Are You There Alone?: The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates

Are You There Alone?: The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates

by Suzanne O'Malley
4.2 38

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Overview

Are You There Alone?: The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates by Suzanne O'Malley

In the tradition of In Cold Blood, The Executioner's Song, and A Civil Action, Suzanne O'Malley exposes the human mystery of the most horrifying crime in recent history and the legal drama surrounding it.
As a journalist, Suzanne O'Malley began covering the murders of Noah, John, Paul, Luke, and Mary Yates hours after their mother, Andrea Yates, drowned them in their suburban Houston home in June 2001. Over twenty-four months, O'Malley interviewed or witnessed the sworn testimony of more than a hundred participants in this drama, including Yates herself; her husband, Rusty Yates; their families; attorneys; the personnel of the Harris County district attorney's and sheriff's offices; medical staff; friends; acquaintances; and expert witnesses.
O'Malley argues persuasively that under less extraordinary circumstances, a mentally ill woman would have been quietly offered a plea bargain and sent to an institution under court supervision. But on March 12, 2002, Andrea Yates was found guilty of the murders of three of her five children. She is currently serving a life sentence and will not be eligible for parole until 2041.
O'Malley's exclusive personal communications with Andrea Yates and her interviews with Rusty Yates allow her to offer fully realized portrayals of people at the center of this horrifying case.
In "Are You There Alone?" O'Malley makes a critical contribution to our understanding of mental health issues within the criminal justice system.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743266178
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 02/02/2004
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 256,306
File size: 388 KB

About the Author

Suzanne O'Malley's investigative reports on the Yates trial appeared in the New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; and on Dateline NBC. She has written for the New York Times Book Review, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, Salon.com, and Texas Monthly, and has been a producer and consultant for NBC and MSNBC. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in New York City and Houston. Visit www.suzanneomalley.com.

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Are You There Alone?: The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The sheer amount of detailed material Ms. O'Malley amassed is staggering enough. Add in her correlations, cross references, interlaced quotes and internal dialogs melded with incisive personality sketches and tied together with interviews and correspondence from scores of the leading and supporting actors involved in this tragedy and the result is truly amazing. She quotes chapter and verse, but never preaches. She examines questions of integrity, conscience and ethics, but never moralizes. She gives us the material to come to the same logical conclusions she has drawn - but never makes them for us. Ms O'Malley has painted horrific detail with humanity and compassion and managed to make us think deeply about such lightweight topics as mental health, the legal system, health care, mental medication, childcare, religion, family relationships and societal responsibilities while staying off the soapbox, eschewing histrionics and maintaining our interest- quite a feat.
OneReadingMomma More than 1 year ago
You learn a lot about the family dynamics that contributed to creating the perfect psychological storm for this tragedy to occur. What a shame this happened... As far as how the book is written, it flowed very nicely and provided a lot of detail. Reading the parts about the actual crime is disturbing to say the least. I know Ms. Yates has to be haunted by those memories every day...
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Andrea Yates's murders of her five children and the subsequent trial are graphically described by Suzanne O¿Malley, a reporter who followed the case for TV and magazines. Not fascinating in any sense as Ms. O¿Malley does not hold back in her details and her interviews. Most readers will struggle to get past the explicit details of a mother drowning her children. However, what makes this true crime story that sounds more like a horror novel remain above the sensationalism is that the author makes the key players seem real and human. Andrea Yates does not come across as a maniacal psychopathic monster, but instead someone suffering from mental illness, court ruling on competence aside. Not easy to read due to the horror of the crimes, Ms. O'Malley makes the case as stated by a neurologist that Ms. Yates ¿fit the definition of legal insanity-even in Texas.' This strong look at the psychological issues of mental illness that makes justice so difficult to insure provides more than a ghastly look at perhaps the most hideous personal crime of the decade.

Harriet Klausner

Dreamz2weave More than 1 year ago
My heart breaks for Andrea Yates and what undoubtedly is her hell on earth. So many influences that helped to create this horrific tragedy. I felt anger at some of the people closest to her to outrage at our health care system, which in turn is bound by the insurance/pharmaceutical giants; to a judicial system that got it all wrong! If ever there was a case that screamed mental illness, it's this one. I cried for her poor babies, but not once have I felt she should be held accountable. I truly hope with the proper medication she will eventually find some kind of peace of mind knowing it was her illness that forced her hand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading this wonderfully written book, the one question that crossed my mind time after time was why this woman went to prison to begin with. This book drew me in from the moment that I started to read it, and could not put it down until I finished it. I read lots of Biographies and this one was particularily good since it was a recent court case. You will enjoy this book and come to understand what mental illness is about when you are finished reading this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did not put that book down, except to sleep. As so many others, I was also so upset when I heard the story years ago. News articles, and clips at the ten o'clock news will not give you an idea of life with the Yates. This book will help you understand that everything is just not black and white. Suzanne was a trusted friend while writing this book, and I feel she maintained honor for all parties involved. The book was a page turner when I picked it up 24 hours ago. I was sad to see her book end. Great writing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Suzanne O'Malley's reportage is stunning for its depth, its persistence, and its compassion. 'Are You There Alone' comes remarkably close to explaining the forces that resulted in an all-but-inexplicable crime. It's a spellbinding read.' --John Berendt Author, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you noticed how it is that when you mention the name Andrea Yates'people's jaws go slack? Wait til you read this book. It is SO good. Not sensationalized at all as it doesn't have to be. The facts are sensational enough. The author, Suzanne O'Malley, has used interviews with Yates by various psychiatrists,interviews with her husband, mother and dozens of others as well as the court transcripts and letters from Andrea Yates herself to the author to tell the story. Apparently, O'Malley is the only reporter to have carried on a correspondence with Yates from her cell in prison. (Would love to read the entire letters and not just the exerpts in the book - wow!) What I like, is that the writer does not intrude on the subject - it tells itself seemingly effortlessly. Just every now and then, like one of the classic tragedies - which surely this is - she will very subtly point out something that is so ironic or just plain stupid that you have to laugh out loud. Thank goodness! Anyway, It's terrific. Read it. You won't be sorry. Truth is, after all, stranger than fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish this book had been longer and gone more in-depth about Andrea Yates's life and the lives of her children and husband. While, of course very interesting and compelling, I think this book could have been more thoroughly researched,ie. Ann Rule, M. William Phelps.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really changed my thoughts on Andrea Yates and how horribly wrong things can gonwhen someone is not given the treatment they need. Very disturbing to learn how incompetent some doctors really are!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was a bit boring to me. It did make obvious, however, the severe mental disease Andrea Yates suffers/ suffered.
Abigail22 More than 1 year ago
Susanne O'Malley At her best. I am one of the many americans who followed this story to the bitter end before the actual sentencing of Andrea Yates. If this book does not give you true insight to this debilitating disease nothing will. I am a mother myself and can or could not even fathom carrying out such a crime against my own children...With all of the warning flags early on, there had to be nothing but truly poor communication with health professionals and other's involved. This is one heartbreaking story however extremely informative and hopefully will shed more light on this disease at it's extreme and this kind of situation can be avoided for other mother's to be.
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