Morgan Geyser, age 14 has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Her plea comes in response to a charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. If convicted Geyser could face up to 40 years in prison, followed by 20 years of extended supervision, according to AP The Big Story. If she is found to be mentally deficient, she would be confined to a mental hospital.
The Slender Man or Slenderman inspired attempted murder has gained international media attention. The stabbing of a 12-year-old girl by two other 12-year-old girls in Madison Wisconsin, because of a bizarre internet myth, has been heavily reported in the media since May of 2014. The victim was discovered barely alive after being stabbed 19 times by two school friends who had invited her to a sleepover.
Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier stand accused of the attempted murder of Payton Leutner in May of 2014, when all three girls were just 12-years-old. Under Wisconsin state law, both Geyser and Weier must be tried as adults. Anyone over the age of 10 years, charged with attempted first-degree homicide is automatically held legally culpable as an adult by state law. The girls’ attorneys have attempted to have the trial moved to juvenile court, where Geyser and Weier would face just three years in juvenile detention and strict supervision until the age of 18.
The Slender Man stabbing has been so publicized that finding a jury of 12 unaware of the case will likely be impossible. Still, legal representatives urged for the trial should be moved to another area, due to a saturation of information locally. The request was not granted. Weier’s attorney, Mara MacMahon, told WQAD 8, he is filing for the jury to be brought in from another county.
“Frankly, with the amount of publicity there’s been, I don’t know where we could go where someone hadn’t heard of it. But there may be someplace where people have heard less intense coverage.”
Morgan Geyser allegedly suffers from schizophrenia, as well as oppositional defiant disorder according to expert testimony. She is said to have relationships with imaginary characters according to The Telegraph.
Anissa Weier plead not guilty last year, but the plea could be changed at any time. Both Geyser and Weier’s names have been withheld in hopes of a Juvenile trial, but this week their names were made public as it now appears they will be tried as adults. The trial of Morgan Geyser could be held as early as March of next year according to AP Big Story.
The Slender Man AKA Slenderman, so named for his slender body and extendable arms, was first conceived by Victor Surge on June 8, 2009, as a photoshop prank. Photos were accompanied by a creepy description. Soon other posters to the prank forum began adding to the hoax or fiction legend. For some reason, the photos and story of a slender faceless man went viral. Slenderman took on a life of his own as fans of the story each added their own pictures and stories of sightings. Mr. Surge explained to Tech Crunch the origins of his own bit of fiction.
“I was mostly influenced by H.P Lovecraft, Stephan King (specifically his short stories), the surreal imaginings of William S. Burroughs, and couple games… I feel the most direct influences were Zack Parsons’s ‘That Insidious Beast,’ the Steven King short story ‘The Mist’ … I used these to formulate a something whose motivations can barely be comprehended and causes general unease and terror in a general population.”
Morgan Geyser’s story does fit with the mythology surrounding Slender Man. According to Tech Crunch, it was alleged that Slenderman does not murder, but rather he inspires other to do so.
“Slenderman does not directly kill his victims. Instead, he encourages others to in order to please him.”
Morgan Geyser told investigators two years ago, they sacrificed their friend to Slender Man with the hope of gaining his favor, acting as his “proxies” so that Slenderman would not harm their families, according to the Independent. The Telegraph reported that after the sacrifice, Morgan and Anissa planned to hike 300 miles to the Nicolet National Forest, with hopes of living with Slender Man’s servants in his mansion.
The Slender Man inspired stabbing could result in a decades-long prison sentence for Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier.
[Image by Chris Harvey/Shutterstock]