Psychological and Biological Interpretations for Filicide .
The objective of this paper is to summarize the articles "Mom Held in Killing 5 Kids," "5 Kids Found in Clear Lake," and "Not Without Precedent," summarize the author's conclusions and arguments, discuss personal persuasion or lack of persuasion concerning the author's arguments, and lastly to interpret the articles and arguments from that of a psychologist and biologist's point of view concerning the deviant act of filicide.
In 1999, Andrea Pia Yates was charged with the deaths of her five children. She drowned them at home in the bathtub. She openly admitted, "She (I) had killed her (my) kids"(Glenn, Rendon, & Bernstein, 2001:1). Later she was accused of capitol murder-multiple accounts and if the court finds her guilty she could possibly receive the death penalty. Yates" husband, Russell E. Yates told police that she had been treated for postpartum depression for the last two years. He also told police that he would frequently have to "check on her well-being"(Glenn, Rendon, & Bernstein, 2001:2). Previously to this incident, Yates had tried to take her own life.
The authors conclude their articles by exaggerating the disbelief that Yates had committed this crime, yet contrary to the way the media sensationalizes our news, multiple instances of filicide throughout the country were also listed. By detailing numerous other cases similar to that of the Yates scenario, the media made the public aware that filicide is not a new type of deviance and that there may be legitimate explanations for its cause, because of the deviant's state of mind at that time being.
Persuasion by the author's arguments came from the realization that this was not the first instance of filicide. The enlightenment of this fact caused new light to shed upon the Yates" case. Previously, when hearing about this incident on the news and reading about it in the paper an assumption had been made that this was a new type of deviance.