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On May 31, 2014, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, 12-year-olds Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser lured their friend Payton Leutner into the woods and stabbed her 19 times in an attempt to impress the fictional character Slender Man. Leutner crawled to a road where she was found; she recovered after six days in the hospital. Weier and Geyser were found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to long periods in mental health institutions.

Slender Man stabbing
Slender Man stabbing is located in Wisconsin
Slender Man stabbing
Waukesha, Wisconsin[1]
Location Waukesha, Wisconsin
Coordinates 42°58′53″N 88°13′26″W / 42.9814°N 88.2239°W / 42.9814; -88.2239Coordinates: 42°58′53″N 88°13′26″W / 42.9814°N 88.2239°W / 42.9814; -88.2239
Date May 31, 2014 (2014-05-31)
Attack type
Weapons Knife
Deaths 0
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrators Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser



Slender Man is a fictional entity created for a 2009 Photoshop contest on Something Awful, an online forum, the goal of which was to create paranormal images.[2] The Slender Man mythos was later expanded by a number of other people who created fan fiction and additional artistic depictions of the entity.[3]

Slender Man is depicted as a tall, faceless man in a black suit with tentacles growing out of his back. According to the Slender Man mythos, the entity can cause amnesia, bouts of coughing and paranoid behavior in individuals. He is often depicted hiding in forests or stalking children.[3]

Weier, Geyser, and Leutner were all 12 years old at the time of the stabbing, and were classmates enrolled in the same school. Their principal later said that none had any disciplinary issues.[4] They had been at a sleepover together the night before the stabbing.[5] The attackers had discovered Slender Man on the Creepypasta Wiki, a website that hosts creepypasta. They later said they had believed Slender Man to be real, and had wanted to prove their loyalty to him so they could become his "proxies", prove his existence, and prevent him from harming their families; they believed that the only way to do this would be to kill someone,[3] after which they would become servants of the Slender Man and live in his mansion in Nicolet National Forest.[6]


Weier and Geyser initially planned to attack Leutner on May 31, 2014, during a sleepover. They planned to tape the victim's mouth, stab her in the neck, and flee. They did not carry out that attack; one of the girls is believed to have wanted to give Leutner one more day to live.[3] A second plan called for attacking Leutner in a bathroom at a local park.[3]

The actual attack took place in a nearby forest during a game of hide-and-seek. Leutner was pinned down and stabbed the 19 times in the arms, legs, and torso with a five-inch-long (13 cm) kitchen knife. Two wounds were to major arteries[7] and one missed her heart by less than a millimeter and the other went through her diaphragm, cutting into her liver and stomach.[8] Weier and Geyser then told Leutner they would get help for her, but instead simply left.[3] Leutner dragged herself to a nearby road where she was found by a cyclist.[9]

Weier and Geyser were apprehended near Interstate 94.[10] The knife used in the stabbing was in a bag they carried. Weier and Geyser were described as feeling guilty for stabbing their friend, but felt that the attack was needed to appease Slender Man.[3]

Leutner left the hospital six days after the attack.[11] She returned to school in fall 2014.[8]


In 2017, Weier pleaded guilty to being a party to attempted second-degree homicide;[12] a jury then found her "not guilty by mental disease or defect".[13][14] 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.[15] She later pleaded guilty and was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.[16][17]

Weier was sentenced to up to 25 years in a state mental institution.[18][19] Geyser was sentenced to the maximum of 40 years in a state mental institution [20] though she may be eligible for conditional release prior to completing the maximum of 40 years.[21]


External video
  Announcement video for the Creepypasta live stream[22]

In the aftermath of the stabbing, the Creepypasta Wiki was blocked throughout the Waukesha School District.[4]

On the Tuesday following the stabbing, a statement from the creator of the Slender Man was posted to the Creepypasta Wiki expressing condolences for all those involved.[5][23] Sloshedtrain, the administrator of the Creepypasta Wiki,[24] said that the stabbing was an isolated incident that did not accurately represent the creepypasta community. He also stated that the Creepypasta Wiki was a literary website and that they did not condone murder or satanic rituals.[25]

Members of the creepypasta community held a 24-hour live stream on YouTube from June 13 to 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 wanted to help the victim and to demonstrate that they were not horrible people just because they liked scary stories.[26]

On August 12, Wisconsin Governor 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 the victim during her recovery.[27]

The city of Madison, Wisconsin, held a one-day bratwurst festival to honor the victim on August 29, several days before the victim returned to school. Hot dogs 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 the victim.[28]

A season-16 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, titled "Glasgowman's Wrath," is loosely based on the event.[29]

A documentary film on the incident called Beware the Slenderman was released by HBO Films in March 2016, and was broadcast on HBO on January 23, 2017.[30]

