Slender Man stabbing
   HOME

TheInfoList




On May 31, 2014, in
WaukeshaWaukesha may refer to: Places ;United States *Waukesha County, Wisconsin *Waukesha, Wisconsin, a city and the county seat of Waukesha County *Waukesha (village), Wisconsin, a village in Waukesha County Business *Waukesha Engines Education

*Un ...
,
Wisconsin Wisconsin () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Wisconsin
, United States, two 12-year-old girls, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, lured their friend Payton Leutner into a forest and stabbed her 19 times in an attempt to become proxies of the fictional character
Slender Man The Slender Man (also spelled Slenderman) is a fictional supernatural character (arts), character that originated as a creepypasta Internet meme created by Something Awful forum user Eric Knudsen (also known as "Victor Surge") in 2009. He is dep ...
. Leutner crawled to a road where she was found, and recovered after six days in the hospital. Weier and Geyser were found not guilty by mental disease or defect and committed to mental health institutions for sentences of 25 and 40 years, respectively.


Slender Man

Slender Man is a fictional entity created on the
Something Awful Something Awful (SA) is a comedy website housing a variety of content, including blog entries, Internet forum, forums, feature articles, digitally edited pictures, and humorous media reviews. It was created by Richard Kyanka, Richard "Lowtax" Ky ...
online forum An Internet forum, or message board, is an online In computer technology and telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other El ...
s for a 2009
Photoshop Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor A screenshot from the GIMP raster graphics editor. A raster graphics editor is a computer program A computer program is a collection of instructions that can be executed by a computer to perfo ...
paranormal image contest. The Slender Man myths were later expanded by a number of other people, who created
fan fiction Fan fiction or fanfiction (also abbreviated to fan fic, fanfic, fic or ff) is Fiction, fictional writing written in an amateur capacity by Fan (person), fans, unauthorized by, but derivative work, based on an existing work of fiction. Copyright p ...
and artistic depictions of the entity. Slender Man is a tall, thin character, with a featureless white face and head. He is depicted as wearing a black suit, and is sometimes shown with
tentacle In zoology Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy ...

tentacle
s growing out of his back. According to the Slender Man myths, the entity can cause
amnesia Amnesia is a deficit in memory Memory is the faculty of the by which or is , stored, and retrieved when needed. It is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action. If s could not be remembered, ...

amnesia
, bouts of coughing, and
paranoid behavior
paranoid behavior
in individuals. He is often depicted hiding in forests.


Events of the attack

The stabbing took place in David's Park, a wooded area near
WaukeshaWaukesha may refer to: Places ;United States *Waukesha County, Wisconsin *Waukesha, Wisconsin, a city and the county seat of Waukesha County *Waukesha (village), Wisconsin, a village in Waukesha County Business *Waukesha Engines Education

*Un ...
,
Wisconsin Wisconsin () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Wisconsin
, during a game of
hide-and-seek Hide-and-seek is a popular children's game This is a list of game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New York City) '', 15 ...

hide-and-seek
on May 31, 2014. The perpetrators, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, pinned down Payton Leutner and stabbed her nineteen times in the arms, legs, and torso with a blade. Two wounds were to major organs; one missed a major artery of her heart by less than a millimeter, and another went through her diaphragm, cutting into her
liver The liver is an organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (anatomy) An organ is a group of Tissue (biology), tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's t ...

liver
and
stomach The stomach is a muscular, in the of humans and many other animals, including several s. The stomach has a dilated structure and functions as a vital organ. In the digestive system the stomach is involved in the second phase of digestion, ...

stomach
. Weier and Geyser told Leutner they would find help, but they did not get any upon leaving. Afterwards, Leutner dragged herself to a nearby road where she was found by a cyclist. The cyclist called 911 when he saw her. Weier and Geyser were apprehended near
Interstate 94 Interstate 94 (I-94) is an east–west Interstate Highway The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, is a network of controlled-access highway networ ...
at Steinhafel's furniture store, after walking . The knife used in the stabbing was in a bag they carried. While Geyser felt no
empathy Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position. Definitions of empathy encompass a broad range of emotional s ...

empathy
, Weier was described as feeling guilty for stabbing the victim, but felt that the attack was needed to appease Slender Man. Leutner left the hospital seven days after the attack. She returned to school in September 2014.


