Slender Man stabbing
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|
|Date||May 31, 2014|
|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. The Slender Man mythos was later expanded by a number of other people who created fan fiction and additional artistic depictions of the entity.
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.
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. They had been at a sleepover together the night before the stabbing. 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, after which they would become servants of the Slender Man and live in his mansion in Nicolet National Forest.
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. A second plan called for attacking Leutner in a bathroom at a local park.
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 and one missed her heart by less than a millimeter and the other went through her diaphragm, cutting into her liver and stomach. Weier and Geyser then told Leutner they would get help for her, but instead simply left. Leutner dragged herself to a nearby road where she was found by a cyclist.
Weier and Geyser were apprehended near Interstate 94. 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.
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 and was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
Weier was sentenced to up to 25 years in a state mental institution. Geyser was sentenced to the maximum of 40 years in a state mental institution  though she may be eligible for conditional release prior to completing the maximum of 40 years.
|Announcement video for the Creepypasta live stream|
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. Sloshedtrain, the administrator of the Creepypasta Wiki, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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, argued that the Internet had become a "blackhole" with the ability to expose children to a more sinister world. 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. 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.
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