Yates Verdict Triggers 'Sigh of Relief'

Who will ever understand the terrible crime of Andrea Yates? Today a sigh of relief went through me — an odd reaction, perhaps —- when I heard the jury reach their verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

I know that many people were outraged at the verdict. Many believe that Yates knew full well what she was doing that morning when she drowned — one by one — each of her five beautiful children. I will never forget the sight of watching the police take her away. She was still wet, from the heinous crimes she committed.

Still, I have never felt anything other than sadness and pity for her. I can hardly imagine that horrible scene and the confusion that must have wracked those sweet little children. It is an unimaginable crime, one that has gripped us — in some part of our minds — since the day it happened five years ago. That is why every time her name or face resurfaced, we stopped and looked. How could she? The poor things.

In reading about her crimes and the terrible shape she was in leading up to them, I've always felt that she did not know what she was doing. She said she was "saving" her children. Sending them to a better place. I think she believed that. I think she was terribly distraught and I believe her husband and family knew that she should not be alone. Her mother-in-law was on her way that morning for just that reason.

She should spend the rest of her life in psychiatric care. And there was ex-husband Rusty again today. Instantly appearing in front of the cameras just as he did in shockingly timely fashion after the murders.

As a mother of three, I can never figure out how he could even stand or speak that day. I would be unable to breathe, much less talk to the press. Today he said he wanted to congratulate Andrea on the verdict. He said he hoped that she might have some kind of a normal life now. He said they liked to get together and reminisce about their children. He said no one knew them the way they did. I cannot imagine what this man and family have endured. The jury has judged Andrea, I will leave it to psychologists to judge Rusty.

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Martha MacCallum currently serves as the co-anchor of "America's Newsroom" alongside Bill Hemmer (Weekdays 9-11AM/ET). She joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in January 2004. Click here for more information on Martha MacCallum