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A Slender Man Murder?

Slender Man by Gaara Monster

Slender Man by Gaara Monster

While researching material for a new Top 10 List, a recent Newsweek article caught my eye: “The Girls Who Tried to Kill for Slender Man.” It is a fascinating case of a legend born online that spiraled out of control, leading to real-world consequences. I admit I was ignorant of the “slender man” phenomenon, since most of my research focuses on the physical, rather than the digital, realm. But since the Internet is an efficient tool for disseminating information, which can include folklore, it is no surprise that tales can migrate back and forth.

The case is disturbing, especially since it involves minors of such a young age. On May 31st, two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, were arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder after allegedly trying to kill a friend by stabbing her 19 times. Reportedly, their motive was to become proxies for Slender Man, a fictional supernatural being created by SomethingAwful.com forum members in 2009. I can’t help noting the similarity between this and the people who have, in the past, conducted rituals or committed crimes in an effort to win favor with the Devil or other supernatural entities.

According to Newsweek and the criminal complaint:

Weier pushed the girl down and sat on her, thinking Geyser would then stab her. The victim started yelling, complaining that she couldn’t breathe, so Weier got off of her. Geyser gave Weier the knife, but Weier said she felt too squeamish so she gave it back to Geyser.

“I’m not going to until you tell me to,” Geyser told Weier, according to the complaint. “Go ballistic, go crazy,” Weier replied. “Now.” Then, as Geyser put it to police, “stabby, stab, stab.”

The girls stabbed the victim 19 times, piercing her liver, pancreas and stomach, and barely missing an artery near her heart. The victim cried, the girls told police, and Weier remembered her screaming, “I hate you! I trusted you!” After the attack, Weier said, she and Geyser told the girl to lay down and be quiet, and they would go get help.

Instead, they fled. “It was the hope that [the victim] would die and they would see Slender and know that he exists,” reads the complaint.

Here is a news report on the attack:

This incident has interesting implications for folklore in the digital age, how the media reacts to cases like this, and what responsibility (if any) creators and disseminators of legends like “Slender Man” have when criminal activity involving the legend takes place. I plan to post more of my thoughts on these topics in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I’ll be on the lookout for more details.

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Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Dr. Jekyll & Ms. Hyde…..

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Eve Maîtresse and commented:
    Est- ce que la relation entre assassin et la victime est un certain style de sm, extrême j’en convient.

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. […] this summer, two 12-year-old girls from Wisconsin were arrested on charges of attempted murder for brutally stabbing a mutual friend. Their motive, in their own words, was to “become proxies for Slender […]

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  2. […] this summer, two 12-year-old girls from Wisconsin were arrested on charges of attempted murder for brutally stabbing a mutual friend. Their motive, in their own words, was to “become proxies for Slender […]

    Like

  3. […] Geyser and Anissa Weier, were arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder after allegedly trying to kill a friend by stabbing her 19 times. Reportedly, their motive was to become proxies for Slender Man, a […]

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