Psycho Mom

Lisa Diaz had to save her "precious babies" from an evil world. She drowned them.

"I'm not sure I've ever been in the presence of someone whose pain was so palpable," Marshall says.

A stylish woman with close-cropped blond hair, Marshall spent five years in the late '70s as chief psychologist at Terrell State Hospital, where she was asked to testify in criminal trials. She now has a private practice in North Dallas. Of the four psychologists and psychiatrists who testified in Lisa's trial, Marshall's testimony lasted the longest.

In addition to reviewing the tapes and interviewing family members, Marshall spent about 20 hours talking to Lisa. "Andrea Yates would become immobile and non-functioning," Marshall says. "Lisa was quietly psychotic. She had a delusional disorder that is very unusual."

Lisa and Angel Diaz and their children, Briana (left) and Kamryn, seemed like a happy family. But Lisa was descending into a world of irrational fears and imagined illness.
Lisa and Angel Diaz and their children, Briana (left) and Kamryn, seemed like a happy family. But Lisa was descending into a world of irrational fears and imagined illness.
Top: Briana, Kamryn and their father, Angel Diaz, in family snapshots taken about two years before the girls died. Briana is the older girl. Bottom: Lisa Diaz breaks down while describing how she drowned her daughters. Her videotaped account was played for the jury in her capital murder trial.
Top: Briana, Kamryn and their father, Angel Diaz, in family snapshots taken about two years before the girls died. Briana is the older girl. Bottom: Lisa Diaz breaks down while describing how she drowned her daughters. Her videotaped account was played for the jury in her capital murder trial.

In all her years of practice, Marshall says, Lisa is the only patient she encountered who had no one she called mother. "It tells me about the absence of stability and predictability and healthy attachments in her life," Marshall says.

Contrary to her mother's rosy account, Lisa's childhood was a nightmare of abandonment and extreme emotional deprivation, Marshall testified. At her great-aunt's home, Michelle and Lisa slept on the floor. When she was 4, Lisa claimed, her great-aunt tried to smother her with a pillow. From then until she was 10 years old, Lisa often wet her bed and as punishment was sent to school in urine-soaked clothes.

When her mother came back into Lisa's life, she seemed like a stranger. "Lisa was very hopeful that her mother is coming to rescue her and Michelle," Marshall says, "but come to find out, it's at least as bad." Marshall would testify that Rosemary Cano was high-strung and demanding. The girls often went without food or clothes.

"The mother gets involved in drugs, leaving them in the car while she's in the clubs," Marshall says. "The girls are pretty much left to their own devices." Cano later spent time in prison on a drug charge.

Never part of her life, Lisa's father also did prison time. Showing up when she was 13, Lisa's father took his daughter for visitation, got drunk and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Marshall says that when Lisa talked about her father, "she was very sad, very frightened and very anxious, as if it said something bad about her." A bizarre visit by her father to the jail after Lisa's arrest, in fact, triggered a suicidal episode.

During her abusive first marriage, Marshall says, Lisa began to manifest depression, anxiety and a preoccupation with physical problems.

"When people are confused and have feelings they can't make sense of, they look for an anchor somewhere to explain it," Marshall says. "She has been abandoned so many times I imagine she has had this kind of depression all her life. When people begin to be delusional, they focus on some false belief. That becomes the glue that holds them together."

Though things improved when she married Angel, Lisa still faced the ordinary pressures of life: marital conflict, child-rearing problems and illness. Lisa fixated on the physical to explain her misery.

"There's the hope if it's something physical, it can be fixed," Marshall says. "Of course, the flu shot had nothing to do with it. It simply coincided with a time she was feeling bad. As she became more and more depressed, which is partly a biological process, she became more and more focused on it being a physical problem until she developed a full-blown delusional disorder."

In the week before Lisa killed, Marshall says, she started drinking her own urine, a bizarre remedy she read about on the Internet.

"The things she does over time are more and more unusual and psychotic," Marshall says. "Then we're into omens and voices in her head telling her, 'You have to die.'" When Marshall asked Lisa who or what the voices were, she replied: "It was like the voice of doom."


After Laney's acquittal, Udashen sought advice from the Tyler woman's attorney. "They had a videotape that Dr. [Phillip] Resnick had made of Laney," Udashen says. "He convinced me that if I had that, to use it." The tapes would give Lisa a way to testify without going on the witness stand and would allow the jury to see her state of mind.

