— In response to my remarks on her article on Russell Yates, Cathy Young says:
I’ve seen some conflicting reports on how much time Andrea Yates was spending
alone with the kids just before the murders; there was some mention of the
fact that a decision had been made to increase that time and have Russell
Yates’s mother come in somewhat later than she had been coming in previously.
One might also argue that when we’re talking about a mentally ill woman with
suicidal tendencies being alone with five children, an hour a day is an
extended period of time — extended enough, certainly, for major trouble to
happen. It would have been bad enough if Yates had slit her own throat in
the children’s presence.
She also mentions some hate-mail from fathers’ rights folks who express themselves abusively. Many in that movement are their own worst enemies. Dianna Thompson, director the ACFC, wrote a longish letter to the Boston Globe critical of Cathy’s piece, blaming Andrea’s doctor for not reporting her to child protective services as a danger to the children:
It is also important to note that the professionals to whom Russell Yates
took his wife, have a legally mandated duty to report any potential threat
to the children, to child protective services. As they did not do so, it can
only be assumed that there was no imminent danger evident. Why then,
is the media holding Russell Yates to a higher standard than that of
It’s hard to predict the behavior of crazy people in any specific way, however — that’s what it means to be crazy — but you certainly wouldn’t HIRE somebody with a full-blown psychosis to look after your children, would you? That’s the point. As bad as public school and day care are, at least they don’t routinely murder their charges.