Psycho Mom

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

Lisa piled Kamryn into the Durango, and they drove to Target. She bought pillows to replace those she'd thrown away, a "Polly Pocket" toy pool and dolls for each little girl, and three kitchen knives.

At home, Kamryn played with her toy. At 2:45 p.m., Lisa went to school to pick up Briana, who also came home and played with her toy. Lisa noticed dark circles under Briana's eyes, a sign she was terribly sick.

"And after Briana played with the toy?" Dr. Crowder asks on the viedeotape.

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.

Lisa's answers are whispered, often inaudible. Tears stream as she describes drawing water in the tub in the bathroom off the master bedroom, telling Briana she needed a bath. Lisa sobs as she describes how she brushed the sage over Briana's body and said a prayer--"Dear God, please take care of my precious angel"--and pushed her under.

"Can you remember what was in your mind at that time?"

"I just felt that I had to save them," she whimpers.

"What were you saving them from?"

"So they wouldn't have to suffer anymore."

"What kind of suffering?"

"From their health and..."

"Health and what?"

Lisa's eyes glaze over. "Just because..." She rocks and rubs her shoulder, unable to answer.

"What else were you protecting them from...Was it the demons?"

"It was just the evil spirits. I had to save them...I was scared."

Lisa tells how she put Briana on the bed and covered her with a blanket, then ran water for Kamryn. She repeated her prayer and drowned Kamryn.

With her dead children lying on her bed, Lisa got the knives she'd bought at Target, stripped and entered the shower. Lisa stabbed herself 20 times in the chest, stomach, neck and wrists before giving up. She later required 37 stitches.

With eight minutes left on the tape, Crowder asks Lisa, "Is there anything else you want to tell us?"

"I wish this had never happened," she whispers.

"What is most on your mind when you say you wished it had never happened?"

She looks up in anguish. "Because I miss them so much."


The jury took 12 hours to find Lisa Diaz not guilty by reason of insanity. At first the jurors were split, and they spent most of their deliberations watching the videos. "The tape let them see her say why she did it," Udashen says. On the second day, the last holdout juror voted not guilty.

Concerned about the discrepancy in the Yates and Laney verdicts despite the similar evidence, the Texas Senate Jurisprudence Committee held a hearing in 2004 on changing the insanity defense statute to include "guilty but insane" as a possible jury charge. Other changes to broaden the legal definition of insanity--taking into account the current understanding of severe mental illness--have been proposed, but for now have gone nowhere.

Under Texas law, someone found NGRI is subject to commitment in a state hospital. How long Lisa stays is up to trial court Judge Mark Rusch. She now lives at the Vernon campus of the North Texas State Hospital, the same facility where Laney is being treated. The two women have met.

Yates remains in a prison psychiatric unit despite the appellate court ruling overturning her sentence. The Harris County District Attorney's Office has said it will appeal.

"I don't think these three women were that different," says UT professor Dix. "Although there were differences, it didn't bring to bear on their culpability or blameworthiness, whatever Park Dietz thinks."

Udashen worries how Lisa will cope once she understands her actions. "It's a Catch-22 to bring them out of their mental illness so that they realize what they've done."

The Diaz jury was told that 500 women a year kill their offspring. "It's not so rare," Darlina Crowder says. "We just don't hear about it all the time."

Between them, Yates, Laney and Diaz killed nine children.

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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.

 
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