Debate on the impact of the Internet on childrenEdit

The stabbing resulted in extensive debate about the role of the Internet in society and its impact on children.[31] 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".[3] John Egelhof, a retired agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, argued that the Internet had become a "blackhole" with the ability to expose children to a more sinister world.[32] He suggested that the best way to avoid future incidents was for parents to keep track of their children's web habits and to educate them on the differences between right and wrong.[32] Shira Chess, an assistant professor of mass media arts at the University of Georgia, stated that creepypasta was no more dangerous than stories about vampires or zombies. She argued that creepypasta websites were beneficial, and that they gave people the opportunity to become better writers.[24]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gabler, Ellen (June 2, 2014). "Charges detail Waukesha pre-teens' attempt to kill classmate". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 
  2. ^ Chess, Shira (1 April 2012). "Open-Sourcing Horror". Information, Communication & Society. 15 (3): 374–375. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2011.642889. ISSN 1369-118X. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Jones, Abigail (August 22, 2014). "The Girls Who Tried to Kill for Slender Man". Newsweek. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Palladino, Christina (June 5, 2014). "Principal says stabbing suspects were good students, no history of bad behavior". ABC Wisconsin. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Hanna, Jason (June 3, 2014). "12 year-old Wisconsin girl stabbed 19 times; friends arrested". CNN. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  6. ^ Fieldstadt, Elisha (February 22, 2015). "'Slender Man' Stabbing Suspects Blamed Each Other in Interrogations". NBC News. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  7. ^ "'Slender Man' stabbing: 13-year-old Wisconsin girls will be tried as adults". The Washington Post. August 10, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Effron, Lauren (September 26, 2014). "Slender Man stabbing survivor's parents: 'She's Meant to Do Something Special'". ABC News. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  9. ^ Davey, Monica; Steven, YACCINO (June 7, 2014). "Milwaukee Suburb Tries to Cope With Girl's Stabbing". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  10. ^ Kuhagen, Christopher (June 2, 2014). "Waukesha stabbing sends chills even through police". Waukesha Now. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  11. ^ Suarez, Alexandra (September 9, 2016). "Slender Man Stabbing Update: Is Anissa Weier Insane?". International Business Times. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Slender Man stabbing suspect pleads guilty to lesser charge". Retrieved 2017-08-21. 
  13. ^ "Slender Man stabbing: Anissa Weier found mentally ill". BBC News. September 15, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Jury in Slender Man case finds Anissa Weier was mentally ill, will not go to prison". WISN-TV12 ABC News Milwaukee. September 16, 2017. 
  15. ^ News, ABC. "ABC News". ABC News. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  16. ^ CNN, Dakin Andone and Paige Levin,. "Teen in 'Slenderman' stabbing going to mental institution under plea deal". CNN. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  17. ^ "Prosecutors seek 40 years in mental hospital for Morgan Geyser in Slenderman attack". WITI. 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-10-09. 
  18. ^ "Girl convicted in Slender Man stabbing sentenced". WMTV. 2017-12-21. Retrieved 2017-12-21. 
  19. ^ "'Slenderman' stabbing: Teen committed to mental institution". CNN. 2017-12-21. Retrieved 2017-12-21. 
  20. ^ "2nd teen in 'Slender Man' stabbing case to remain in institutional care for 40 years". ABC News. 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
  21. ^ "Girl in Slender Man stabbing gets maximum mental commitment". MSN. 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2018-02-01. 
  22. ^ "Narrators uNIGHTed". Mr. Creepypasta. June 4, 2014. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Slenderman Creator 'Saddened' by Stabbing". The New York Times. The Associated Press. June 4, 2014. [not in citation given]
  24. ^ a b Manjoo, Farhad (July 10, 2014). "Urban Legends Told Online". New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  25. ^ Collette, Miranda (June 5, 2014). "'Slender Man,' online viewing can haunt kids". Salt Lake City: Deseret Morning News – via HighBeam Research. 
  26. ^ Sanchick, Myra (June 13, 2014). "CreepyPasta narrators organize to raise money for stabbing victim". Retrieved September 14, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Governor Scott Walker Issues Proclamation Declaring "Purple Hearts for Healing Day" in Honor of Waukesha Girl". Office of the Governor (Press release). Archived from the original on October 15, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2015. 
  28. ^ Robinson, Kelley (September 3, 2014). "'Slender Man' Stabbing Survivor Returns to School". ABC News. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  29. ^ Bodkin, Bill (November 6, 2014). "Review: Law & Order: SVU, 'Glasgowman's Wrath'". The Pop Break. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  30. ^ DePaoliStaff, Tommy. "Slenderman Is Coming to HBO In A True-Crime Documentary". Movie Pilot. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  31. ^ Maddox, Jessica (15 March 2017). "Of Internet Born: Idolatry, the Slender Man Meme, and the Feminization of Digital Spaces". Feminist Media Studies: 1–14. doi:10.1080/14680777.2017.1300179. ISSN 1468-0777. 
  32. ^ a b Tillotson, Kristin (June 6, 2014). "How kids fall into the Internet's 'black hole'". News. Minneapolis: Star Tribune. p. 2OP. 

Further readingEdit