HBO has released the trailer for its upcoming true-crime documentary Beware the Slenderman. The documentary is based on the stabbing of a 12-year-old girl by two of her schoolmates in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in May of 2014, Rolling Stone reports.
The two suspects, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, claimed that they attacked the victim because they thought the Slender Man, a fictional online character, would kill their families if they did not prove their loyalty to him by sacrificing someone, according to an account in the Journal Sentinel.
The girls believed that by killing their friend they could prove the Slender Man existed. He would then reward them by allowing them to serve as his “proxies” and live in his mansion, which the suspects believed to be located in the Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin.
— The A.V. Club (@TheAVClub) November 11, 2016
The girls first learned of Slender Man through CreepyPasta Wiki, a website dedicated to horror stories.
“Weier told police that Slender Man is the ‘leader’ of Creepypasta, and in the hierarchy of that world, one must kill to show dedication,” the Journal Sentinel reports. “Weier said that Geyser told her they should become ‘proxies’ of Slender Man — a paranormal figure known for his ability to create tendrils from his fingers and back — and kill their friend to prove themselves worthy of him.”
During interrogations with police detectives, Weier also said “she was surprised by Geyser’s suggestion, but also excited to prove skeptics wrong and show that Slender Man really did exist.”
The suspects initially planned to murder the victim during a sleepover the three girls were having at Geyser’s home to celebrate her birthday. The suspects intended to kill the victim at 2 a.m. as she slept.
“They’d duct tape their victim’s mouth, stab her in the neck and pull the covers up to make it look like she was sleeping. Then they’d run,” the Journal Sentinel reports.
However, the girls changed plans and decided to kill the victim in the bathroom of a nearby park the next day, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Weier reportedly told police she knew there was a drain in the bathroom that the blood could go down.
At the park, the suspects argued over who would attack the victim first and other details. Eventually, they pinned the victim down on the ground during a game of hide and seek in the woods of the park and stabbed her 19 times in the arms, legs, and torso.
They then told the victim to lie down and be quiet, that she would bleed slower and live longer that way, and that they would go get help for her. In reality, they hoped the victim would quietly die without attracting any attention while they escaped to find Slender Man’s mansion.
The victim, despite having stab wounds to vital organs, crawled out from the woods. A bicyclist found her on the sidewalk, covered in blood, a little before 10 a.m.
Geyser and Weier were soon apprehended a few miles from the crime scene.
“It was weird that I didn’t feel remorse,” Geyser told a detective during her interrogation, according to the Journal Sentinel.
— GameSpot (@gamespot) November 11, 2016
The HBO documentary Beware the Slenderman draws from home videos, interviews with family members, and footage of the police interrogations and suspects’ confessions, Buzzfeed reports.
“The narrative does not revolve around guilt or innocence,” Irene Taylor Brodsky, director of the Beware the Slenderman HBO documentary, said in a statement quoted by Buzzfeed, “but instead the court’s deliberation whether the girls should be tried as adults or children.”
The documentary is set to air in January.
The victim of the Slender Man stabbing survived her injuries.
Geyser and Weier are being held on $500,000 bail each.
They have been charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in Waukesha County Circuit Court and will be tried as adults. If convicted, each faces up to 65 years in prison, according to the Journal Sentinel.
The trial for the Slender Man stabbing resumes today, Buzzfeed reports.