It was a case that absolutely stunned the world. Two Waukesha County girls lured another 12 year old girl into the woods and tried to kill her. One of the girls stabbed the victim 19 times while the other one cheered her on. The attempted murder was done in the name of Slender Man.
Who Is Slender Man?
Slender Man is a fictional character that often appears in online forums as part of a scary story. The spider-like figure is described as tall and lanky and dressed in all black and has a white, featureless face. Some refer to him as simply a demon while others call him an avenging angel.
Slender Man first appeared on the Internet in 2009 as part of a photo contest. The winner of the contest had superimposed this fictional character into the background of another picture and wrote scary quips underneath about children disappearing when the “Slender Man” appears. From there it went viral and people from all over the world have written fan fiction about this creepy character. The popularity of this character has even allowed it to appear in video games and in two separate movies. The phenomenon still continues. Thankfully, most people realize they are just made up stories to send a chill down your spine.
Not Everyone Realized The Stories Were Fake
In 2014 three girls who were considered best friends had a slumber party. They were celebrating one of the girls 12th birthday. After a night at the local skating rink and a fun sleepover, the girls awoke the next morning and went outside to have some fun.
The three girls went to a local park that was considered a wooded area. There, one of the girls attacked her friend who just turned 12 and began to stab her saying “don’t worry I am just a kitty.” The other girl egged her on and never tried to stop the unfolding horror. The two girls ran off, leaving their friend lying in the grass and went to the local Walmart to wash up and get a drink.
The girl who had been stabbed crawled from the park and was found by a jogger. Before being put under anesthetic so surgery could be performed, the young girl identified her attackers. The attackers were picked up within hours of the attack.
The two girls did not know that their friend had survived. They stated that they killed her to please “Slender Man” and hoped that their blood sacrifice would allow them to become his proxies. The one girl who had done the actual stabbing seemed unremorseful and still deeply involved in her fantasy world.
Since that time both girls have been undergoing psychiatric evaluation and have been convicted and sentenced for their crime.
Both girls were tried as adults despite their age at the time of the crime. The act was considered so heinous that the judge felt it was necessary to charge the girls as adults. They were charged with first degree attempted murder.
The criminal attorneys for each of the girls worked vigorously to have the charges brought down to juvenile court, especially the attorney representing the girl who did not do the actual stabbing. While the attorney understood that this crime was not something like an OWI charge, the attorney felt that because the girl did not do the actual physical harm she should be charged as a child.
The court did not accept this argument and she was charged and convicted as an adult. She showed true remorsefulness and was sentenced to 25 years in a mental institution dating back to the date of the crime. She will be eligible for release at age 37.
The girl that actually did the stabbing faced more serious charges. Her attorney was able to make a plea bargain with the court. The girl would plead guilty to the charges and avoid a trial and accept a sentence of 40 years in a mental institution. This was in lieu of facing a jury and a potential of 60 years in prison.
The court did accept this plea. However, her sentencing is not retroactive to the date of the crime. Due to the plea bargain, the girl will not be able to be released from the mental institution until she is at least 56 years old.
Follow Up On The Victim
The little girl who was stabbed 19 times in this horrendous story has survived and is doing as well as can be expected. She has returned to school and has begun to make friends again and to socialize. She has even had a sleepover at her home.
Extensive medical care allowed her to heal completely, and now she only faces some scarring and the emotional scars that come with being a victim of a crime. She and her family attend weekly therapy sessions. Doctors have stated that she will be eligible for plastic surgery to correct some of the scarring when she reaches adulthood.
Thoughts From A Criminal Attorney
When you hear about a case as shocking as the Slender Man case it is very easy to say that the girls who were responsible should be placed in a jail cell and have the key thrown away. Even many criminal attorneys would refuse this type of case and opt for something much easier like representing someone charged with an OWI. However, it is very important that everyone, regardless of what occurred receives the right type of legal representation.
While many of the details have been omitted from this post about the mental status of these girls and the state of their overall living conditions, it should be noted that the criminal defense attorneys were very right in seeking to have these girls placed in a mental institution for their crimes as opposed to prison.
Although the court did find both girls competent to stand trial, the court also recognized that there was more to these acts than just criminal intent. There was a form of mental illness involved.
During her incarceration the girl responsible for the actual stabbing was diagnosed with schizophrenia. While this is very uncommon in people of this age, there is a family history of this disorder and many physical and mental signs pointing to this diagnosis.
Of course, this does not clear the girl of her actions. But it does mean that the attorney representing her needed to make sure that the punishment she received also provided her with the help she needed. One of the main points of incarceration of any type is to help a person reform from their actions.