Andrea Yates Biography


Birthday: July 2, 1964 (Cancer)

Born In: Hallsville, Texas, United States

Andrea Yates is an American citizen from Texas who suffered from very severe postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis and schizophrenia, and drowned her five children, aged six months to seven years, in their bathtub on June 20, 2001. She had past family history of depression, and her husband's unconventional religious beliefs pushed her towards having more kids, causing further depression which was not treated thoroughly. Her religious beliefs caused her to believe that her children were not developing properly and were doomed to hell, which convinced her to make the tragic decision to kill them. While she was denied the insanity defense at her first trial, the jury had refused death penalty and instead awarded her life sentence. At a later trial, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was committed to the North Texas State Hospital, a high-security mental health facility in Vernon, Texas. She currently resides in Kerrville State Hospital, a low-security mental hospital in Kerrville, Texas.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Andrea Pia Yates

Age: 58 Years, 58 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Russel Yates (m. 1993 - div. 2005)

father: Andrew Emmett Kennedy

mother: Jutta Karin Koehler

siblings: Andrew Kennedy, Brian Kennedy, Michele Freeman, Patrick Kennedy

children: John Yates, Luke Yates, Mary Yates, Noah Yates, Paul Yates

Born Country: United States

American Women Cancer Criminals

More Facts

education: University Of Houston

Childhood & Early Life
Andrea Yates was born as Andrea Pia Kennedy on July 2, 1964, in Hallsville, Texas, United States, as the youngest of the five children of Jutta Karin Koehler and Andrew Emmett Kennedy. As a teenager, she suffered from bulimia, as well as depression, and had discussed suicide with a friend at the age of 17.
She was the captain of the swim team and an officer in the National Honor Society while attending Milby High School, from where she graduated as the class valedictorian in 1982. She pursued a two-year pre-nursing program at the University of Houston before graduating from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 1986.
Following graduation, she registered as a nurse at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and while working there, met Russell 'Rusty' Yates at the Sunscape Apartments in Houston in the summer of 1989. The couple subsequently moved in together and got married on April 17, 1993, following which they bought a four-bedroom house in the town of Friendswood.
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Family Life
Andrea Yates' first child, son Noah Jacob, was born on February 26, 1994, soon after which they relocated to Seminole, Florida, where Rusty was offered a job, and began living in a small trailer. She gave birth to her second son, John Samuel, on December 15, 1995, in Florida, but moved back to Houston before her third son, Paul Abraham, was born on September 13, 1997.
The family lived in a GMC motor home, which Rusty, a Methodist, had bought from Michael Woroniecki, an itinerant preacher whose fire-and-brimstone rhetoric had particularly captivated Andrea, who was raised as Roman Catholic. The couple followed his preaching that married couples should have as many babies as nature allowed, while Andrea took seriously Woroniecki's words that their children will perish in hellfire for the sins of their parents.
Despite having a miscarriage, she gave birth to their fourth son, Luke David, on February 15, 1999, but subsequently began to suffer from postpartum depression and psychosis. She was seen chewing her fingers on June 16, and the next day, she attempted suicide by overdosing on Trazodone, an antidepressant.
Rusty admitted her in the Methodist Hospital where she was diagnosed with a severe depressive disorder and was given prescription antidepressants. However, a month later in July 21, she made another suicide attempt with a knife, and was admitted to Memorial Spring Shadows Glen where she was given Haldol, which seemed effective on her.
After they moved into a house, her condition stabilized, but the couple stopped the medication in order to conceive despite being advised against having more kids by psychiatrist Dr. Eileen Starbranch. She gave birth to her fifth child, daughter Mary Deborah, on November 30, 2000, and remained stable until her father's death on March 12, 2001.
In the following months, she stopped feeding her youngest child Mary, almost choked the baby once giving it solid food, feverishly read the Bible, and often inflicted injury upon herself. She was hospitalized at Devereux Treatment Center in League City on March 31, under the care of Dr. Mohammed Saeed, who initially refused to prescribe Haldol, as was requested by Rusty.
She was re-hospitalized on May 4 after telling her mother-in-law that she had filled the bathtub because she "might need it", and was released 10 days later while still under suicide watch for insurance constraints. While Dr. Saeed had again discontinued Haldol after reluctantly using it for the treatment, he had instructed Rusty to supervise her around the clock and not to leave the children in her care.
At a weekend family gathering days before the killings, Andrea Yates's husband Rusty had mentioned that he wanted to leave her with the children for an hour every morning and evening to improve her independence. On June 20, 2001, he went to work asking his mother, Dora Yates, to come to their house in the suburb of Clear Lake City one hour later to care for the children.
Within a period of about an hour, Andrea drowned all her five children, while locking up their family dog so that it could not interfere with her plan. She first drowned John, followed by Paul and Luke, and laid all three in her bed, but as she drowned Mary, she was interrupted by Noah, who asked her what was wrong with the baby.

She left Mary in the tub and ran after Noah, who was soon drowned and kept in the tub as she laid Mary in John's arms in the bed. She then called the police several times asking them to send an officer without revealing the reason, and also called Rusty, asking him to immediately come home.
After the police arrived, Andrea Yates confessed to killing her five children and was arrested; however, her lawyers pleaded that she was not guilty by reason of insanity. According to the testimony of Dr. Phillip Resnick, who interviewed her in jail, she knew that killing her children was illegal, but believed that she was saving them from an eternity in hell.
In March 2002, the jury accepted the defense testimony that she was psychotic, but rejected the insanity defense based on Texas law, because she was able to discern right from wrong. The jury declined death penalty, as sought by the prosecution, and sentenced her to life imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which meant 40 years in jail before qualifying for parole.
In January 2005, it was revealed that prosecution witness Dr. Park Dietz had given false testimony about a Law & Order episode in which a woman drowned her children and was acquitted through insanity defense. In January 2006, a new trial was opened and she was found not guilty by reason of insanity in July that year, following which she was sent to the North Texas State Hospital, Vernon Campus.
Rusty, a former NASA engineer, filed for divorce from Andrea Yates in August 2004 as they no longer lived as husband and wife since the murder, and was granted divorce on March 17, 2005. He later married Laura Arnold and had a son, but his second wife filed for divorce in 2015.

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