Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death to please a fictional character they learned about online. Both girls were charged with first-degree attempted homicide Monday in Waukesha County Circuit Court. A court commissioner set bail at $500,000 cash per girl.
The criminal complaint says that one of the girls told a detective they had to kill someone to become proxies of a character called Slender Man they learned about on a horror-story website. The complaint says the girls started planning to kill their friend as early as December. The three girls had a slumber party Friday. The two stabbed their friend 19 times in a wooded park Saturday.
The Slender Man (also known as Slenderman) is a fictional character that originated as an Internet meme created by Something Awful forums user Eric Knudsen (a.k.a “Victor Surge”) in 2009. It is depicted as resembling a thin, unnaturally tall man with a blank and usually featureless face, and wearing a black suit. The Slender Man is commonly said to stalk, abduct, or traumatize people, particularly children. The Slender Man is not tied to any particular story, but appears in many disparate works of fiction, mostly composed online.