Slenderman, an online horror character, has been named as the reason two 12-year old girls from Wisconsin attempted to murder their friend. The two girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, have been charged as adults in the attempted murder of their friend, Payton Leutner, in May of last year.
According to David Janisch, an investigator working for the defense, one of the girls had a number of disturbing items in her closet, including mutilated Barbie dolls and notebooks filled with drawings related to the Slenderman character and scrawled phrases like “not even safe in your own house.” He also indicated that the girl’s parents seemed to be unaware of the items. CBS reports that Janisch revealed the discoveries at a preliminary hearing where Anthony Cotton, defense attorney for one of the girls, is arguing to have the trial moved to juvenile court. Cotton asserts that his client is mentally ill and believed that she needed to kill in order to protect her family and herself from Slenderman.
However, prosecutors accuse the girls of plotting for months to kill Leutner. Prosecutors said that one of the girls told police that they had planned to kill their friend during a slumber party. They allegedly planned to use duct tape to silence her and then to stab her in the neck and cover her with a blanket before running away, according to the Washington Post. Instead, the girls allegedly lured their friend to a wooded area for a game of hide and seek, where they are said to have stabbed her 19 times. Leutner survived the attack and crawled to a nearby road where a bike rider called 911.
The Washington Post reports that the defense attorney played an audio tape of one of the girls’ interrogation where she is heard saying, “[The co-defendant] jumped on [the victim] and started stabbing her repeatedly, and that’s when I turned around because I couldn’t stand to see that. The whole time [the victim] was screaming in agony, saying stuff like, ‘I hate you guys. I’ll never forgive you. I trusted you.'”
Shortly after the incident last year, CBS News reported that the web site that hosts the Slenderman character stories posted a statement that read, “This incident shows what happens when the line of fiction and reality ceases to exist … There is a line between fiction and reality, and it is up to you to realize where the line is. We are a literature site, not a crazy satanic cult.”
The judge will rule on whether or not to move the case to juvenile court on March 13.