Court to Decide Whether to Try Girls as Adults in Slenderman Case

[] The Associated Press is reporting that a Wisconsin court will decide this week whether to try in the adult or juvenile court system two teenage girls accused of stabbing a classmate as an offering to “Slender Man.” On May 31, 2014, 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 forum members in 2009. Anyone 10 or older charged with first-degree attempted homicide is automatically considered an adult under Wisconsin law, but defense attorneys are challenging that law.

Slender Man by Gaara Monster

Slender Man by Gaara Monster

According to the AP, “Attorneys for one girl maintain she is an emerging schizophrenic who even now still carries on conversations with Harry Potter characters. If she goes to an adult prison, they say, she won’t get the therapy she needs and her symptoms will worsen. The juvenile system, in contrast, focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment… The other girl’s attorneys have asked [the judge], on top of the juvenile system request, to declare that the law forcing 10-year-olds into adult court is unconstitutional. They insist it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment against children who can’t control themselves because their brains aren’t fully developed.”

The suburban Waukesha, Wisconsin girls allegedly plotted to kill classmate Payton Leutner in hopes of pleasing Slender Man. They planned to live with the horror character as his servants after the slaying. They lured Leutner into some woods at a park in May 2014 and stabbed her 19 times before fleeing. A passing bicyclist found Leutner, who somehow survived the brutal attack. Police captured Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier later that day as they were walking to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, where they believed Slender Man lived in a mansion.

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.

This case has generated a lot of controversy in the media regarding the influence of the Internet over young people. Like the Dungeons & Dragons and heavy metal scares of the 1980s, it hints that another moral panic might be brewing, with some reports of copycat attacks. More details to follow as the court renders its decision.

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