The very sad, very disturbing case of two Wisconsin girls accused of stabbing a classmate to appease the "Slender Man" continued to unfold in court yesterday. A private investigator testified he'd found more than 60 drawings of the fictional character in one girl's bedroom, along with Barbies, some missing their hands and feet, marked with a symbol representing him.
Anissa Weir, now 13, and Morgan Geyser, 12, both of Waukesha, Wisconsin, are being charged as adults in the stabbing of Peyton Leutner, who was severely wounded and barely survived the attack. Both were deemed competent to stand trial in December. Geyser was previously found to be incompetent in August, and her lawyer has told the judge that she has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. (Update, 12: 15 p.m.: This paragraph has been edited to reflect that while Geyser's attorney says she has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, court testimony from psychologists who have evaluated her shows that she is experiencing severe delusions. The National Institute for Mental Health says it is "difficult" to diagnose schizophrenia in teens.)
The case is still in preliminary hearings, with a judge preparing to decide whether the two will actually stand trial. On Tuesday, a private investigator for the defense testified that he'd found drawings of the Slender Man in Geyser's bedroom, along with the Barbies, marked with an X inside a circle. The investigator also found a "supply list" in Geyser's room, with the items listed including "pepper spray," "weapons," "camera" and "will to live." Amid the drawings of Slender Man were anguished-sounding phrases: "He still sees you," "Help me escape my mind," and "He cannot be harmed." There was also reportedly a drawing of a girl lying on the ground next to the words "I love killing people."
The local Fox affiliate reports that Weier told a detective she was terrified of the Slender Man, which she too seems to have fervently believed in: "Well yeah," she told the officer, according to a recording played in court. "He is anywhere from 14 to 60 feet tall. He constantly wears a suit. He doesn`t have a face. He targets children. He has tendrils on his back. I was really scared he could kill my whole family in three seconds."
Psychologist Deborah Collins testified that Geyser still believes the Slender Man is real, testifying that belief "hasn't wavered and it's been unyielding to a rational perspective." Collins also told the court that Geyser said she uses "Vulcan mind control," and believes Harry Potter characters are "real people," including Lord Voldemort, who she told the psychologist visits her.
If the case goes to trial, each girl faces up to 65 years in prison.
One of the girls is brought into court, February 17. Image via AP