During Lisa's trial, Udashen played excerpts from each tape. At first Lisa is coherent, but she disintegrates in tapes seven and eight as the questions focus on the day she killed her children.

After driving Briana to kindergarten and buying a new hairbrush to replace the one she'd tossed, Lisa took Misty to school. When her daughter pointed out two crows on the lawn, Lisa took them as an omen that she and the girls must die that day.

At home, Lisa straightened up the house. Voices in her head said, "This is the day you have to do it. Today's the day you have to die." The family dog wouldn't come to her. Another sign.

But Lisa didn't make the final decision until she talked to Angel on the phone that afternoon. He told her about a child who could talk to family members killed in a car accident. To Lisa, that was the final signal.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
19 comments
dyhernandez86
dyhernandez86

Ahhh and the people pleading insanity... you should die not b set free!!!! People NEVER follow through with completing thier treatments!

dyhernandez86
dyhernandez86

My heart goes out to the kids!!!! I don't understand why we continue to let these sick people back in this world. If you mess up once for murder or drugs or any horrific crime you should be put to death. Our world be a better place without physhcos. We r wasting our time and money on people that will never change. Why sentenced them to llife when they ruin lives we r better off executing them n b done with it. Think of all the kids that would b still here today if it weren't for these pedophiles/ sex offenders, bad parenting, people who blame drugs for their crime( to scared to take on full responsibility for their actions), murderers, drug cartels/ wars, prostitution, etc. WHEN WILL THIS STOP? WHEN WE ALL KILL EACH OTHER????

kavitag
kavitag

imagine being called schizo for trying to wash off the wool from over your pathetic eyes, guest.

kavitag
kavitag

i guess you must be from pune, india and are in the habit of protecting perverted doctors, huh - guest coward? you know real schizophrenics can kill, dismember and still plead insanity - hehehe - look over your shoulder the next time you make a comment like that to someone who may be really insane - hehehe

kavita gunaji
kavita gunaji

I have a feeling that this woman Lisa got caught between the mexican and chinese drug cartel. She was made to think she was crazy and she was drugged often. They can use twitter and remote technology such as a Wifi hot spot to create a boundary layer around you and have you fitted with a hearing device that may not appear to an ENT looking down your ear (see-through technology - no visible wiring) or even use your whole body or part of it as the receiver - transmitter. others will not hear what you hear and you will be made to be the crazy one. continuous drug ingestion without the person actually knowing they are on drugs can cause homicidal results. the fact that the 'bastard' doctor rubbed her in an inappropriate fashion shows that sometimes perverts are used to make a person feel uncomfortable and then if you tell someone they say you are lying and have a habit of telling lies to get attention. believe you me, i was a victim of such advances and cruel treatment. there was only one doctor who kept apologizing by seeing my level of discomfort when he touched me during my pap exam. he kept explaining what he was doing and i think he was a good doctor. there have been others who were not so nice.

kavita gunaji
kavita gunaji

This is in relation to the murders by Andrea Yates: Although I do believe people suffer from mental illness and that this was a low statistic in our population more than two decades ago, there is the likelihood that this statistic is now on the rise because of signal technology, online (internet), ease of insertion of online materials such as a minute silicon chip into the human body where it can be manipulated with ease by anyone who can dial in. This is with the advent of cell phone technology, high speed microprocessors and the sort. In other words, it is easy for any person to insert minute chips into another person and send them messages. The victim may or may not hear these messages depending on what frequency they are sent on. Is it just not possible that Andrea Yates fears and paranoia may have stemmed from such messages, in addition to brain washing (hypnotizing) drugs induced into her system and the fact that she was over-worked and underfed that could have induced her trance that day? Now, all that remains to be proved is the existence of someone with a motive - someone who was jealous of her supermom capabilities - possibly a jealous rival from her high school - with who she might have shared a boyfriend - or another possibility - someone who her husband was seeing at that time or had seen some time before the murders took place. Every person is responsible for their actions - however, the combination of drugs (brain altering) in addition to low glucose levels and the possibility of an internet online chip in her body could drive anyone to behave like a walkie-talkie and be manipulated or controlled into forced actions that the person who feels spaced out while committing these actions, may not be able to control.

