Teen Tragic Love: Lesson for Parents?

This story is kinda dark. Recently the ID Channel ran an episode called “Forbidden: Dying for Love — Together Forever, Forever Together.”

The 19-year-old was Tony Holt. Let’s call his 15-year-old girlfriend Kristen.

Kristen, 14, Falls Hard for Tony, 18

She met him when he was working at a grocery store. But he also happened to be a senior at her new high school. Prior to meeting him, Kristen knew her mother wouldn’t allow dating till she was 16.

Kristen’s mother eventually learned of the secret relationship and forbad it. The girl and Tony kept seeing each other on the sly. Mama learned of this and again, forbad it. Kristen then pretended the relationship was over and even talked of how she now hated Tony. Her mother was thrilled.

Meanwhile the teens kept sneaking around.

Forbidden love can be funner! Anyway, Mama found out again, stormed into the grocery store and angrily announced to Tony that if he ever went near her daughter again, she’d have him arrested for statutory rape. Which, is in fact statutory rape in many states.

The threat had him really scared about going to prison. He appeared at Mama’s house soon after and apologized for upsetting her and said that he and Kristen were going to cool it and just be friends.

But they continued seeing each other, and Mama discovered photos in Kristen’s bedroom of the two making out. More furious than ever, she forbad any contact. (Kristen’s father was out of the picture.)

Not long after, she got a call at work to come to the house. The police were there. Tony and Kristen were both dead from a gunshot wound to their heads.

A suicide note left by Kristen explained that the only way they could be together was to die and go to heaven where they could live happily ever after. Kristen had also left a suicide message on the answering machine, apologizing for the suicide pact. I’ll bet you didn’t see that one coming. Neither did I.

Questions to Wonder About

  • Why didn’t the teens decide to just avoid sex for three years, after which they could then marry and have up to 70 years of glory together? Abstinence is hardly an extreme move when you pit it against a murder-suicide.
  • What if Kristen’s mother permitted the relationship and even had Tony over every week for dinner? But what if, at the same time, she expressed her disapproval over their sexual relations?
  • What if she had said, “If you get pregnant, you’ll be grounded – by your baby. I won’t report statutory rape, but I also won’t help you out with the baby, either.”

That last warning may sound harsh, but it’s a crapshoot type of warning: It just might work.

Lessons Learned

  • You can’t stop two love-struck teens from seeing each other, so you may as well be civil to the unapproved young man.
  • While it’s important to stand your ground as a parent, there also comes a time when a sweet spot needs to be figured out. After all, not only might there be a suicide pact, but there are quite a few documentaries in which the forbidden young man murdered his girlfriend’s disapproving parents.
  • It’s never too early to teach your children the virtues of delayed gratification.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

9 replies
  1. Alex Costin
    Alex Costin says:

    Actually mother murdered her daughter. ” I do not approve this relationship so call me if you see them” – she told everyone. Relly stupid woman ?
    It’s better now ?
    And after all this, her comments in the ID programme are the same, proving that not even her daughter ‘s death makes her to see the whole picture.
    ” He is a man ” “Its illegal ”
    3-4 years age difference ?
    She deserve jail for this !
    “I feel I am losing the battle ” – battle? Idiot woman …

  2. Shelly
    Shelly says:

    This mom really gets to me-despite losing her daughter, still acts as if she owned her child like a car or utensil She still doesn’t admit that she could have handled things very differently. She was so controlling and rigid that her daughter felt the only way out Of her grip was suicide. No amount of “I’m the mother” makes that ok. Even after the loss of her daughter she uses phrases “my way, my rules, what “I” say”. She held on too tightly and it’s sad that she lost her child (and the other family lost their loved one) because of her unwillingness to see her child as an individual and as someone growing up. It’s like she had zero care for anyone but herself. You can have/set rules and guide your children but ultimately they are going to do what they want no matter how you have raised them or how hard you try to make them do what you “say”. Putting a chokehold and making home life stringent and unbearable leads to outcomes like this. Children in fear make irrational decisions and hasty choices that have hugely tragic consequences. She had her other daughter spying and going through her personal items. She was not just a concerned parent she was a tyrant and used threats and punishments to get her way and completely ignored what she was doing to her child mentally. I feel so badly for her because no one deserves to lose their child but even in her child’s death she holds no accountability for the pain she caused her child.

  3. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    I just saw this episode for the first time and was going if I googled it I’d find a article like this. This mom way way over reacted… she was a year from being 16, – some magical change wasn’t going to happen? Obviously she was old enough to date. Also her actions just pushed her more towards him. It doesn’t even seem like she thinks she did anything wrong….it is so sad

  4. Samantha
    Samantha says:

    The mother is to blame. And she still is acting pretentious and naive. I just watched this now on tv and looked up the episode and found this site. I’m a mother of two children, and I would never treat them the way this mother did. When you’re 14-15 you’re hormonal, you’re going through changes and in teenage angst and teenage emotions. The mother should go to jail in my opinion. It’s her fault. I am so sorry to the kids who passed. I hope they are at peace. The mother needs to realize what type of person she is and change herself. Rest in please to Kayla and Tony xo xo

  5. Vicky
    Vicky says:

    I definitely agree that the mother over-reacted as well. I dated an 18 year old senior when I was a 15 year old freshman in high school. My parents had no issues with it. My husband of 17 years is 3.5 years older than me. So, when I was 17 he would have been 20.5. I think it is awful how strict her mother was. She went way too far.

  6. amanda thompson
    amanda thompson says:

    I was sadenned by this story. Teenage love can’t be stopped and a more open approach may have prevented their deaths. Her mom comes across as a control freak.

  7. Renee Jign
    Renee Jign says:

    Seems as though mom was an authoritarian parent and was not aware that her child needed to be parented in a different way. By the way, where is the dad in all of this.


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