‘Slender Man’ stabbing: Woman who nearly killed classmate denied release

Click to play video: 'Slender Man stabbing: Wisconsin judge denies conditional release of killer due to ‘dangerous risk’'
Slender Man stabbing: Wisconsin judge denies conditional release of killer due to ‘dangerous risk’
A Waukesha County court denied a conditional release for Morgan Geyser in Wisconsin on Thursday, one of the women involved in the 'Slender Man' stabbing of a classmate in 2014 – Apr 11, 2024

Morgan Geyser, who nearly killed her Grade 6 classmate in a 2014 stabbing meant to satisfy the fictional horror character Slender Man, was denied conditional release from a psychiatric hospital on Thursday.

Geyser, now 21, asked for early release from her court-sentenced 40-year commitment to Winnebago Mental Health Institute in Oshkosh, Wis.

The request was denied by Judge Michael O. Bohren of Waukesha County Circuit Court, who said Geyser was still at risk of harming herself or others and should stay institutionalized, the New York Times reported.

Several experts and the director of the psychiatric institute provided testimony at the hearing — with two doctors arguing that Geyser is not a danger and should be released.

Dr. Kayla Pope, the hospital’s medical director, said Geyser should be granted release because she’s “actively participated in therapy, medication management and all the treatments that are available.”

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“At this point she is safe to return to the community. I don’t know that much more could be done to make her safer,” Pope argued.

Morgan Geyser is led out Waukesha County Circuit Court after the first day of a motion hearing on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in Waukesha, Wis. Scott Ash/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP

Another psychiatrist, Dr. Ken Robbins, also argued in favour of Geyser’s release and said Geyser needed help with socialization, education and independence that the hospital cannot provide, according to a CBS News report.

However, psychologist Deborah Collins told the court Geyser should not be freed. Collins said Geyser attempted suicide in 2021 and halted her antipsychotic medications the year after, citing no symptoms.

Collins also testified that Geyser once said she had faked her mental illness to escape her abusive father, casting doubt on Geyser’s original schizophrenia diagnosis, the New York Times reported.

After the two-day hearing, Bohren opted not to release Geyser.

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“The scales tip in favour of the public, and it tips that way by clear and convincing evidence,” Bohren told the court on Thursday as he shut down Geyser’s release request.

Geyser, who was handcuffed in the courtroom, has not commented publicly on the denial.

Her lawyer said they would petition for another conditional release in six months, when she is again eligible under state law.

The Slender Man stabbing

Geyser’s crime, which has been commonly called the “Slender Man stabbing,” captured international attention in 2014, when Geyser and the victim were only 12 years old.

Slender Man, a horror character of internet lore, is a fictional, supernatural figure. Created as a meme, Slender Man is often depicted as a thin, humanoid being with overgrown limbs. He has no face and wears a formal black suit.

Geyser and another girl, Anissa Weier, also 12, on March 31, 2014, lured their Grade 6 classmate Payton Leutner into a wooded area of Waukesha, Wis., where Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times. (Leutner survived the ordeal.)

Weier did not perpetrate the stabbing but encouraged Geyser.

The girls later told police they stabbed Leutner to please Slender Man, as well as so that they would become his “proxies.” Geyser and Weier said they both believed Slender Man was real, and that he would hurt their families.

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Leutner was discovered by a cyclist as she crawled out of the woods, was brought to hospital and went on to recover.

When police found Geyser and Weier hours after the stabbing, the girls told authorities they were on the way to Slender Man’s house, which they believed was a mansion in Wisconsin’s Northwoods.

Geyser and Weier were both charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide. They were charged as adults.

Geyser pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal to avoid jail time and was subsequently institutionalized.

Weier pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted second-degree homicide. She was committed to the Winnebago Mental Health Institute for 25 years after a jury determined she was mentally ill.

Weier was granted conditional release in July 2021.

The case went on to spark calls for better parental monitoring of children’s internet access. Geyser has been held at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute since 2018.

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