Court case and negotiations

Following the investigation, Geyser was charged with attempted first-degree homicide, a Class-A
felony A felony is traditionally considered a crime of high seriousness Seriousness (noun; adjective: ''serious'') is an attitude of gravitas, gravity, :wikt:solemnity, solemnity, persistence, and :wikt:earnest, earnestness toward something considered t ...
, and Weier was charged with attempted second-degree homicide, a Class-B felony. Due to the nature of the offenses, both Weier and Geyser were waived out of
juvenile court A juvenile court (or young offender's court) is a tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) w ...
to be tried as adults. In 2017, Weier pleaded guilty to being a party to attempted second-degree homicide. A jury then found her "not guilty by mental disease or defect." Geyser accepted a plea offer under which she would not go to trial and would be evaluated by psychiatrists to determine how long she should be placed in a mental hospital. She later pleaded guilty but was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, and was diagnosed with
schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a mental disorder A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. Such features may b ...

schizophrenia
, from which her father also suffers. Weier was sentenced to 25 years to
life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities A bubble of exhaled gas in water In common usage and classical mechanics, a physical object or physical body (or simply an object or body) is a collection of matter within a ...

life
, an indeterminate sentence involving at least three years locked confinement and involuntary treatment in a state psychiatric institute, followed by communal supervision until age 37. Geyser was given the maximum sentence, 40 years to life, an indeterminate sentence involving at least three years locked confinement, in addition to involuntary treatment in a state psychiatric institute until complete resolution of symptoms or until age 53, whichever may happen first; followed by continued communal supervision, periodic reevaluations and/or reinstitution and further treatment, as needed, as required by the sentence imposed. While Geyser will periodically have the opportunity to petition for her release from a mental health facility in the future, she will remain under institutional care for the duration of the sentence. During her trial, Geyser had been committed to the Winnebago Mental Health Institute and was the youngest patient there. At a court hearing on March 10, 2021, Weier, who was by then 19, submitted a letter to the court stating that she was "sorry and deeply regretful for the agony, pain and fear I have caused", not just to Leutner but to "my community as well". Weier stated that, "I hate my actions May 31, 2014, but through countless hours of therapy, I no longer hate myself for them." On July 1, 2021,
Waukesha County Waukesha County () is a county (United States), county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the population was 389,891, making it the third-most populous county in Wisconsin. Its county seat is Waukesha ...
Judge Michael Bohren ordered Weier released from the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, gave state officials sixty days to draw up a conditional release plan, and required that Weier be assigned state Department of Health Services case managers to track her progress until she's 37 years old, the length of her commitment. On September 13, 2021, Weier was released with multiple stipulations to include: 24-hour GPS monitoring requiring her to not leave Waukesha County without permission. Weier will also have her Internet usage monitored and will not be allowed to use any forms of social media. Weier will also be required to take medication and will be personally escorted to regular counseling sessions by a case worker. She will also be required to live with her father during her probation.


Appeal

In 2020, an appeals court rejected Geyser's petition to be retried as a juvenile. Her attorney, Matthew Pinix, argued that she should have been charged with attempted second-degree intentional homicide rather than first-degree, and argued that Geyser gave statements to investigators before being read her ''Miranda'' rights. He has petitioned the
Supreme Court of Wisconsin The Wisconsin Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in Wisconsin. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over original jurisdiction, original actions, appeals from lower courts, and regulation or Public administration, administration of the pr ...
to review the ruling.


