• Are You There Alone?

  • The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates
  • By: Suzanne O'Malley
  • Narrated by: Becky Ann Baker
  • Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 05-12-04
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (108 ratings)

Regular price: $21.27

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Publisher's Summary

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 24 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.
©2004 Suzanne O'Malley (P)2004 Simon & Schuster, Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Without pathos or overwrought prose, O'Malley details Yates' serious mental illnesses, including psychotic postpartum depression and probable bipolar mood disorder....This riveting book puts a human face on a larger social issue." (USA Today)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Carel on 08-24-10

Are You There Alone? Andrea Yates Story

Very well written and easy to read (listen to). For those interested in mental health it is an interesting story of errors and blunders in judgment, diagnoses, and law.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Steve Horwitz on 09-02-09


No doubt most people have read about the Andrea Yates Story...about a young woman that killed her five children. Suzanne O'Mally wrote an excellent book on this very tragic true crime event.

I know part of the Andrea Yates tragedy had to do with the system failing to realize how sick she really was. After reading this very telling tale about Andrea, I couldn't help feeling sorry for her. I know the crime was horrible. I also feel her husband recognized the signs and did all he was able to do. This tragedy should fall not only on Andrea, but the Doctors that treated her, and the hospital's inability to recognize how dangerous she would become. Why is it always after terrible event people blame the criminal?

There were so many variables involved in this crime. Andrea does not belong in prison...She should be in a hospital setting. My feeling is one day in the not so distant future Andrea should be released after her childbearing years.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Rachel on 04-27-11

True Crime

As a true crime book it was as I would expect. Well researched and definitely heartbreaking to understand all the points that were not followed up to create this tragic story. As a book it was a bit of an essay. Meaning that it was to the point and nothing more or less. Definitely worth listening to as the story is worth the value of your time to understand. It is just not exciting.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Penny on 02-11-13

The facts and nothing but the facts

A narrative of the facts leading up to, and following on from, the heartbreaking murders committed by Andrea Yates. It is written without judgement, and with a sympathetic slant towards Andrea, and her mental illness. The strongest impression I am left with is the mostly inadequate treatment she received under the mental health professionals she attended, except for one this was a shocking litany of failure to match symptoms to treatment. There is a lot of verbatim from interviews included here which I am not sure are all that necessary to understand the facts of this case.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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