The 34 Year Old Teacher & The 13 Year Old Boy: The Disturbing & Bizarre Story of Mary Kay Letourneau

 (Vili and Mary. Picture credit:

*Please be aware that quite a lot of the details that I will be sharing in this post are quite disturbing but as always I have tried to be as sensitive with the details without taking away the facts of the case*

Recently I posted a shocking story about a teacher who had abused her position and had an inappropriate relationship with one of her young students. Just when you thought that case was bad enough or the other cases where young men have fallen victim to devious, predatory older women (The Jimmie-Sue Finger Case
and The Pamela Smart Story) with deadly consequences, along comes another story that completely shocks and disturbs you. You've probably heard about this case already as it has been talked about for years and still horrifies people to this day. 

Mary Kay Letourneau was a woman who found herself in her early thirties working as a teacher and bored with life. She was married but the marriage had run it's course and she and her husband had been having affairs and the affection had dried up a long time ago. The only positive for Mary was that she and her husband had 4 daughters out of the union but other than that it was pretty much about staying together because they had financial struggles. 

Mary had come from quite a respectable family who were intelligent people, there was a huge interest in politics and her father became quite a prominent figure in politics. She was born on the 30th of January 1962 in California, into a big family and was one of seven children. Tragedy struck the family when Mary's three year old brother accidentally drowned in a swimming pool. 

Mary got married at a young age to a guy that her family were really keen on, she later claimed that she was practically forced into this marriage as she wasn't in love and did it for the sake of her family. She was dating a fellow student at the University of Arizona and it wasn't long until she fell pregnant with their first child and then along came another.  She was able to obtain a teaching degree and began full time work as a teacher at an Elementary school. From the outside looking in it seemed that Mary had it all, the husband, the beautiful two children, the teaching career but all was not as it seemed. Her husband was reportedly violent and visits to the hospital were not uncommon after arguments would get out of hand. So Mary was a deeply unhappy woman, I'm not making any excuses for her but you can see all of the emotional turmoil that she was in. 

She enjoyed her teaching role and loved working with children but there was one particular boy that she was drawn to at the school and that was 8 year old Vili Fualaau. She only knew him briefly at this time but when she took over as his teacher when he turned 12, her feelings towards him were definitely not what they should have been. Very uncomfortable and disturbing to say the least. Vili developed a little crush on Mary and told his cousin that he wanted to make a bet that he could get her. It was just a silly kids thing where a young boy takes a shine to his teacher and it should never have gone any further than that. Vili wanted to win the bet so he would do little nice things for Mary but obviously Mary read more into everything and actually enjoyed the attention this 12 year old child was giving her. 

Things just got more disturbing as time went on because before anyone knew what was happening, Mary (a 34 year old, married mother and also a trusted school teacher) was kissing the 12 year old boy and a disturbing 'relationship' between the pair developed. Obviously to anyone reading or aware of the case can see that she was clearly grooming him from day one and had forced this unhealthy interest onto this child. He was a 12 year old boy who was not mentally mature to understand fully what was happening. 

The situation just got worse beyond all imagination because she actually had sexual relations with this boy. He was just 13 years old apparently, when this occurred. He was an underage child and she was a grown woman, the whole thing is sickening. When I think of the details of this case and about women like Mary, I think about not only how sick these women are but how incredibly selfish they are too. They are stealing childhoods, that's what I feel. They are pedophiles who are attracted to children and force their baggage and emotional drama on these kids and it scars these children for life. Not only do the children have the emotional abuse to deal with, there's also the sexual abuse too. 

So at just 13 years old, Vili (who was just a child himself) was now a father to his 35 year old teacher/abuser's child. Mary had managed to get inside of this boy's head so much that it was almost as if she had brainwashed him. The pair had a very disturbing bond and it was a struggle to keep them apart, Mary especially was determined to see Vili at all costs. Her husband found sickening love letters that Mary had written to the boy and he turned to a relative for advice, the relative contacted the authorities straight away and Mary was promptly arrested. 

(Mary Kay Letourneau. Picture credit: nypost)

Despite the community's horror and aversion to this disturbing union, Mary and Vili carried on with this disturbing bond that they had. It appeared that there was a lot of Stockholm Syndrome on Vili's part, the child was manipulated by an intelligent, older woman who convinced him that this situation was meant to be. The whole thing was a mess and it went on for years. Mary ended up in prison after pleading guilty to two charges of second-degree child r***, She didn't serve all of her sentence at first, she was released early under the rules that she was to stay away from Vili. Mary promised to follow the law but soon broke that promise and the pair were found by the police trying to run off together. There was passports and money along with other items in the car, Mary was sent back to prison. All in all she spent seven and a half years in prison and still continued to pursue Vili who waited for her to leave prison. 

