First Slender Man Stabber Sentenced
In 2014, two 12-year old girls stabbed their “friend” 19 times in order to please the fictional Creepypasta character Slender Man. Both girls claimed mental illness as their defense. This week Anissa Weier pleaded guilty by reason of mental illness to the 2nd degree intentional homicide charge. She will spend at least 3 years in the Winnebago Mental Health Institute after being diagnosed with Schizotypy, a less severe delusional disorder. Her mental health supervision will last 25 years.
Weier and Morgan Geyser stood accused of the stabbings; both claimed mental illness. Geyser was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and also pleaded out. She will be sentenced in February.
The victim continues to suffer from the heinous attack. Her mother wrote to the Court that the event “has defined our lives.” Her mother stated that her daughter continues to live with the “emotional and physical scars” from that day.
Slender Man (or Slenderman) is a fictional character created by Eric Knudson in 2009. Knudson, under the user name Victor Surge, posted a story about a tall, thin shadow man. Internet users added to the initial story on the website Creepypasta, a fan-fiction site where users write short horror stories.
The stabbing was a warning to parents who assumed their children understood the difference between real and imaginary people. It was a cautionary tale that the Internet is not necessarily factually accurate. It also served as a reminder that Slenderman is a work of fiction and made-up.
Editorial Note: I intentionally omitted the victim’s name in order to protect her identity. Although her name may be found online, it should not. Her privacy, especially as a minor, is important.