A creation known as Slender Man is obsessing young people on the internet. But did this mythic monster lead to tragedy?
A sleepy suburb of Milwaukee is reeling after the horrific details of the stabbing of a 12-year-old girl were revealed in court.
The accused culprits are two other 12-year-olds identified as Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier. Police say they spent months plotting to kill their friend as a sacrifice to Slender Man.
Cops say the girls invited their friend for a sleepover. Then, they brought her into the woods for what the victim thought would be an innocent game of hide and seek. Instead, one suspect held her down while the other stabbed her 19 times in total.
Morgan Geyser was quoted by cops as saying "stabby, stab, stab" to describe what they did. "It was weird that I didn't feel remorse," she allegedly said.
"The bad part of me wanted her to die, the good part of me wanted her to live," said the other suspect, Anissa Weier.
By some miracle, the victim survived. But she came within "one millimeter...from certain death."
Slender Man is a spooky character that first showed up online in 2009. He's said to stalk, abduct, and traumatize children and communicates telepathically. Stories about Slender Man have swept the internet.
"Both suspects had a fascination with a fictitious character that often posted to websites dealing with stories about death and horror," the police chief told reporters at a news conference.
So, how could 12-year-old children end up in this situation?
Psychologist Jeff Gardere told INSIDE EDITION, "With these two 12 year olds, you may be looking at two individuals who separately may have had issues adjusting, bonding to their parents or other children. They may have been isolated. But, they band together and therefore begin to support and reinforce each other's very crazy behaviors, very irrational thoughts, and become each other's best cheerleaders as far as drifting into this world of fantasy, horror, and of course, violence."