12-year-old stabbing victim’s condition upgraded to fair
- The condition of a 12-year-old Waukesha girl gravely injured in a stabbing Saturday has been upgraded to fair, a spokeswoman for Waukesha Memorial Hospital said Wednesday.
Her condition had previously been described as critical but stable.
Authorities say two of the girl's Horning Middle School classmates stabbed her repeatedly in a plot to kill her in the works for months.
Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier have been charged with first-degree attempted homicide in the case and are being held in a secure detention facility in West Bend.
Authorities have not released the identity of the victim.
Both suspects explained the stabbing to police referencing their dedication to Slender Man, the character they discovered on a website called Creepypasta Wiki, which is devoted to horror stories.
- Forensic psychologists who specialize in juvenile crimes say as the investigation continues, additional information will likely surface that could help further explain the motivations behind the stabbing. And that information could likely extend far beyond the girls' obsession with Slender Man, as described in the criminal complaint.
Robert Kinscherff, senior associate at the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, said that in the few similar cases that exist historically worldwide, the suspects' relationship with each other was a key component.
"When you think back to being 12 or 13, relationships are intense," Kinscherff said.
And it's that intensity, developed in isolation — and without oversight or moderation — that in rare cases may lead to extreme behaviors. The children feed off each other's thoughts and reaffirm each other's increasingly unrealistic appraisal of the world.
- The concept of a dark, mysterious creature with psychologically malevolent intentions — who might seek to harm children — is common in folklore throughout the ages.
But today's Slender Man started as a few photoshopped images on a website in 2009. Then, like many things shared collectively online, it grew a life of its own.
Slender Man's creator is Eric Knudsen, 33, who is married and living in Florida, according to public records.
A working phone number to reach him could not be found Tuesday, but Knudsen said in an interview with On the Media in January that he has a toddler and was looking to become a schoolteacher. Knudsen confirmed he posted altered photos with a shadowy, slender man in the background at the website somethingawful.com in late 2009. Knudsen posted under the name Victor Surge.
"Some people had joked in the thread that oh, wouldn't it be funny if some of these ended up on paranormal websites," Knudsen said in the interview.
He acknowledged that certain people don't want to believe that Slender Man is fiction.
"Because it's obviously much scarier that way. If it's something that is real or could be real, that's much more frightening," he said in the interview.