ByDaniel Pearson, writer at

We all know and love the classic Home Alone story: a child is left alone without the supervision of his parents, a pair of dastardly burglars arrive, the child fends them off with cunning booby traps... hilarity ensues.

But thankfully, we're intelligent enough to know that this only happens in Hollywood movies. What happens in real life is usually far more sinister and has a much less happier ending.

What nobody knew, however, was that one family would be stupid enough to arrange the fake kidnapping of their own son in order to teach him the importance of "stranger danger."

Now I'm not against the occasional bit of "tough love" parenting, but this does seem extraordinarily idiotic. Psychotic, even.

According to police and media reports, the 6-year-old Missouri boy was lured into a pickup truck after he got off a school bus last week. The man, a co-worker of the boy's aunt, reportedly blindfolded and tied the child's hands and feet with plastic bags before telling him he wouldn’t “see his mommy again,” and that he’d be “nailed to the wall of a shed.”

Police said he then took the child to the basement of the boy's family home where his aunt, Denise Kroutil, 38, allegedly took off his pants and said he would be sold into “sex slavery.”

The child's mother, Elizabeth Hupp, 25.
The child's mother, Elizabeth Hupp, 25.

The boy’s mother, Elizabeth Hupp, 25, and grandmother, Rose Brewer, 58, were communicating with the "kidnappers" via cell phone during the four-hour-long incident.

He was even threatened with a handgun in an effort to make him stop crying.

The family said they staged his kidnapping because they believed he was "too nice to people" and they wanted to teach him about possible danger from strangers.

All four involved were arrested and charged with felony kidnapping, felony abuse, and child neglect.

What do you think?


Did the boy's family go too far?

What's your opinion on this? Let me know in the comments below.


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