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Old 04-09-2009, 09:32 AM   #1
Dr. Drib
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Men and Women who Kill - True Crime Discussion

I recently discovered Ann Rule, and now very much enjoy reading True Crime books.

I figure this thread can wander all over the globe on issues of men and women who kill. I feel we can all rationally discuss the irrational, the mentally ill, and the evil inhabiting the people we decide to discuss - if this thread's subject finds an interesting audience.

Below is Andrea Yates's Profile, which I copied from a website. She was found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. What do you think?

_____

Andrea Yates

Andrea YatesAKA Andrea Pia Kennedy

Born: 2-Jul-1964
Birthplace: Houston, TX

Gender: Female
Religion: Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Criminal

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Drowned her five children

Andrea Yates and her husband Rusty were devout Christians. The fertile couple had five children and one miscarriage. Andrea suffered post-partum depression, aggravated by her already extant mental imbalance, cramped living conditions, and Yates' frequent refusal to take her medication.

In the years preceding the quintuple-murder, Rusty and Andrea made the acquaintance of a sharp-tongued, volatile preacher by the name of Michael Woroniecki. He preached with fervor the wickedness of Eve and of all women, and insisted that if a mother did not bring up her children in the ways of Jesus Christ, she and her children were bound for Hell. Andrea Yates was captivated and convinced, and she would later reference some of Woroniecki's statements when she testified in court.

Over time, Yates' condition began to worsen: she often refused medication, refused to feed the children (and herself), hallucinated, read the Bible to frantic excess, and generally displayed the signs of a madwoman. On 20 June 2001, Yates filled the bathtub with water and called her children in, one by one, and forcibly drowned them. She started with the three youngest boys, beginning with Paul, placing his dead body atop the bed covered with a sheet. Last to die was the oldest, seven-year-old Noah, whom she later confessed put up the toughest fight.

Yates was convicted on three counts of capital murder and sent to prison, eligible for parole in 2041. Asked the reasons for killing her children, she claimed that she was a "bad mother" and needed to be "punished". She felt the children were not acting in a way that Jesus would find favorable.

In Yates' trial, psychiatrist Park Dietz -- who was never Yates' psychiatrist -- testified that she was not mentally ill, but had cleverly patterned her children's killings after an episode of Law and Order, where a woman drowned her children but was found not guilty by reason of insanity. There was just one problem with Dietz' testimony: Law and Order had never filmed a storyline even vaguely like the episode Dietz described.

On the basis of Dietz' misleading testimony, Yates was granted a re-trial in 2006. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and transferred from prison (where she had spent four years) to a state mental hospital for treatment. Betsy Schwartz, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Greater Houston, said the verdict brought "justice to a woman whose severe mental illness was never in question." Dietz, the psychiatrist who said his false testimony was "an honest mistake," was never indicted for perjury.

Father: (d. 12-Mar-2001)
Husband: Russell "Rusty" Yates (m. 17-Apr-1993, div. 17-Mar-2005, four sons, one daughter)
Son: Noah (b. 26-Feb-1994, d. murder)
Son: John (b. 12-Dec-1995, d. murder)
Son: Paul (b. 13-Sep-1997, d. murder)
Son: Luke (b. 15-Feb-1999, d. murder)
Daughter: Mary (b. 30-Nov-2000, d. murder)

High School: Milby High School, Houston, TX
University: Nursing, University of Houston
University: University of Texas School of Nursing, Houston (1986)

Miscarriage (1996)
Drug Overdose (17-Jun-1999)
Suicide Attempt pills (17-Jun-1999)
Suicide Attempt knife (20-Jul-1999)
Murder three counts, not guilty by reason of insanity (26-Jul-2006)
Risk Factors: Depression, Schizophrenia



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Old 04-09-2009, 01:20 PM   #2
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Not at all your topic, but I personally feel that all flavors of religion have been responsible for more murders than any other one thing. I'm not even counting religious wars here.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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Not at all your topic, but I personally feel that all flavors of religion have been responsible for more murders than any other one thing. I'm not even counting religious wars here.
I totally agree with you. And I apologize to OP for veering , but much of your original story line had the religious entanglements entwined within.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:46 PM   #4
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Having followed that trial closely, I feel that Yates is where she needs to be: in treatment and away from the Husband and community who made her worse. And Dietz is not where he should be: Prison. Trial whores like him should be removed from their licenses and never allowed to see another patient.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:07 PM   #5
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Having followed that trial closely, I feel that Yates is where she needs to be: in treatment and away from the Husband and community who made her worse. And Dietz is not where he should be: Prison. Trial whores like him should be removed from their licenses and never allowed to see another patient.
I never could understand how his false testimony could be considered an honest mistake. You wouldn't think a person in his position would have a problem with false memories. I wouldn't even want a consultation with that man.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:15 PM   #6
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Having followed that trial closely, I feel that Yates is where she needs to be: in treatment and away from the Husband and community who made her worse. And Dietz is not where he should be: Prison. Trial whores like him should be removed from their licenses and never allowed to see another patient.

