Andrea Yates Docudrama Essay example

Submitted By RachelBrianna
Words: 3392
Pages: 14

Rachel Brianna Cumberland
Lexi Scamehorn
Docu Drama: The Andrea Yates Story My docudrama would be on a woman from Texas named Andrea Yates, who one day drowned her five children, one by one, in the bathtub. She suffered severe postpartum depression after delivering each of her children, but she and her husband felt that it was their mission from God to have as many children as possible. She was found not guilty, on reason of insanity. All of her children died on June 20, 2001. This is a fascinating and horrifying story that made large headlines when it was released. I would like to recall to the audiences mind the tragic events, and focus on her mental instability. When she was tried, she pleaded not guilty, by way of insanity. Her case was appealed three times, as juries constantly went back and forth on whether or not she deserved to be acquitted. I would like most of the show to be testimonies from people who knew Andrea and her husband Rusty, and from the multiple doctors who tested her sanity. Andrea would be a character in the drama, but never saying any lines of her own, only standing center stage as recordings of her confessions in interviews play in the background. It would be a rather dramatized piece. I want the opening to be the recorded phone calls, from when she called the police and confessed to the murders, and immediately after called her husband, saying only that “it was time”. Towards the end of the show, after it is shown that she has been acquitted, released, and divorced from her husband, the people come back who knew them. Earlier in the show, they would be purely shocked, saying that she was the last person that you would ever suspect, and by the end, saying “I always knew she was trouble”.
Starting Point Article:
Texas mother drowns children: Andrea Yates and "family values"
By David Walsh
2 July 2001

The tragic and shocking case of five young children in a Houston, Texas suburb drowned by their mother, Andrea Yates, has grabbed the attention of millions of people.

While other facts will no doubt emerge, those that have already come to light paint a disturbing picture of a certain kind of American life and mentality.

Until the terrible events of June 20, Russell and Andrea Yates and their five children were the kind of family that a Ronald Reagan might have pointed to as a model for America, or that might have been paraded on the platform at a Republican national convention: responsible, professional father; “stay-at-home mom” and home-school teacher; well-scrubbed, neatly dressed, smiling children—a tribute to “traditional family values,” as envisioned by the Christian right.

According to a statement she gave police, Yates drowned her children one after the other in the family’s bathtub. She told the authorities that she had first drowned the younger sons—John, 5, Paul, 3, Luke 2. While she was attempting to do the same to her six-month-old daughter, seven-year-old Noah walked in and asked, “What’s wrong with Mary?”
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Yates confessed to chasing Noah through the house and dragging him back to the bathroom. When police arrived, Yates reportedly told them, “I just killed my kids.” The bodies of the four youngest were found still wet under a sheet on a bed. Noah was found in the bathtub.

To drown, in this methodical and implacable manner, five of one’s own children is a horrifying act, inconceivable under normal and even most abnormal circumstances. With one exception, these were not infants. The physical strength alone required, much less the emotional desperation, suggests a state something akin to “possession.” This was clearly a woman plunged into the deepest despair and madness.

Yates, 36 (she turns 37 on July 2), is currently being held in the Harris County Jail, under suicide watch, on capital murder charges. Prosecutors have not yet indicated