Perhaps the value of all this speculation is not in what happens to the Yates family, but helping to sensitize all of us to the possibility of these kinds of situations existing around us. Maybe we can try to learn what we can do to help them in their time of need. It's great to talk about being supportive, but some of us don't know how.

We've heard that Andrea needed support, but how do we know & what can we do? The neighbors barely knew the family, but respecting privacy is a really important value these days. Someone who'd been a friend since 8th grade & gone to with her nursing school & her wedding, admitted "that the two had not spoken in several years." Hmm, I can think of a couple of people I've been too busy to be in touch with for a while.

It sounds like they may have been religious & attempting to live those values as they understood them, but not involved in a church. I know it's popular to say we can be religious/spiritual without going to church, but maybe church participation could have helped create the community they did not seem to have otherwise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 06:00 PM

Well, in England people are always saying thigs like "They are very good neighbours - you wouldn't know they were there". I'd imagined that, outside big cities anyway, it might be a bit different in the USA.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 07:53 PM

McGrath no usually we say he was such a quiet young man I can't believe he killed those people and stuffed them in his fridge. McGrath your right about rushing to judgement but when they find all the guilty parties involved in the murders I think they should be executed. I am replying this way in that one of your posts you seemed to make it as if neither of them was quilty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 08:06 PM

If Joe can imagine a worse punishment than having killed your five children, I can't. Death wopuild be nothing compared to that. In fact most people who kill their children kill themselves, if they aren't prevented.


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Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
From: Burke
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 08:07 PM

Here's what they're actually saying.


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

Thanks for that, Burke.


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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


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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


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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


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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.


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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).


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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


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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


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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


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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.


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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.


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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


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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


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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.


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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.


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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


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 29 May 6:18 AM EDT

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