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Russell and Andrea Yates Marriage Profile

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So many warning signs concerning Andrea and her marriage with Rusty were ignored before the terrible tragedy of her killing their five children.
Fast Marriage Facts - Andrea and Russell
Met: 1990.
Married: April 17, 1993.
First Marriage: Yes. Marriage Ended: March 2005 in divorce.

Did You Know?
Andrea and Rusty shared at their wedding that birth control was not an option for them.

News Updates:

1/2007: Andrea was moved to a low security state mental hospital in Kerrville, Texas.

Born:

Andrea Pia Kennedy Yates: July 2, 1964 in Houston, Texas.

Russell (Rusty) Edison Yates: September 6, 1964 and raised near Nashville.

Ages at Wedding:

Andrea and Russell were both 28 years old when they married.

How They Met:

They met at their apartment complex in Houston in 1990.

Wedding Date:

Rusty and Andrea were married on April 17, 1993. Their wedding was performed by non-denominational pastor Rev. Ronald L. Collins in Clear Lake Park, Texas in a simple ceremony. They told guests that they would not use birth control.

Honeymoon:

Andrea and Rusty honeymooned in Cancun, Mexico.

Residences:

Their first home was a $90,200 home in Friendswood, Texas, purchased by Russell in March 1993.

In October 1996 they began living in a 38-foot travel trailer until 1998 when they purchased a 350 square-foot renovated 1978 GMC bus for their home.

In the fall of 1999, they purchased a 1,620-square-foot, three bedroom house in the Clear Lake area of southeast Houston. The house was sold by Russell in May 2004.

Occupations:

Andrea, a registered nurse at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1986 - 1994. In 1994, she became a full time mother and home-schooled their children.

Rusty, engineer for NASA at the Johnson Space Center.

Previous Marriages:

None.

Children:

  • Noah Jack Yates: Born on February 26, 1994. Died on June 20, 2001.
  • John Samuel Yates: Born on December 15, 1995. Died on June 20, 2001.
  • A miscarriage in November, 1996.
  • Paul Abraham Yates: Born on September 13, 1997. Died on June 20, 2001.
  • Luke David Yates: Born on February 15, 1999. Died on June 20, 2001.
  • Mary Deborah Yates: Born on November 30, 2000. Died on June 20, 2001.

The Murder and Trial:

On June 20, 2001, Andrea drowned her five children, one by one. Andrea confessed to drowning her five children and after a three week trial, was found guilty of capital murder on March 13, 2002. She was given life in the Skyview Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice at Rusk Penitentiary in Rusk, Texas.

Charges of child endangerment and negligent homicide were never filed against Russell Yates.

Conjugal visits were strictly forbidden.

Quotes About Marriage and Family:

Andrea, talking to the jail psychiatrist: "It was the seventh deadly sin. My children weren't righteous. They stumbled because I was evil. The way I was raising them they could never be saved. They were doomed to perish in the fires of hell."
Source: Time.com

Rusty: "I can't carry her through life. That's too great a burden to bear. I need her to walk on her own. I can hold her hand, but I can't carry her."
Source: Time.com

Andrea's Suicide Attempts:

On June 17, 1999, Andrea tried to kill herself by taking an overdose of pills. She was released from the hospital on June 24, 1999 and prescribed an antidepressant. She was diagnosed with postpartum depression and psychosis. Not taking the medication, Andrea began self mutilation and had hallucinations. Although Rusty knew of her hallucinations, he didn't tell Andrea's psychiatrist.

On July 20, 1999, tried to knife herself. She was hospitalized in a catatonic state for 10 days.

When drug therapy of Haldol improved her condition, Andrea was released from the hospital. She and Rusty were warned of the dangers of her having another baby.

During March 2000, in spite of the psychiatrist's warnings, and at Rusty's urging, Andrea became pregnant again and stopped taking Haldol.

After her father's death in March 2001, Andrea regressed back to self-mutilation and she was again hospitalized.

A few months later, in May 2001, she was back in the hospital for ten days.

Description of the Yates Marriage Relationship:

Not affiliated with any church, Andrea often deferred to Russell in public. Andrea's family described Russell as selfish, controlling, demanding, unemotional, manipulative, superior, insensitive to Andrea's needs, and unwilling to help with the children. Denying the comment, he reportedly never changed a diaper.

Andrea and Russell had communication issues with each other.

They never left the kids with baby sitters.

Russell believed in a traditional marriage of a submissive wife, and that a man should be the breadwinner while the woman should be the homemaker and take care of all the housework and child care. He is described as seeing women as inferior.

Andrea home-schooled their children and reportedly had little time to herself.

Russell stated that they wanted to live a simple life and avoid social integration. Russell reportedly told Andrea that her weaknesses would be punished by God.

Warning Signs

Warning signs of Andrea's deteriorating mental condition were apparently not heeded: suicidal, underweight, uncommunicative, detached, severely depressed, overwhelmed, and acutely religious.

Time Line

6/20/2001: Murder of the five Yates children.

3/19/2002: Russell did not attend Andrea's sentencing hearing as he was in New york appearing on NBC's Today Show.

1/2003: Russell reportedly quit wearing his wedding ring.

8/2004: Russell Yates filed for divorce.

1/6/2005: The capital murder convictions of Andrea Yates were overturned.

3/2005: The divorce became final.

1/9/2006: Andrea Yates pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the drowning deaths of her five children.

2/1/2006: After setting $200,000 bond, Judge okays Andrea Yates to leave prison to spend time in a state mental hospital.

3/18/06: Russell weds Laura Arnold.

7/26/2006: Andrea Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the drowning deaths of her children. She will be committed to a state mental hospital. A judge could determine that she should be released.

7/26/06: After 3 days, the jury in the Andrea Yates trial found her not guilty by reason of insanity in the drowning deaths of her children. She will be committed to a state mental hospital. A judge could determine if she should be released in the future.

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