Posted: June 3, 2014
Two girls charged in the near-fatal assault tell investigators they were inspired by a fictional online character known as Slender Man.
Editor's Note: The two girls charged in the attack have been named in some news reports, including an earlier version of this post. However, after careful consideration of the information's news value, NPR is no longer naming the girls because of their ages.
Creepypasta, a horror fantasy website that allegedly spurred two 12-year-old girls to carry out a near-fatal stabbing of a peer, has posted a disclaimer distancing itself from the crime.
The two girls have been charged in adult court with attempted first-degree murder after the stabbing of another 12-year-old girl in woods in Waukesha, Wis. The defendants each face 65 years in state prison if found guilty.
The name of the victim, who is recovering in the hospital from 19 stab wounds, has not been released.
According to USA Today, the accused girls told investigators "that they needed to kill someone to show their devotion to a legendary Internet character known as the Slender Man, which they read about on Creepypasta. They said they had planned for several months to stab a 12-year-old friend this past weekend, then walk to Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin, where they believed the character lived in a mansion, according to court documents."
Creepypasta on Tuesday posted a response to the stabbing, saying: "This is an isolated incident, and does not represent or attribute the Creepypasta community as a whole. This wiki does not endorse or advocate for the killing, worship, and otherwise replication of rituals of fictional works. There is a line between fiction and reality, and it is up to you to realize where the line is. We are a literature site, not a crazy satanic cult."
According to the criminal complaint, one of the girls told investigators: "Many people do not believe Slender Man is real ... [We] wanted to prove the skeptics wrong."
The Slender Man character is described by The Associated Press as "a paranormal being who lurks near forests and who absorbs, kills or carries off victims. In some accounts, he targets children. He looks like a long-limbed, lean man in a black suit but has no face. In some accounts, he has tentacles protruding from his back."
The attorney for one of the girls tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his client needs a mental health evaluation as soon as possible.
"I'm basing that on my years of experience interacting with thousands of clients," attorney Anthony Cotton said. "I believe she has those needs."
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