July 1, 2001, 1:01AM
Hawaii killings eerily similar to Yateses'By MIKE TOLSON
The scene was straight out of a nightmare. A father arrives home from his government job to find his five young children dead, each drowned in a bathtub by their apparently psychotic mother and laid out on their beds.
It sounds like the killing of the Yates children in Clear Lake on June 20. However, this mass murder took place in Aiea, Hawaii, a suburb of Honolulu, almost 36 years ago.
On the morning of Nov. 22, 1965, just after her oldest son left for school, 38-year-old Maggie Young methodically drowned his four younger siblings. An hour later, she pulled her son out of school, took him home and drowned him. Then she called authorities.
According to press reports at the time, Young had been treated at a hospital for a "mental breakdown" earlier that year. Doctors who examined her after the killings decided she was acting under a "diseased and deranged condition" and was not fit for trial.
About six months after commitment to a mental hospital, Young hanged herself. The doctor treating her said she had just begun to respond to medication and realize what she had done to her children when she took her own life.
Her husband said he feels great empathy for Andrea Pia Yates, who was being treated for depression at the time of her crime.
"I feel compelled to do what I can to help this woman who is a victim of postpartum depression and the terrible feeling of inadequacy she must have felt -- the same feelings my late wife must have felt," Ed Young wrote to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin after hearing of the Clear Lake case.
The 72-year-old former Air Force officer said people should try to understand Yates instead of condemn her.
"Medical science needs to recognize this condition earlier and help the mother before it develops into paranoid schizophrenia, as it did in the case of Maggie," Young wrote.
Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle