- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 14, 2002

Cody Kreulen says he believes Andrea Yates "got what she deserved" when a Texas jury found her guilty of murdering her five children.
"It's convenient to claim insanity when you commit murder," Mr. Kreulen, the bartender at Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar in Little Rock, Ark., said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Mr. Kreulen, father of a 2-year-old girl, said customers who discussed Tuesday's verdict with him shared his view, saying they are pleased the sentencing options are limited to death and life in prison.
But Kathleen Saddler, who owns Marie's Beauty Salon in Normal, Ill., said she was disappointed.
"The verdict is wrong, plain and simple," Miss Saddler said. "She's mentally ill, and she needs help. The verdict doesn't do anyone any good."
A spot-check of beauty salons, coffee shops, and other mom-and-pop businesses around the country, conducted yesterday by The Washington Times, found Americans pretty much evenly divided on the Yates verdict.
The producer of an early-morning radio talk show in New York, whose host devoted half of the four hours he was on the air to taking calls about the Yates verdict, described the same mixed reactions.
"Everyone was fired up about it. The lines were always full. But there was no consensus," said Sean Cherry, producer of Ed Walsh's morning talk show on New York's WOR-AM.
"Some callers said, 'Hang her high.' Others had a completely different opinion," saying the jury should have recognized and taken into account Yates' mental illness rather than convicting her, Mr. Cherry said.
"One lawyer said he couldn't believe she was even indicted," he said. "Callers were pretty much split down the middle."
Rosa Carter, a mother of three and pharmacy manager of Charlie's Pharmacy in Mullens, W.Va., hailed the jury's decision. "I think it was right," she said yesterday in a telephone interview.
"She may need help … but no matter how crazy, far gone or depressed she is, I don't understand how she could sit there and kill five kids," Mrs. Carter said.
Susan Dorris, of Donnelly, Idaho, disagreed.
Yates "sounded like she's not very sane," said Miss Dorris, who owns the Flight of Fancy coffee shop. "She knew exactly what she was doing, and according to her biblical interpretation, she thought she was doing the right thing. She should get help, not [be] put in jail."
Miss Dorris said she believes the Texas state law should be changed so the same thing doesn't happen in the future, and that people should become more educated on postpartum depression.
"This verdict obviously shows us that we don't look at postpartum depression the same way they do in Europe, and that's very sad," Miss Dorris said.
Delores Rodriguez, who owns Delores' Salon in Mineral Wells, Texas, also disagrees with the guilty verdict.
"Mrs. Yates believed that she was doing the right thing by killing her children," Mrs. Rodriguez said. "She believed that she was saving them from Satan. That thinking alone shows you that she is not well. She needs to be in a place where she can get help."
Amy McPhail, an officer manager at Hulett's Fine Furniture Store in Hattiesburg, Miss., expressed no sympathy for Yates.
"She drowned her five children, and she even had to hold down her oldest son under the water. She has done something wrong and she needs to be punished for it," Miss McPhail said.


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