Aftermath

In the aftermath of the stabbing, the Creepypasta Wiki was blocked throughout the
Waukesha School DistrictThe Waukesha School District is a school district that serves the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Waukesha and parts of the Waukesha (village), Wisconsin, Village of Waukesha, Brookfield (town), Wisconsin, Town of Brookfield, city of Brookfield, Wiscons ...
. On the Tuesday following the stabbing, Slender Man creator Eric Knudsen said: "I am deeply saddened by the tragedy in Wisconsin and my heart goes out to the families of those affected by this terrible act." Sloshedtrain, the administrator of the Creepypasta Wiki, said that the stabbing was an isolated incident that did not accurately represent the
creepypasta Creepypastas are horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Genres *Horror fiction, a genre of fiction **Japanese horror, Japanese horror fiction **Korean horror, Korean horror fiction *Horror film, a film genre *Horror comics ...
community. He also stated that the Creepypasta Wiki was a literary website and that they did not condone murder or satanic rituals. Members of the creepypasta community held a 24-hour live stream on
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
June 13–14, 2014, to raise money for the stabbing victim. Joe Jozwowski, an administrator on a creepypasta website, said the purpose of the stream was to show that members of the community cared for the victim and did not condone real-world violence because they enjoyed fiction that contains violence. On August 12,
Governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, ''governor'' may be t ...
Scott Walker issued a proclamation declaring Wednesday, August 13, 2014, "Purple Hearts for Healing Day" and encouraged the people of Wisconsin to wear purple on that day to honor the victim of the stabbing. He also praised the "strength and determination" exhibited by Leutner during her recovery. The city of
Madison, Wisconsin Madison is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercas ...
, held a one-day
bratwurst Bratwurst (; plural Bratwürste) is a type of German sausage typically made from pork, and less commonly from beef or veal. The name is derived from the Old High German ''Brätwurst'', from ''brät-'', finely chopped meat, and ''Wurst'', sausage, ...

bratwurst
festival to honor Leutner on August 29, several days before the victim returned to school.
Hot dog A hot dog (less commonly spelled hotdog) is a food consisting of a grilled or steamed sausage served in the slit of a partially sliced Hot dog bun, bun. The term ''hot dog'' can also refer to the sausage itself. The sausage used is a wiener ( ...

Hot dog
s and bratwurst were sold to raise money towards the victim's medical costs. The event was run by over 250 volunteers, and raised over $70,000 for Leutner.


Debate on the effect of the Internet on children

The stabbing resulted in extensive debate about the role of the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
in society and its effect on children. Russell Jack, Waukesha Police Chief, said that the stabbing "should be a wake-up call for all parents", adding that the Internet "is full of information and wonderful sites that teach and entertain", but that it "can also be full of dark and wicked things". John Egelhof, a retired agent of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Conce ...

Federal Bureau of Investigation
, argued that the Internet had become a "black hole" with the ability to expose children to a more sinister world. Egelhof suggested that the best way to avoid future incidents was for parents to keep track of their children's online habits and to educate them on the differences between right and wrong. Shira Chess, an assistant professor of mass media arts at the
University of Georgia , mottoeng = To teach and to inquire into the nature of things.'To serve' was later added to the motto without changing the seal, so the university motto in English now is "To teach, to serve, and to inquire into the nature of thi ...
, stated that creepypasta was no more dangerous than stories about
vampire A vampire is a creature from folklore that subsists by feeding on the Vitalism, vital essence (generally in the form of blood) of the living. In European folklore, vampires are undead, undead creatures that often visited loved ones and caus ...

vampire
s or
zombie A zombie (Haitian French Haitian French (french: français haïtien, Haitian Creole: ''fransè ayisyen'') is the variety of French language, French spoken in Haiti. Haitian French is close to standard French. It should be distinguished from ...

zombie
s. She argued that creepypasta websites were beneficial, and that they gave people the opportunity to become better writers.


