2014 Slender Man Stabbing

2014 Slender Man Stabbing

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Updated Apr 30, 2020 at 06:09PM EDT by 3kole5.

Added Aug 11, 2015 at 04:12PM EDT by Ari Spool.

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The 2014 Slender Man Stabbing was a criminal incident that occurred on May 31st, 2014 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. In the incident, two twelve year-old girls led a third girl of the same age into a forest and stabbed her repeatedly, attempting to murder her, with the intention of pleasing the creepypasta character Slender Man. This crime is notorious for both the youth of the perpetrators and the wide and oft-cited influence of the Slender Man meme.


On May 31st, 2014, TMJ4 News in Waukesha, Wisconsin reported that two 12-year-old girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, were arrested on charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide after allegedly trying to kill their mutual friend Payton Leutner by stabbing her 19 times. Later reports detailed that they had been planning the murder for months. The victim survived the attack, recovering in the hospital and returning to school the following fall.[1][2]

According to the criminal complaint, the victim had spent the night before at a sleepover with Geyser and Weier, who lured her into nearby woods the next morning to “play a game,” before they held her down on the ground and stabbed her 19 times in the arms, legs and torso. She was found by a passing bicyclist and rescued.[3]

The report also revealed that the crime may have been motivated by the two teenagers’ obsession with the Slender Man mythology, particularly in the idea of becoming a “proxy of Slender” by physically killing someone. The teens believed that Slender Man lived in a mansion in the forest where they brought Leutner, and that he would invite them to live with him there after they killed her.[4]

Notable Developments

Mental Illness Diagnosis

On June 11th, 2014, the Huffington Post reported that the younger of the two girls, Morgan Geyser, would be evaluated for mental illness, and the following year, the psychiatrist testified at a hearing that she was a schizophrenic, and that her schizophrenia was getting worse. Disturbing drawings and mutilated Barbie dolls were found in Geyser's bedroom during the initial investigation. The psychiatrist, Kevin Robbins, said that Geyser believed that Slender Man and other fictional characters, like the ones from the Harry Potter stories, were not only real but also her friends, and that she refused to take medication in fears of losing the ability to communicate with them. For the first year of her imprisonment, Geyser received no treatment, and her attorney and the psychiatrist believed that she qualified for the insanity defense.[5]

Anissa Weier was also evaluated, and was shown as having a very low risk of future criminal activity and a high likelihood of success in treatment for the issues that landed her in the Slender Man stabbing case, experts testified Tuesday. As reported by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Anthony Jurek, the psychiatrist who evaluated Weier, testified he saw no signs of the personality disorders, as was seen in Geyser. Instead, he said she was more likely struggling with the divorce of her parents and the common issue of teen acceptance, and plotted with Geyser in order to not lose her as a friend, and claimed to no longer believe in Slender Man.[6]

Adult Court Decision

On August 10th, 2015, the Wisconsin judge tasked with deciding whether or not the girls were fit to stand trial as adults denied a motion to move the trial to juvenile court, assigning them both to be tried as adults. "This was an effort to kill someone, not a mistake by hitting someone too hard,"Judge Michael Bohren told WISN News in Milwaukee. "They've committed an offense that was serious. It was frankly vicious. It was a premeditated attempt to kill someone. There has to be assurance that that doesn't happen again."[7]

The girls lawyers had attempted to have the case moved to juvenile court based on the perpetrators' young ages and mental health status. They also filed a motion to have the law of the state of Wisconsin, which says that every serious crime committed by a person over the age of 10 must be tried in adult course unless a judge decides otherwise, declared unconstitutional. The judge denied that motion, claiming that there could be no perception of "fair and unusual punishment" before the girls had been sentenced in court.[8]

Beware the Slenderman

On January 23rd, 2017, Beware the Slenderman (stylized as "_beware the slenderman"), a documentary directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky about the Slender Man stabbing, premiered on HBO.[9] The film originally premiered in March 2016 at South by Southwest and notably features Richard Dawkins as an analyst (trailer shown below).

The film received somewhat reviews from critics, who praised the story but criticized its overdramatic production, but most found the story fascinating. In their review, the AV Club[10] said the story alone was chilling enough without cheesy sound effects. The film has a 6.4 on IMDB[11] and an 82 on Rotten Tomatoes.

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