Biological Criminal Behavior
People commit crimes for a series of reasons and causes. Some of the most common reasons for someone to commit a crime is biological reasons, psychological reasons, or even just making a rational choice to commit a crime. When someone commits a crime for a biologic reason they are believed to have committed the crime due a genetic condition passed down from a parent. It is also believed that they may a potential physiological disorder that is influencing the act of crime. Psychological causes to crime are believed to have been influenced by the way a person thinks and whether they are they had a pre-existing mental sickness before the crime was committed. Finally, some people are believed to have premeditate their crime. They have the tendency to make rational choices and rationally choose to commit the crime that they are going to commit.
When you study different kinds of cases you have the tendency to see a variety of different causes of crime. A popular case was the case of Andre Pia Kennedy Yates. This case took place in Texas and focused around a woman who admitted to drowning all five of her children in their family home’s bathtub in 2001. Before this crime was committed, Andrea Yates had been suffering from mental disorders. She was in the process of going untreated for a case of postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis as well as being extremely religious. In fact, at the beginning of her case she, herself was not able to come to conclusions on why she killed her children. After she had recollection on why she killed her children she had started to spout off that she killed her children since she did not want their souls to be damned because she was a bad mother. She was originally found guilty in 2002 for her children John, Mary, and Noah, but was not charged for Luke and John, and sentenced to life with possibility of parole after serving 40 years. However, Andrea Yate’s conviction was overturned in July of 2006 due to reason insanity and she was sent to a high security mental health hospital.
During the case of Andrea Pia Kennedy Yates, there were ample signs that she was suffering from mental health disorders. The first sign that she was suffering from a mental health disorder was the disconnect that she had between her and the fact that she killed her children at first. This shows that shew as living in a surreal moment. The next piece of evidence is shown with her confession. She made no attempt to hide what she did. After her act, she immediately called emergency services. This shows that she was not hiding what she did because she did not necessarily believe what she did was wrong. When someone believes they have done something they wrong they have the tendency to try to cover their crime. They want to conceal it and keep themselves from having to face any consequences for the actions that were carried out. The fact that Andrea took no steps to conceal her crime shows that she did not think what she was doing was wrong which clearly shows that she was in a psychotic state. In addition to the initial signs that Andrea Yates was suffering from a mental disorder there were later signs that she was suffering from a psychological disorder.
Andrea Yates displayed signs of psychological distress after she was in custody as well. The first sign of distress would be her reasoning behind the murder of her children. She reasoned that there was a prophecy and she was damning her children by being such a terrible mother that the only way that she could potential save all their souls would be by drowning them. The next sign of psychological issues was when she was talking to her psychiatrist and was convinced that she had the markings of ‘666’ on her head and wanted them to check on it. When they did finally check on the spot they didn’t find any markings of ‘666’ but a wound from her insistent picking at the spot that she was convinced the mark was.
Andrea Yates’ mental conditions formed long before the birth of her last child. During her teen years she suffered from and eating disorder and exhibited early signs of depression and suicide. Her depression came back after she met her husband, Russell Yates, and they had their 5th child, Luke. Her depression was so severe that she tried to take her own life and was admitted into a mental health facility. After her release, she was shortly hospitalized again due to threatening to take her own life. She continued to go through a couple more hospitalizations due to suicide attempts. Eventually she suffered a psychotic break where she became obsessed with the bible and began harming herself and had to be immediately hospitalized. These were all distress signals on the psychological distress that Andrea Yates was experiencing before killing her children.
Yates was already suffering from serious mental conditions so she could not be held accountable for her actions completely. She was in and out of the mental hospital suffering from serious bouts of suicidal attempt and depression. She was even advised by doctors at some point that having more children would only send her deeper in psychological distress. Before the murders were committed, Andrea Yates’ doctor advised her husband that she should not be left alone with the children. The doctors believed that Andrea’s mental state was a potential risk to the children’s safety. When Andrea Yates committed the murder, when she was left alone with the children for one hour in between the time that her husband, Russell, left and the time that her mother in law, Dora Yates, was supposed to arrive at the home to take care of the children.
There are a lot of different people that have committed crimes due to different criminal behaviors whether it be biological, psychological, or by a mere rational choice. In the case of Andrea Pia Kennedy Yates, she committed her crime due to the preexisting psychological distress that she was under. Before the murders of her children the members of her family were advised that she should not have any more children. They were also warned that she should not be left alone with her children, for their safety. These concerns were not met and in the end it resulted in the lives of the children of Andrea Kennedy Pia Yates and Russell Yates.