Andrea Yates (born July 2, 1964) a former Houston, Texas resident, is known for killing her five young children on June 20, 2001 by drowning in the bathtub in her house. She had been suffering for years with very severe postpartum depression and psychosis. Her case placed the M'Naghten Rules, a legal test for sanity, under close public scrutiny in the United States. Yates's 2002 conviction of capital murder and sentence to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years was later overturned on appeal. On July 26, 2006, a Texas jury ruled Yates to be not guilty by reason of insanity. She was consequently committed by the court to the North Texas State Hospital, Vernon Campus, a high-security mental health facility in Vernon, Texas, where she received medical treatment and was a roommate of Dena Schlosser, another woman who committed filicide. In January 2007, Yates was moved to a low security state mental hospital in Kerrville, Texas.
Andrea Yates was born in Houston, Texas to Jutta Karin Koehler, a German immigrant, and Andrew Emmett Kennedy, whose parents were born in Ireland. Kennedy attended Milby High School, where she graduated as class valedictorian in 1982. She married Russell "Rusty" Yates, a computer programmer for NASA, on April 17, 1993, and the couple moved to the community of Clear Lake City, in southeast Houston.
The Yateses announced at their wedding in 1993 that they would seek to have "as many babies as nature allowed," a cornerstone of their newly shared religious beliefs, which were formed by the itinerant preacher Michael Peter Woroniecki. Woroniecki had been mentoring Russell Yates since meeting him at Auburn University in 1984, and Russell had introduced the preacher to Andrea in 1992. In 1996, after two children, Andrea Yates began showing outward signs of exhaustion, which became more obvious in 1998 after three children and one miscarriage.