Payton Leutner was stabbed 19 times by two of her 12 year old classmates at a park in Waukesha, WA, on Saturday, May 31, 2014. Slayer’s motions denied.
One can find just about anything on the Internet. An endless amount of readily available information awaits. Fantasy worlds and guilty pleasures abound, and these worlds can become as real as the user wishes for them to. Sometimes, visions on the Internet can cross over into reality and transform a slayer’s mere delusions to certain truth. Evidently, this is what happened in the case of the “Slender Man”, a fictional entity created for a 2009 Photoshop contest on Something Awful, an online forum. The goal of the forum is to create paranormal images, and those of the Slender Man were so intriguing by viewers, fan fiction and additional forged depictions of a tall, faceless man in a black suit with tentacles growing out of his back, soon appeared. Legend has it, the Slender Man can cause amnesia, coughing fits and paranoid behavior when he’s near, and he is often depicted as hiding in forests or stalking young children. One can become a follower of the Slender Man, but this is denied unless he or she can prove loyalty to the character.
Payton Leutner was stabbed 19 times by two of her 12 year old classmates at a park in Waukesha, WA, on Saturday, May 31, 2014. The girl was lured into the woods, viciously attacked, and miraculously survived. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weir were arrested for the crime and are now standing trial.
The girls have been tried as adults and are pleading not guilty by reason of mental illness in what’s become known as the “Slender Man” case. The girls confessed to the crime, but denied responsibility. They claim that the fictional Internet-based man told them to stab their friend. They lured her to a secluded place and committed the heinous act in an attempt to please the fictional character. Essentially, the girls believed they could only become his followers by stabbing her, which would prove their loyalty to him. Leutner willingly followed her peers, because the three had not only attended the same middle school, but were considered friends and had actually partaken in a sleep over together the night before the crime.
After being stabbed, Leutner crawled to a nearby roadway, where a cyclist found her sprawled out on a sidewalk and immediately dialed 9-1-1. She was rushed to the hospital, and medical personnel stated she endured multiple severe stab wounds, leaving her “one millimeter away from certain death.” She was hospitalized for six days, eventually recovering and returning to school.
Geyser and Weir are being tried separately, and their cases are expected to be called in spring 2017. Geyser, who has been growing up in institutions, including the prison system, has been diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia. This week, on February 20th, Anissa Weir’s attorneys had motioned for the girl’s odd confession to be thrown out and for the trial to be held outside of Waukesha due to the media attention it’s received. Judge Michael Bohren denied both requests. “The interview was voluntary. The statements were voluntary. It was not in a coercive or police conduct situation,” he said, going on to state, “The news environment, the public comments that have been stated in this case are not inflammatory to the extent that a fair trial cannot be had.”