Friday, May 7, 2010
WARNING! This is not a story for the faint of heart. You may not find this story palatable if you love children or humanity at all for that matter. This is first and foremost a human interest story and has many themes, but was ultimately just something that I wanted to talk about.
"If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt 18:6).
Matthew 18:6 is the verse that Andrea Yates used to give some rationale for drowning all five of her own children nearly nine years ago. At one time, she had four healthy boys and one beautiful girl ranging in six months to seven years of age. The age and names of the children were Mary the six-month-old, Luke age 2, Paul age 3, John age 5 and Noah age 7. The parents were forewarned by the psychiatrist that she would likely have to endure another long bought of post-partum depression before having Mary. Nevertheless, the Yates family insisted that they were “going to have as many babies as nature allowed”.
Over the course of time, Andrea decided that she had been a poor parent or a “stumbling block” to her children. Evidently, this was even reinforced by her non-denominational pastor. She decided that murdering them was the only way to ensure their place in heaven. We can put the blame on a number of factors and people, but the fact remains that there are people who actually believe god when he says some pretty ridiculous things in the Bible. Many people are just Cultural Christians, but we do have some imbeciles that actually take this nonsense to heart. I do find it rather peculiar that we don’t find more Christians cutting off their limbs or gouging out their eyes as Jesus commands for a remedy to recurrent sin as written in Matthew 5:29. But, we would like to think that rational Christians, whatever that means, won’t go against their own innate moral compass, and perform heinous acts because god said to, like in the case of Abraham and Isaac. Most honest Christians, and presumably all atheists, would tell a god to take a flying leap if he/she/it asked them to kill their own children. If not, then those people probably shouldn’t have children to begin with. The so called father of the faith, Abraham, nearly sacrificed his own son because god told him to. Undoubtedly, he would have followed through if the angel of god wouldn’t have intervened. Abraham rationalized the situation by thinking that god can raise people from the dead so Isaac will come back from the dead too. If you ever want to get a Christian on their heels just ask them if they would murder a child because god commanded it. But I digress.
Andrea had a long history of depression and delusional thinking, and was on several different medications that apparently weren’t enough to subdue her sickness. In all fairness, the DSM IV states that “infanticide is most often associated with postpartum psychotic episodes that are characterized by command hallucinations to kill the infant or delusions that the infant is possessed, but it can also occur in severe postpartum mood episodes without such specific delusions or hallucinations”. As previously stated though, Rusty and Andrea Yates were well aware of the risks associated with post-partum depression. They were also keenly aware that there is a 30% to 50% risk for reoccurrence of psychotic post-partum features according to the DSM IV and her psychiatrist. The psychiatrist told them that they shouldn’t have any more kids but they reasoned otherwise.
Andrea’s depression came back with a vengeance after having Mary. June 20th, 2001 was a day that made Andrea Yates infamous. In premeditated fashion, she waited for her husband to leave for work, and she even locked the dog in its cage so he wouldn’t interfere with the drowning. She filled the bathtub up nearly to the top; she made sure there was plenty of water to get the job done. Like a god ordained infanticide, she systematically drowned each and every child. In some of my research, I found that she wanted to ensure their passage to heaven, but other online resources put less emphasis on her religious convictions and more on her psychotic issues. If the biblical relationship is true, she drew from the teachings that children go to heaven automatically if they are still too young to be held accountable for sin. Coincidentally, the age of accountability principle is just an assumption Christian's make since they can't fathom that a god would send children to hell.
Andrea placed her six-month-old baby girl in the bathroom, who cried hysterically throughout, while these horrific events took place. Baby Mary saw each of her sibling’s die, with the exception of Noah, before being murdered herself. Paul was the first victim. “Perfect Paul”, as Andrea used to call him, was the one who always did what his mother said and caused very few problems. Andrea called for Paul to come to the bathroom. Being the ever compliant child, he eagerly made his way to his mother where she had just finished filling the bathtub. Without hesitation, she put him in the bathtub face down and proceeded to drown him for a “couple of minutes”, as she described it to the court. After struggling frantically, all movement subsided and Andrea pulled Paul’s lifeless body out of the water. She then took his body to her bed and pulled a sheet over it. The most rambunctious one, John, was drowned next and then Luke. John was hesitant to get in the water so his resolute mother helped him in and proceeded to drown him. Six-month-old Mary Yates followed her brothers. Even at six months, she was able to struggle for what Andrea said was “at least a couple of minutes”. Andrea didn’t bother putting her in the bed with her brother’s afterword. She left her body resting at the bottom of the tub. Noah was the last victim in this heinous crime. Noah, the eldest sibling, must have sensed that something was wrong because he tried to run out of the bathroom. He was no match for his overpowering mother. However, he put up a more tenacious fight than his four other siblings. Perhaps, the witch was getting fatigued as well. He tried to “come up for air” and “flip over” on numerous occasions before finally yielding to defeat. Immediately following, Andrea made a 911 call since she knew good and well that she had done something horribly wrong.
