A 12-year-old girl accused of killing her stepmother and setting fire to her family’s apartment allegedly said a fictitious clown told her to do it.
The Elhart, Indiana girl allegedly set the fire and then stabbed her 50-year-old stepmother, Maria Torres, in July, according to court documents obtained by WSBT-TV. Torres died at the scene.
A court order cited by the television station said the girl was acting “at the direction of a fictional character found on the CreepyPasta website known as ‘Laughing Jack.’”
The girl “heard voices and had an ‘alter ego’ months before the stabbing and begged her father for help,” the court order reportedly read.
Three doctors reportedly determined the 12-year-old girl is not fit to stand trial and diagnosed her with Dissociate Identity Disorder, or multiple personality disorder. Two of the doctors also diagnosed her with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Though the pre-teen has been diagnosed with a myriad of conditions, it has been difficult to find her adequate help, her attorney said.
“This little girl has been failed by everyone,” said Holly Curtis, the girl’s public defender, WSBT-TV reported.
Sixteen psychiatric facilities have reportedly refused to take the girl, who has also been refused by the state, even after a court order was signed Tuesday by both a magistrate and a judge, Curtis said.
The order reportedly said state hospital placement through the Indiana Division of Mental Health is the “only option available.”
For now she has been placed at the Juvenile Detention Center in Goshen, where she poses a risk to herself and others, court documents reportedly said. Sharp objects are not allowed near the girl and because of her, the detention center had to add staff.
Though the girl is currently seeing a counselor and taking medication prescribed by a doctor, she “continues to beg detention staff for help,” court documents said.
Who Is Laughing Jack?
Once-popular email chains containing stories and baseless warnings to readers to pass along the message or face dire consequences eventually became known as “Copypasta,” the viral copy-and-pasted text that took on a life of its own.
Its most popular subgenre is CreepyPasta, which is described by a website of the same name as “short stories designed to unnerve, disturb and frighten the reader.”
“A Creepypasta may claim to be the absolute truth, while other Creepypastas are written purely for frightening entertainment. It's up to you to decide truth from fiction...” the site notes.
In ‘Laughing Jack,’ a story that appears on the site, a murderous clown pretends to become an imaginary friend with a child before killing them.
The post that first featured the killer clown has been viewed nearly 14,000 times.
The 12-year-old girl reportedly claimed that she was acting at the direction of ‘Laughing Jack’ after she had stabbed her stepmother to death and set the family’s home on fire.
This comes after two Wisconsin girls allegedly stabbed another girl to death, claiming that "Slender Man," another CreepyPasta, threatened them and their families if they didn’t kill their classmate.
A judge ruled in August that the pair will stand trial as adults.