Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yates Children ~ A Biography

John Samuel Yates on Findagrave
Mary Deborah Yates on Findagrave

Birth: Dec. 15, 1995
Death: Jun. 20, 2001

On the morning of June 20, 2001 at 9:50 A.M. Police responded to an emergency call at the Yates home in a suburb of Houston called Clear Lake. Andrea Pia Yates had made the call to 911 operators and told them "I just killed my children." Earlier in the morning Andrea Yates filled a bathtub and, one by one, methodically drowned her sons: Luke, two years old; Paul, three years old; John, five years old; and one daughter, Mary, six months old. After drowning each child she then picked them up and placed them on her bed and covered them with a sheet. Seven year old Noah, the oldest of the children, walked in and saw what his mother was doing and tried to run away. Andrea Yates ran after him and wrestled him back to the bathroom and drowned him also. Mrs. Yates was born in Houston, the youngest of five children. She had a nursing degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center. She married Rusty Yates from Nashville on April 17, 1993. Their first child, Noah was born in 1994. Andrea was diagnosed with depression in 1999 and later she was diagnosed with postpartum depression which, it is claimed, led to her killing her children. Andrea Pia Yates was found guilty of capital murder on Tuesday March 12, 2002. She was sentenced to life in prison on Friday, March 15, 2002. She must serve at least 40 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. The children were remembered with a candlelight vigil outside of their home after the tragedy. A visitation was held on June 26, 2001 and a funeral was held on June 27, 2001 at Clear Lake Church of Christ in Clear Lake, Texas. The five caskets were white and arranged in a circle. Their father, Rusty Yates, talked about each child while standing at their casket, and then he kissed them goodbye. He had photographes on display showing the children at their most lively and beautiful selves. Later that day they were buried three on one side of a beautiful headstone, and two on the other side at Forest Park East Cemetery. 

(bio by: Julie Karen Hancock (Cooper) Jackson) 

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