Sergeant David Svahn, a patrol officer with sixteen years on the force, was one of the first to respond to Andrea’s 911 call. Svahn described the residence as a typical suburban home. He saw family photos aligning the hallway, cereal bowls sitting on the kitchen table and toys on the floor. But the odious scene in the bathroom would change his perspective entirely, Svahn said he could have spent another sixteen years and never get used to the horrors he discovered. The child floating in the bathtub, surrounded by fecal matter, left a particularly deep impression that will undoubtedly haunt his dreams for some time.
One of the main problems experienced with drowning is that the body is taking in too much carbon dioxide. This rapid accumulation of carbon dioxide literally poisons the heart and causes it to stop beating. During the struggle, a person will often instinctively swallow a lot of water as much of it makes its way to the larynx. Also, the lungs will eventually burst in this whole grueling process. I can’t think of many worse ways a person can die in two minutes or less with the exception of burning to death. You would think that she could have thought of something a little less horrific if she “loved” her children so much. In my shamelessly biased opinion, Andrea has no business being in a low security mental hospital where she now lives out her miserable existence. This was premeditated murder.
Dena Schlosser, another diva of perversity, severed her 10-month-old daughter’s arms off with a kitchen knife and let her bleed to death while hymn music played in the background. She told the authorities that she was “giving her baby to God”. Her baby fought long enough to make it to the hospital before being pronounced dead. Apparently, Dena was also suffering with post-partum depression before the incident occurred. She was released from inpatient mental hospitalization after five brief years in 2008 and is now presumably just an outpatient. Does society really want this woman out and about?
One has to ask themselves, where the hell was god while all this shit was going on? Is he incapable of intervening in the lives of children? If so, then god isn’t omnipotent like the Bible suggests because he could have done any number of things to stop the situation. He could have given Andrea a heart attack for example. Perhaps, he could have given one of the children "Samson like strength" or the foresight to call 911 ahead of time. I never met any of these kids, but you best better believe that I would have knocked that bitch into another dimension if I could have been there to stop her. God supposedly knows the exact number of hairs on your head and cares about your every need, but wouldn't meet the need of these oxygen deprived children! The Christian will say that justice will be served but that doesn’t excuse what happened. The father would have been just as guilty if he was there and allowed this to happen. God was supposedly there, but the Christian refuses to place any guilt on him.
I have no sympathy for either of these two women. Both of them knew that they were dealing with issues before they killed their children. There are mental facilities conveniently located all over the United States for those who need help. Coincidentally, both of these pathetic excuses for human beings come from the great state of Texas. Texas has no shortage of mental health facilities and hospitals. We can see why! Hell, they both clearly knew that they did something wrong because they had the awareness to call 911 immediately afterword. Andrea demanded that policemen come immediately and wasted no time in confessing her crime. She even called her husband and told him to come home to see what she did. Does anybody really think that they didn’t realize it was wrong to kill their children as they were doing it? If I was in such a depraved state, I would chose to immediately call for help BEFORE I did something like that, or I would promptly kill myself. I certainly can’t put all of the blame on religious dogma in light of the advances in psychology and the various diagnoses under the DSM. But, I think that it must have at least played some part in the motivations or reasoning behind these killings.
I’m also writing about this because I simply find it fascinating. I find it fascinating that people actually have the capacity to do such purely evil acts, and I’m baffled by it. I’ve suffered from depression, anxiety and severe OCD in my lifetime. But, I’ve got to say that I never thought of harming anybody but myself. I’ve also worked directly with inpatients at various mental hospitals over the past five years, and have never heard of anyone of my patients doing anything remotely like this to another human.
Lastly, I’m writing this post because it really affected me and bothered me. When you have children, you immediately think about them when you hear of any other child being mistreated and it can be pretty traumatizing. Stories like this make me wish that I didn’t have anyone that I cared about. This way, I would never have to go through the emotional duress if something ever happened to them remotely like this.
Through evolution, we all have this instinctive desire to care for our offspring who may carry on the human race through reproduction of their own. I have no doubt that other animal species feel many of the protective emotions that humans do as a built in mechanism that prolongs the particular species existence. Evolution may do little to explain why a woman would do such a horrific act to her offspring. I believe in the innocence of children and that protection of children is essential. They are so impressionable and easily manipulated at that age. It makes me sick when people take advantage of their innocence for their own masochistic pleasures.
In closing, I hope Dena’s visit to the outside world is short lived. Perhaps, she will off herself before she gets the urge to kill again. In the case of Andrea’s story, it’s equally baffling that her husband places NO blame on her whatsoever. He simply thinks that she wouldn't have done this if she had the right medications. I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes her back and reproduces again. Mental illnesses that indirectly cause harm upon other people must be considerably rare. Nevertheless, they had the senses to call 911 after the killings.
Christians that are seriously wanting to ensure that they get their kids to heaven might find what Andrea did appealing. They can sacrifice their own life for the sake of their childrens. Thankfully, most people aren't quite so psychotic even if their faith reeks of irrational thinking.