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Andrea Yates, ten years later

It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since Andrea Yates drowned her children in their bathtub. I’ve blogged about her many times since first posting about her trial and conviction, which was later overturned on the grounds that an expert witness for the prosecution, Dr. Park Dietz, gave false testimony at her trial; he claimed that she had watched an episode of “Law and Order” in which a woman murdered her children and was acquitted after using a defense of postpartum psychosis when in fact no such episode ever existed. She was eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity in 2006. I said at the time that justice has finally been served, and I believe that to this day.

I’m glad there are more resources now for mothers who are suffering from postpartum depression. I’m glad that Andrea Yates is doing better, and I hope some day she’ll find peace and healing. I wish the legal system, and society in general, had evolved further in its understanding of these issues. And I hope there’s never another case like this one to test that understanding.

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2 Comments

  1. Ron in Houston says:

    I put a lot of blame on Chuck Rosenthal for the legal debacle. I agree with you that finding her not guilty by reason of insanity is a very just result.

  2. Billy says:

    I’m glad this comment page has been opened up again on the subject of Andrea Yates and Dr. Park Dietz. In 2006, I provided a comment about this topic and another individual named Pat asked me some questions on that same comment page, but I was unable to find this website again until recently. That page has since then been closed for comments, but I would like to take this opportunity to answer Pat’s questions herein.

    My 2006 comment read:

    [The attorney Geoffrey Feiger did a good job in exposing Park Dietz for the kind of scoundrel he is when he cross-examined him on the witness stand in the Jenny Jones wrongful death trial back in the 1990s. The proof on the table that Park Dietz is a professional liar and a sham artist is the fact that Geoffrey Fieger ended up winning the 25 million dollar lawsuit against The Jenny Jones show. (Park Dietz testified as Jenny Jones’ expert witness in her defense and Geoffrey Fieger exposed him for the fraud he is.) If anyone has followed Dr. Dietz’s career as closely as I have, they’ll feel that he should not be licensed to practice psychiatry anywhere in the United States or the world. The main reason that he has gotten away with so much is that he’s got this creep lawyer named Roger Adelman who shields him from all legal harm’s way. To tell you just what kind of sleeze Roger Adelman is, I found out that he was one of the attorneys who Ken Starr hired to go on a witch hunt against the Clintons in the Whitewater investigation back in the 1990s. I would endorse a class action suit against the Threat Assessment Group that Park Dietz owns and operates in California, because that organization is another sham of Park Dietz’s that has ruined the lives of decent people since its creation. The man is pure evil and has no place in our criminal justice system.]

    Pat’s 2006 comment read:

    [I wonder how the Yates’ scandal affected Dietz’s expert witness career since. Did it?

    Bill, can you tell more about TAG’s operation in CA, and how it ‘ruined the lives of decent poeple’ since its creation? I am not familiar with it. Thanks!]

    Pat? I hope you’ll read this comment and that you still visit this website periodically. I’m sorry it took me 7 years to respond back to your comment, but here are the answers to your questions. The Yates’ scandal put a very big dent in Dr. Dietz’s expert witness career, fortunately. Nancy Grace used to be one of his biggest fans before this scandal broke in 2006. Lisa Bloom appeared on her show and convinced her that Dr. Park Dietz could never be trusted again to provide expert testimony and should never have been trusted in the first place. Although Nancy Grace was reluctant at first to dismiss Dr. Dietz as a liar and a master manipulator, by the end of that one show of hers, Lisa Bloom had her agreeing that nobody should ever trust Dr. Dietz again. Since then, a lot of TV shows on cable news channels like CNN, Fox News, Tru TV (formerly Court TV), and Headline News have stopped inviting him onto their programs for interviews. Maybe, he’s not living in the poor house right now, but he’s no longer the big shot in the media that he used to be. And to think that at one time, there were publicists and journalists trying to make him into an icon of American pop culture as though he was the next Elvis Presley of the mental health profession. Thank God he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar back in 2006 when the Andrea Yates’ scandal broke.

    Pat? I’m glad that you asked me about the Threat Assessment Group (TAG). This organization is still running, but it needs to be shut down. The best way to describe it is as a KANGAROO COURT. This organization presents itself to the public as a group of psychiatric analysts who evaluate an employee’s mental and psychological fitness to remain on staff whenever an employer believes that this employee may be a violent threat to the safety of his or her office. However, what I have found out is that this organization will actually say anything about an employee that an employer pays them to say. If an employer doesn’t like the way an employee parts his hair and wants him gone, without going through the risk of a wrongful termination lawsuit, TAG will pretty much make up whatever an employer pays them to make up about this employee and never check the accuracy of any allegations that have been made against an employee. Even news reporters for tabloid rags have more scruples than Dr. Dietz and these TAG people do.

    I know this for a fact, because I knew a specific case in which Dr. Park Dietz in his role through TAG had recommended that an employee be terminated from his job position under the false pretense that this employee was a violent threat to his co-workers, when fact had it that this employee had never even as so much held a gun in his hand. I will not say this employee’s name to protect his identity, but I will describe what Dr. Dietz did to him. There were other co-workers who were envious of this employee and made up lies about him in an effort to get him fired and the supervisor was extremely abusive with this employee also. I guess as there are gang rapes, there are people who get overpowered by unfair supervisors and envious co-workers. In any event, it does not make them any less victims of this unethical practice. Dr. Dietz did not interview any of this employee’s co-workers to authenticate any of the false allegations against this employee. He did not even interview the employee in question and the employee in question did not even know that Dr. Dietz was involved in his employer’s decision to fire him until a couple years later. Dr. Dietz just simply did what the employer paid him to do. LIE!!!!!!! Since then, this employee has gone through horrible economic times, thanks to Dr. Dietz.

    Dr. Dietz has never been made to pay for his unethical and abusive psychiatric practices that I know other than that most of the media has shunned him from their circles. However, the man is so rich that he has managed to survive just like Dr. James Grigson has done so despite his expulsion from the American Psychiatric Association. Now I have recently read in the newspaper that public schools are designing threat assessment teams after TAG, and they are also kangaroo courts. Recently in my area where I live, a 9-year old boy was expelled from school simply for making an innocent remark about doing whatever he had to do to keep a little girl he didn’t like from kissing him. We all remember what it was like to be a little kid. Unfortunately, this little boy was expelled until the threat assessment team could decide whether or not this boy was a threat to others at his school. Funny how real bullies always seem to slip by this so-called perfect system.

    Dr. Dietz has ruined the lives of decent people like the one I described above. Nearly half of our nation is on welfare, and I could bet you that many of the people who are receiving public assistance right now are individuals whose lives and futures have been ruined by Dr. Dietz. What can I say? The man is an abomination to all humanity and he needs to be locked up in a maximum security prison so that he may not do any more harm to any more people. His psychiatric practices mirror those of Nazi war criminals who practiced psychiatry in Germany under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. I even once caught wind about this one man serving a life sentence in Massachusetts for a murder he didn’t commit, because Dr. Dietz fabricated false information about him on the witness stand after threatening this poor man that he would do so if he didn’t cooperate with him in his interview with him. What is so interesting about this story is that Dr. Dietz’s regular M.O. in sabotaging decent people’s lives is that he goes behind their back whenever doing a so-called psychiatric assessment on someone as he did to that one above aforementioned individual whose career and future he ruined. Then again, his kind are usually creative in their transgressions.

    Anyhow, Pat, I hope I answered your questions thoroughly.

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