January is so last month, so let's finish my one thousandth post celebration by going to #1 on the top of the pops chart. I don't know why this post is my most popular ever. Maybe because people Google the name Rusty "I Am An Asshole" Yates, and sometimes my opinion of him pops up. I never thought this bit of writing that I churned out rather quickly would spread far and wide, but it continues to draw comments, most of them anonymous and unpublished by me.
Originally published on August, 8th, 2011, here is RUSTY YATES: I DETEST YOU after 6,925 page views:
On June 20, 2001, I turned on the television news and saw an average-looking man walking quickly but calmly toward a house. As I recall, he stopped briefly to speak to reporters.
What was going on?
The man's name was Rusty Yates. His wife, Andrea, had just drowned their five children and then called the police to report her crime. The Yates had been married for eight years.
Yes, five children born in eight years.
Are you there alone? the 911 operator asked Andrea. Oh, yes, she was there alone.
Andrea Yates was taken away by the police, her hair still wet from holding the children down in the bathtub she used to drown them.
Andrea went on trial and was found guilty. Poor Rusty. He had no idea she was dangerous.
But the truth will out. Andrea suffered from post-partum depression. The Yates had been warned they should not have more children. But their religious beliefs stated otherwise. They should have as many children as nature would allow them to have. So Rusty convinced Andrea to go off her psychiatric medication and become pregnant with her final child, Mary. Four boys and a girl.
Another part of their religious beliefs was giving away most of their possessions and living in a small trailer for a time, before baby Mary was born. Andrea's family eventually pressured Rusty into buying a house for his wife and children.
Ignoring this warning, Rusty decided that Andrea should be alone with the children every morning for an hour after he left for work and for an hour every evening. It was good for her, he decided. She shouldn't become dependent on other people to take care of her children.
Andrea was tried, found guilty, and then eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity. She left prison for a mental hospital. With the relative stability of life in prison and the hospital, doctors realized she suffered from severe post-partum psychosis.
But why didn't Rusty go to prison for child endangerment? Why didn't Rusty go to prison as an accomplice to murder? He knew. The man knew his wife was desperately ill, but it would be good for her to be alone with the children. It would be good for her.
Four years later Rusty divorced the wife he had failed to protect, just as he had failed to protect his children from a severely ill mother.
Rusty has a new wife. They have a son.