Media

A documentary film on the incident called '' Beware the Slenderman'' was released by
HBO Films HBO Films (formerly called HBO Premiere Films and HBO Pictures) is an American production and distribution company, a division of the cable television television network, network HBO that produces feature films and miniseries. The division produces ...
in March 2016, and was broadcast on
HBO Home Box Office (HBO) is an American pay television Pay television, also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription The subscription busin ...
on January 23, 2017. A season 16 episode of '' Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'', titled "
Glasgowman's Wrath "Glasgowman's Wrath" is the sixth episode of the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (season 16), sixteenth season of the American police procedural-legal drama ''Law & Order: Special Victims Unit''. The fictional "Glasgowman" character referenced i ...
", is loosely based on the event. The ''
Criminal Minds ''Criminal Minds'' is an American police procedural crime drama Crime films, in the broadest sense, is a film genre inspired by and analogous to the crime fiction literary genre. Films of this genre generally involve various aspects of crime ...
'' episode "The Tall Man" (Episode 14.05, airdate October 31, 2018) was also inspired by this story. On October 14, 2018, a movie inspired by the Slender Man stabbing, called ''Terror in the Woods'', aired on Lifetime. The film stars Ella West Jerrier, Sophia Grace McCarthy, Skylar Morgan Jones,
Angela Kinsey Angela Faye Kinsey (born June 25, 1971) is an American actress. She is best known for playing Angela Martin in the sitcom ''The Office (American TV series), The Office'' (2005–2013). She also appeared in the sitcoms ''Your Family or Mine'' (20 ...

Angela Kinsey
,
Drew Powell Andrew "Drew" Powell (born January 19, 1976) is an American actor. He is best known for his roles as Hoss Cartwright on the Ion Television, PAX series ''Ponderosa (TV series), Ponderosa'', Cadet Drew on ''Malcolm in the Middle'', and Solomon Grun ...
, and Carrie Hood.
Christina Ricci Christina Ricci ( is an American actress. She is known for playing unconventional characters with a dark edge. Ricci is the recipient of several accolades, including a National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Satellite ...
serves as the executive producer of the film. On March 31, 2019, another movie inspired by the Slender Man stabbing titled ''
Mercy Black ''Mercy Black'' is a 2019 American horror film written and directed by Owen Egerton. It stars Daniella Pineda as a woman who is released from a psychiatric hospital 15 years after stabbing a classmate because of an urban legend about a ghost known ...
'', starring Daniela Pineda, was released on
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer In sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. Th ...

Netflix
with no prior announcement. Directed by Owen Egerton and produced primarily by
Blumhouse Productions Blumhouse Productions () is an American film and television series production company A production company, production house, production studio, or a production team is a business that provides the physical basis for works in the fields of perf ...

Blumhouse Productions
, it tells the story of two girls with pre-schizophrenia who attempt to murder their friend, believing that a spirit named Mercy Black will offer them a gift in return. Later, the protagonist is released from psychiatric care, and has to deal with the realistic and paranormal consequences of her actions. On October 24, 2019, more than five years after the stabbing, Leutner, then 17, spoke to ABC's ''20/20'' about her experience for the first time. She spoke of her scars, saying, "I don't think much of them. They will probably go away and fade eventually". She told the interviewers that she met her attackers in fourth grade. When asked what she would say if she ever saw Geyser again, Leutner added that she would "thank" her because the attack inspired her to pursue a career in medicine. In September 2021, in the wake of Weier's release, it was revealed that Leutner has moved out of Waukesha County and currently attends an undisclosed college as a sophomore student.


See also

* Folie à deux *
Parker–Hulme murder case The Parker–Hulme murder case began in the city of Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand, on 22 June 1954, when Honorah Rieper (also known as Honorah Parker, her legal name) was killed by her teenage daughter, Pauline Parker, and Pauline's c ...
*
Sasebo slashing The , also known as the Nevada-tan murder, was the murder of a 12-year-old Japanese schoolgirl, , by an 11-year-old female classmate referred to as "Girl A" (Girl A being a common pseudonym used for juvenile girls involved in criminal cases in Jap ...
* ''Slender Man'' (film)


References


Further reading

* * {{Slender Man 2014 crimes in the United States 2014 in Wisconsin Crimes in Wisconsin Mass media-related controversies in the United States May 2014 crimes in the United States May 2014 events in the United States Moral panic Slender Man Stabbing attacks in 2014 Stabbing survivors Waukesha, Wisconsin