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Friday, September 2, 2022

The Slenderman Stabbing Case

     On Saturday morning, May 31, 2014, a bicyclist in Waukesha, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee, came upon a 12-year-old girl lying on the sidewalk. Payton Leutner was bleeding from wounds on her arms, legs and torso. "Please help me," she begged. "I've been stabbed."

     The bicyclist called 911, and Leutner was rushed to Waukesha Memorial Hospital where she was listed in stable condition. A team of surgeons performed laparoscopic surgery on injuries to the victim's liver, pancreas and stomach. According to doctors, the victim had been stabbed nineteen times with a large knife.

     To detectives who questioned the victim at the hospital, she identified her attackers as two middle school classmates, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier.

     Two hours after the bicyclist came upon Payton Leutner on the sidewalk, police officers found Geyser and Weier walking near Interstate 94. The twelve-year-olds were still wearing their blood-stained clothing. In one of the girl's purses officers recovered a large, bloody kitchen knife.

     Interviewed at the Waukesha Police Department, Weier and Geyser confessed to stabbing their classmate in the wooded section of a park following a sleep-over at one of the suspect's house. Weier held the victim down while Leutner wielded the knife. They traded jabs by handing the knife back and forth between them. In response to the obvious question of why they had stabbed and almost killed one of their classmates, the girls mentioned a website they visited regularly called Creepypasta Wiki.

     The Internet site in question posted horror stories, gory videos and violent images that featured a fictitious character named Slenderman. A faceless man who wore s a dark suit and a full-brim business hat, Slenderman haunted children and those who sought to unmask him. For a website devotee to "climb up to Slenderman's realm," the viewer had to kill someone. It was clear that this website had been the inspiration for the knife attack on Payton Leutner.

     According to Morgan Geyser and Annisa Weier, the stabbing was not a spontaneous assault. The girls had been planning to murder Leutner since February 2014. Initially, they intended to kill their classmate by placing duct tape over her mouth, then stabbing her in the neck while she slept.

     Murder plan B consisted of stabbing the intended victim in a shower stall or bathtub where the victim's blood would flow down a drain. The plan the girls actually executed involved stabbing the victim in the park during a game of hide-and-seek--child's play with a macabre twist.

     On Monday, June 2, 2014, the arraignment judge informed the twelve-year-old suspects they had been charged, as adults with attempted first-degree murder. The judge set each suspect's bond at $500,000. Police officers booked Geyser and Weier into the Waukesha County Jail. Both girls said they regretted the premeditated, ritualistic stabbing of their classmate. They said they were sorry for almost killing her.

     In 2017, Morgan Geyser pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder. The judge sentenced her to 40 years in a mental institution. The same year, Anissa Weier pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder. The judge sentenced this defendant to 25 years in a mental health facility.

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