A paranormal being. Two impressionable minds. A stabbing that shook Waukesha, Wisconsin to its core and sparked an investigation into the power of the Internet. What caused the Slender Man stabbing?
In May 2014, 12-year-olds Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser led their friend, Payton Leutner, to a park. Once there, they stabbed Leutner 19 times and left her for dead. Leutner managed to crawl to a road and lay on the sidewalk, where she was found by a cyclist. The cyclist called 911 and when Leutner arrived at the hospital, she was “one millimeter away from certain death,” according to the criminal complaint.
Recently, representatives of one of the girls argued in court that she was guilty of attempted second-degree homicide but that she was not responsible for her actions due to mental illness. What led these two girls to stab their friend in such a savage attack?
Beware the Slender Man
The Slender Man, also known as Slenderman or The Operator, is a fictional supernatural character that originated on the Internet. It was created by Eric Knudsen of the Something Awful forums and has since been represented in a variety of media, including at least two video games, an online webseries, a documentary and a feature film. It appears as an unnaturally tall man with stretched limbs, a dark suit and a white face with no features.
The girls discovered the Slender Man on a website called the Creepypasta Wiki, a literary site where members contribute spooky stories. As they learned more about the Slender Man, the girls decided they wished to become its “proxies,” or followers. In doing so, they would prove the creature existed, prove they were loyal to it and prevent it from hurting their families.
On September 15, 2017, a jury ruled Weier was not guilty by mental disease or defect. She will spend at least three years in a mental hospital. Geyser’s trial is scheduled for October.
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