kavita gunaji
kavita gunaji

Although I do believe people suffer from mental illness and that this was a low statistic in our population more than two decades ago, there is the likelihood that this statistic is now on the rise because of signal technology, online (internet), ease of insertion of online materials such as a minute silicon chip into the human body where it can be manipulated with ease by anyone who can dial in. This is with the advent of cell phone technology, high speed microprocessors and the sort. In other words, it is easy for any person to insert minute chips into another person and send them messages. The victim may or may not hear these messages depending on what frequency they are sent on. Is it just not possible that Andrea Yates fears and paranoia may have stemmed from such messages, in addition to brain washing (hypnotizing) drugs induced into her system and the fact that she was over-worked and underfed that could have induced her trance that day? Now, all that remains to be proved is the existence of someone with a motive - someone who was jealous of her supermom capabilities - possibly a jealous rival from her high school - with who she might have shared a boyfriend - or another possibility - someone who her husband was seeing at that time or had seen some time before the murders took place. Every person is responsible for their actions - however, the combination of drugs (brain altering) in addition to low glucose levels and the possibility of an internet online chip in her body could drive anyone to behave like a walkie-talkie and be manipulated or controlled into forced actions that the person who feels spaced out while committing these actions, may not be able to control.

Star
Star

I have never really been able to understand the insanityplea..arn't most cold blooded killers crazy what makesany of them any different from each other..why even havea jail if most of these evil people will get away withit by reason of insanity just another cop out like evenDahmer him self said about people that use that line..I am sure people like him would know.. and what is it with people in Texas getting away with stuff like that..I thought they were the tough state on crime maybe not..

John T.Patterson
John T.Patterson

I Too Beleive It's All Total Horseshit!!!Yes,I Understand That Some Women Can Suffer From Post Partum Depression Very Badly!!However,I Come From A Big Family And With The Exception Of A Cousin Whose Wife Left Him and His Two Sons In The Early 70's Who Wound Up Leaving My Folks To raise Them,No One In My Family Ever did Such A Thing!!And That Includes My Departed Mother;Sister;Sisters In Law;Aunts and a Stepneice!!And While I've Never Been A Father;I've Been An Uncle;Great Uncle;Stepfather and Stepgrandfather and While Maybe I Mighta Got A Little Mad at Them At Times;I've Never Thought Of Killing Any Of Them;Nor Have Their Parents!!And While Wer'e At It,We Also Need To Prosecute These"Mental Health Experts"Who Declare Them To Be"Legally Insane"At Their Hearings!!Also,Another Factor In Some Of The Women who Murdered Their Kids Is That In Some Cases,They Belonged To Some Kind Of Fundavengelical Church Led By Some Kind Of Self Styled"Preacher"Who's No More A Minister Than David KoreshWho Convinces Them Their Problems Are Caused By"Demonic Possession"!!!We Need To Prosecute Them as Well!!!My One Hope Is That When These Poor Little children Made Their Way To Heaven,God Let My Mother;Grandmothers and Aunts Take Care Of Them!!Lord Knows They didn't Get Any Care On Earth!!

Misty
Misty

It's hurtful to read stuff like this, especially when you happen to be the daughter of the woman this article is about.

Heather Boyles
Heather Boyles

I think it's total BULLSHIT that a jury can prove someone innocent of KILLING their kids. I don't care how " depressed" you are they is no excuse not even insanity for drowning your kids, beating them with stones, cutting their arms off or even hanging them. And people who think that depression is the reason then I guess they don't have children themselves. Almost every mother out here is depressed at one time or another. So I say put them away for life in a room with pictures of their kids painted on the walls or kill them.

guest
guest

For kavita gunaji--two words: paranoid schizophrenia. You need help; there's medication for what you have.

Ashleyt4587
Ashleyt4587

Misty - did you know anything about the daughter she gave up for adoption in 1987?

kavitag
kavitag

oh go make like a whitney houston and od on your cocaine

kavitag
kavitag

but then again i graduated from iit bombay in 1985. you probably do not know anything about technology and as long as there are people like you around, some of us will get away with a lot more than we have already gotten away with - hehehe - do some investigating and you will regret that you messed with me.

kavitag
kavitag

microchip technology was being developed in the decade before windows came out.

kavitag
kavitag

i have schizos in the family i was married to and they see snakes when others don't; you dont know what you are messing with - i think you should forget about a personal life now, huh, guest

kavitag
kavitag

use your real name coward - i know your mom probably fed you through her clitty instead of her titty.

 
Dallas Concert Tickets
Loading...