Mary fell pregnant again and the unhealthy relationship was making headlines all over the world. They even started to take advantage of some of the attention. People were interested in their story and they ended up releasing two books as well as attending public appearances. TV interviews soon followed and the pair put up a united front and didn't show any sort of hesitation about their relationship. Mary was so delusional that she actually thought that she could have another child with Vili and return to work as a teacher. She was now classed as a sex offender and on the register for the rest of her life but that didn't seem to phase her.

Mary and Vili stayed together for a long time and got married in May of 2005 (she was 43 and he was 21). They continued to cause a stir wherever they went and still took advantage of their notoriety. Vili worked as a DJ and had a job as a retail assistant. The pair helped host an evening at a club called 'Hot For Teacher' and acted like the whole thing was a laugh. 

They continued on with the marriage until 2019 where they decided to separate. A friend close to them said that their love for each other just faded. Vili moved away but soon returned after he got the news that Mary had been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. He reportedly helped look after Mary and stayed by her side, morning noon and night until she passed away on the 6th of July 2020. She was 58 years old. 

(Vili and Mary. Picture credit:

Years later when Vili was asked about the relationship and his thoughts on his daughters dating someone older, he was dead against it. Apparently he has expressed to those closest to him that he realises now that the relationship was not a healthy one from the start. Vili had been troubled in the past and had struggles with alcohol and even attempted to take his own life. Did he see Mary as a mother figure? It can be hard for some people to understand the way a victim may behave towards an abuser. Some victims feel that they need their abuser because they are manipulated into believing that. There's also a feeling of guilt that victims often feel even though it is not their fault. Mary targeted this boy from a very young age and it was almost like he had joined a cult, he stayed with her, echoed her words and defended her. It seemed that after her death he began to see things differently as his children grew up. 

I feel sorry for Vili, he may have believed what he felt for Mary to be love but this all began when he was a child. She took his childhood away from him and forced the responsibility of being a father on to him at just 13 years old. She came to this child with all of her issues (she was also diagnosed as bi-polar) and problems and made him feel that he was somehow responsible for her. She was in charge all of the way and she knew what she was doing but she was psychologically disturbed. Despite knowing it was wrong and spending time in prison, losing her marriage, her daughters, her career and reputation, she was determined to see Vili at all costs. It was sheer madness. 

Vili had spent a huge chunk of his life with Mary, she had, had her youth and had the chance to be a child, she stole that from Vili. She forced this child to become a parent when he was a child himself and take on the responsibility of taking care of this haggard, disturbed 34 year old woman. 

I don't care if they were together a long time, that doesn't mean anything to me. The fact is that she manipulated this boy emotionally and used sex (I know, it's sickening) to control him. She was getting pregnant as another form of control, she was trying to tie him to her however possible way that she could. If she really did care about Vili, she would have left that boy alone and let him have his childhood and his life. 

I hope wherever Vili is now (and I'm sure he has a great relationship with his children) that he is happy and has had the chance to experience real love with someone who has his best intentions at heart. 

Another scary fact about this case is that people from the school that Mary had previously worked at, described her as a great person and continued to do so after everything had been exposed. That's quite unsettling to think that some people think that an adult person abusing a 12 year old boy makes them a 'good person'. You cannot be classed as a good person if you do a horrendous thing like that and that's not to mention everything else she did, trapping the boy with the pregnancies etc. In prison she was supposed to be having counselling for her unhealthy interest towards children and she was nothing but disruptive, she had no interest in rehabilitation, she saw nothing wrong with how she was. 

Like I mentioned in the beginning, this story was insane to say the least and like I just mentioned, I come away from it feeling really sorry for Vili and I do hope things have gotten better for him. 

What are your thoughts on this case? Let me know in the comments below or email me at 

Further Reading & Sources: 

Mary Kay: Article | People

Mary Kay: Article about death | New York Times

Mary Kay | Wikipedia

Vili: Article | People

Mary Kay & Vili | Biography

Mary Kay: Article | Parade

Mary Kay: Article | Yahoo

Mary Kay: Article | US Weekly

May December: Article | Business Insider

Mary Kay: Article about death | Yahoo

Mary Kay: Article | Rolling Stone

Vili: Article | In Touch

Mary Kay: News report | Entertainment Tonight 

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Stay safe and I'll see you in the next post x 

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