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Woman who stabbed friend for ‘Slender Man’ denied psych hospital release

The New York Daily News - 4/12/2024

Morgan Geyser, who was 12 years old when she violently stabbed a classmate to curry favor with Slender Man, will not be released from a psychiatric hospital, a Wisconsin judge has ruled.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren on Thursday declined to free Geyser, now 21, despite positive testimony from two psychiatrists, including Dr. Kayla Pope, the medical director of Winnebago Mental Health Institute, where she has been in custody for years. Pope contended that Geyser should be allowed to rejoin society with certain conditions and supervision, telling the judge that she has actively participated in therapy and other treatment plans.

“At this point she is safe to return to the community, she added. “I don’t know that much more could be done to make her safer.”

On May 31, 2014, Geyser and her friend, Anissa Weier, who was also 12 at the time, invited classmate Payton Leutner over for a sleepover and lured her into the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin, not far from a suburban Milwaukee park. That’s where Geyser repeatedly stabbed Leutner while Weier egged her on.

Leutner, who suffered 19 stab wounds, barely survived the attack. She managed to crawl out of the woods and get help from a passing cyclist.

Both Geyser and Weier quickly confessed to the stabbing, telling authorities that they were carrying out orders from Slender Man, a notorious internet legend and horror character. He’s described as an unnaturally tall human-like being with a white head that has no face. He is also often depicted wearing a sleek black suit.

Geyser was sentenced to 40 years in a mental hospital in 2018 after pleading guilty to attempted first-degree intentional homicide. She was initially diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorder but has been off antipsychotic medications since 2022 with no new symptoms, Dr. Ken Robbins testified on Thursday.

“Morgan has improved quite dramatically. … The kinds of things Morgan needs in my view — help with socialization, help with education, help with becoming independent — are things Winnebago can no longer provide in an effective way,” said Robbins, who recommended she be moved to a group home.

Bohren disagreed and determined Geyser posed a risk of harming herself or others, or of damaging property, and denied her release. He also said he was troubled by the fact that Geyser has changed her story in recent years, attributing the attack to her desire to escape her abusive father, who is now dead.

“Her credibility is at issue. She’s changed her position,” Bohren said. “Until that credibility is resolved, the risk is high.”

Geyser’s accomplice, Weier, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree intentional homicide and was also sent to the psychiatric center. She was granted a release in 2021 to live with her father and was ordered to wear a GPS monitor.

With News Wire Services

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