I didn't follow the trial closely, but it seems she is where she needs to be - in psychiatric treatment for her depression and for her mental condition.


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Old 04-10-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
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I didn't follow the trial closely, but it seems she is where she needs to be - in psychiatric treatment for her depression and for her mental condition.


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Makes you wonder, through all the signs and incidents leading up to her final action, how did she fall through the cracks?
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:32 PM   #8
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Makes you wonder, through all the signs and incidents leading up to her final action, how did she fall through the cracks?
Because of "professionals" like Dietz?
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:20 AM   #9
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I never could understand how his false testimony could be considered an honest mistake. You wouldn't think a person in his position would have a problem with false memories. I wouldn't even want a consultation with that man.
I don't know much about the US Justice system, but wouldn't Dietz have been hired by the Prosecution? And wouldn't they have known exactly what he was going to say before they let him give his testimony? If this is so, don't the Prosecutors bear some responsibility for the false statements Dietz made?
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:12 AM   #10
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Men and Women who Kill - True Crime Discussion

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I recently discovered Ann Rule, and now very much enjoy reading True Crime books.




Many years ago I read a book of True Crime by Ann Rule called 'Small Sacrifices', and although I have read many more of her books since, this was the one that I couldn't forget because of it's sheer calculation and evil planning which involved children.
Therefore, 'Small Sacrifices'.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:28 AM   #11
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Men and Women who Kill - True Crime Discussion

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I recently discovered Ann Rule, and now very much enjoy reading True Crime books.




Many years ago I read a book of True Crime by Ann Rule called 'Small Sacrifices', and although I have read many more of her books since, this was the one that I couldn't forget because of it's sheer calculation and evil planning which involved children.
Therefore, 'Small Sacrifices'.

I have yet to read that one, but I intend to read all of her books, eventually.

This thread can wander all over the place in our discussions; if someone wants to move on to another crime or another book, then let us do that.

I just now read about "Small Sacrifices" on Amazon, and it sounds chilling.



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Old 04-12-2009, 12:51 PM   #12
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I don't know much about the US Justice system, but wouldn't Dietz have been hired by the Prosecution? And wouldn't they have known exactly what he was going to say before they let him give his testimony? If this is so, don't the Prosecutors bear some responsibility for the false statements Dietz made?
Yes and yes. That is why prosecutors are always (or should be at least) concerned about being overturned on appeal based on oversights such as that.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:19 PM   #13
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I've heard that in the state of Michigan a plea of insanity is somewhat different than other places. As I heard it, if found guilty under such a plea, the criminal would first go to a mental institute until declared sane and would then serve their appropriate sentence for the crime committed.

Whether this is true of Michigan or not, I personally like the idea and think it should be implemented, at least nation wide if not world wide. If an insane person murders someone, are they no less dead than had they been murdered by a sane person? In fact, some would only an insane person would commit murder.

On the other hand, I wonder how many of us would be alive if everyone could, with complete impunity, "think" someone to death.
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:06 AM   #14
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Whether this is true of Michigan or not, I personally like the idea and think it should be implemented, at least nation wide if not world wide. If an insane person murders someone, are they no less dead than had they been murdered by a sane person? In fact, some would only an insane person would commit murder.
But if you are not responsible for your actions, should you be "punished" at all? Suppose you have 'flu, and you unwittingly pass on the virus to someone, and they die. Should you be charged with "murder" for that?

Mental illness is just as much an "illness" as 'flu. Yes, I know that there are many cases where people falsely claim mental illness as a defence against murder, but that does not change the fact that there are perfectly genuine cases where people really cannot be held responsible for their acts.

Did you read Simon Winchester's "The Professor and the Madman", which was a recent "MR Book Club" entry? It tells the true story of the role played in the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary by a army officer (whose name escapes me for the moment) who, while living in London, suffered paranoid delusions of persecution. One night, he thought that there was someone in his room, chased the (imaginary) person out of the house, and shot, and killed, a perfectly innocent passer-by, thinking that he was the intruder. He was (quite rightly) found innocent of murder, but sentenced to be held in Broadmoor hospital for the criminally insane, where he spent the rest of his life. Let us suppose that he had been able to be cured of his illness. Can you say that he deserved to be "punished" for killing the passer-by? I think that any reasonable person would say "no", because he could not be held accountable for his actions.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:39 AM   #15
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Is she being "kept" by the state for punishment, or is this just a necessary precaution in case she might kill again?

I contend she's being "kept" by the state, but she is not being punished. She is there for the safety of society and possibly for herself.



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