From Volume 90, Number 2 (January 2017)
Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier are two adolescent girls currently in Wisconsin’s criminal justice system. While Weier remains in a juvenile detention facility, Geyser spent several months in 2016 in a mental health facility receiving treatment for early-onset schizophrenia. Unlike other children their age, Geyser and Weier have both been charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide for stabbing their friend, a girl named Payton Leutner, nineteen times with a kitchen knife and leaving her in the woods to die. At the time of the stabbing, all three girls were twelve years old. A fictional online character, known as Slender Man, served as the motivation behind Geyser and Weier’s attempt to kill their friend, who miraculously survived after crawling out of the woods. Furthermore, unlike most children who are charged with a crime, Geyser and Weier have been charged as adults. Additionally, a trial court judge decided to keep the adolescent girls in the criminal court during a reverse waiver hearing, and consequently their names were released to the public. Videos of the police questioning both girls after their initial arrest are also readily available on media outlets.