In Wisconsin stabbing, accused girls describe Internet bogeyman

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 03, 2014 4:25 PM

By Brendan O'Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Almost immediately after stabbing her classmate in the woods in suburban Milwaukee at the weekend, Anissa Weier, 12, had some regrets, according to a criminal complaint charging her and another 12-year-old girl with attempted murder.

Both girls have been charged as adults in Waukesha County Circuit Court. The victim, whose identity has not been released, is recovering from 19 stab wounds in Waukesha Memorial Hospital.

For several months, Weier had been scouring the Internet for stories about a tall, creepy, blank-faced figure called Slenderman, a fictional bogeyman who she insisted was real and lived nearby, the complaint said.

Weier told a detective she thought she could impress Slenderman by killing someone, the complaint said. She and Morgan Geyser, 12, accused as her accomplice, picked out a classmate and began making detailed, ever-shifting plans.

They lured their friend into the woods by telling her they would go birdwatching and play hide and seek. But as online fantasy shifted into the real word and Weier heard her victim's screams, she wavered, the complaint said.

"The bad part of me wanted her to die," Weier told the detective, according to the complaint. "The good part of me wanted her to live."

Morgan Geyser, the accused accomplice, was not so conflicted: "It was weird that I didn't feel remorse," she told a detective, the complaint said. She later added that it was "probably wrong."

Whether the girls truly believe that Slenderman is real is unclear, but both of them described his power in detail.

Geyser said Slenderman would watch her and could read her mind. He can teleport, emits radiation that makes you sick and doesn't use computers because they don't work when he's around, she told a detective, according to the complaint.

The character appears in many stories published in online forums, including the Creepypasta.com, a place where amateur writers upload so-called fan-fiction, particularly stories about paranormal characters.

On Tuesday, Creepypasta's administrators posted a 3,800 word statement regarding the stabbing in which they expressed their condolences to the families involved, but said the site is not to blame.

"If we could truly blame any violent crimes solely on one specific form of entertainment as the trigger – well, I suppose it would be a relief," they wrote, "as we'd be able to expunge said cause and clear the world of such awful happenings."

Attorneys for the two girls did not respond to a request for comment.

(Writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Sandra Maler)