Teens Who Kill Their Parents: Do These News Stories Freak You Out?

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police tape, teens who kill, parent killersWith a couple more teen parent killers arrested for the violent murder of one of their mothers, I find myself looking at my boys out the corners of my eyes.

Could my kids ever kill me? Would my own flesh and blood ever want to murder me? Nah, they would never...

Would they?...

After reading about yesterday's arrest of 14-year-old Tylar Witt and her boyfriend 19-year-old Steven Colver for the murder of Tylar's mother, 47-year-old Joanne Witt, I spent the rest of the evening tiptoeing around my boys, hoping not to *upset* anyone.

Maybe I should *not* have made my older son clean his room? Maybe I should have gotten my younger son some milk the *first* time he asked.

But, of course, this is serious stuff, folks. Serious, unspeakable, and disturbing to most of us moms who are just starting out or midway through raising our children. It's already hard not to second-guess the choices we make as parents, even without news stories like these. I mean, I doubt any mother ever thinks her child is going to crack and do something as horrific as commit murder, let alone murder his/her own parents.

I felt a little better after perusing this piece in the Denver Post on Teens who kill parents. The reporter gets his many of his facts from Kathleen Heide, a psychotherapist and nationally recognized criminology professor at the University of South Florida who also published a book in 1992, Why Kids Kill Parents.

Heide says that kids under 21 kill a parent or step-parent about 114 times each year in the United States. Yikes!

In all cases, however, she says, the child was somehow "maltreated," and, except with a few rare exceptions, "healthy kids don't kill good parents."

Okay, that makes me feel a *little* better.

Read on to find out how Heide categorizes teen parent-killers into three groups and lists some of the commonalities she has found among young parent killers.

How do you react to these news stories about teen-aged parent killers?

behavior, in the news, teens

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jennnp jennnp

I have been relieved to see my 13 year old son hold back when he wants to haul off and slug me but what if?

Peajewel Peajewel

It shocks almost as much as hearing about parent's that murder their children! 


There is a case going on here in Ohio right now where a boy shot his Mom and Dad (a minister) because they took his video game away from him as punishment.  The Dad did not die and he is defending his son saying it was the game's fault not his son's.  I will say; every time they show the boy on TV he is crying and has even talked to his Dad and told him he was sorry.  I am not sure I could be that forgiving if you shot me in the head. 

RanaA... RanaAurora

It DOESN'T surprise me, especially when they start explaining how trashy or abusive the kid's parents were.  Like the article says, things like this don't just appear out of nowhere in functional families - this is a result of mental and/or emotional trauma, abuse, neglect, negligence on the parents' part to even BE good parents and have their child in an emotionally healthy environment, much less help their child BE mentally healthy (even if that means they ARE functional, but ignoring a mental imbalance that needs meds or counseling), etc.

ethan... ethans_momma06

I admit that it freaks me out. Same with the stories about the other divorced parent (or spouse) turning around and killing the other partner. But I think that this kind of behaviour is usually instigated and I would assume *and yes I am ASSUMING here* that there would be some warning signs before the actual murder. I think it has to do with how well you know your kid.


I was an angry teen. Very angry and angsty and just a pain in the tush....but I would have NEVER even thought about killing my parents..

milmi... milmiracle

I don't like being freaked out so don't watch too much news and seletively read some on the net, however between my daily experiences and dream/nightmares I think anything is possible, so put on my survival gear on high and get ready for the mother fucker to bring it on.  Can't do much else.

kayla... kaylajean86

it can freak out any parents!  When i was in middle school a classmate at 13 held a party at his house but that morning he killed his mom and dad for saying no to the party


he drug their bodies out to the barn with the 4-wheeler and locking his lil siter in her room for 2 days!


Than the girls who have ppl kill their parents for saying no you cannot date him!


Freaks me out....some ppl you just don't know your child

Momof... Momof3cuties

you know....Dh has always joked that he worried that one of the boys would get mad & decide to off us...but this really creeps me out. 

nonmember avatar BryantB

Teens who are killing their parents are going "AGAINST THE KNOWN WILL OF GOD!" They broke at least 2 of the 10 commandments. Sorry to say people just don't have the love of God in their hearts and everything is just chaos and there is no order in the family.

nonmember avatar Matthew belcher

When nakiesha waddell killed her mother in wythe county va at the being of labor day week end in 2004,and stayed at my home like nothing in the world was wrong for two days.when my daughter told me what her friend did i thought it was a joke.it wasn't.when the girl started telling me about killing her mother she became very upbeat and it seemed she was in a way proud of what she had done.im still not over this

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