The Slender Man
You’re probably familiar with the Slender Man if you read this blog regularly. He is of course not real. He is an online phantom character created in 2009 by Eric Knudsen. This is one of the creepiest articles involving fantasy and murder and kids that I have ever read. Knudsen photo-shopped two images to enter a contest put on by SA or Something Awful, involving innovative photography and imagery. Knudson created a tall, thin creature lurking behind children, stalking them like prey. “I was mostly influenced by H.P Lovecraft, Stephen King (specifically his short stories), the surreal imaginings of William S. Burroughs, and couple games of the survival horror genre; Silent Hill and Resident Evil,” was the explanation as to how he formatted his “masterpiece.” I can envision the clown in It influencing Knudson.
Silent Hill was made into a creepy movie about child torture that I simply couldn’t stomach (I don’t believe there was anything explicit with the victim but since I didn’t watch the whole thing I can’t say). The Slender Man is a being who looks like a man with extremely long, slender arms and legs. He has long, black tentacles that protrude from his back, making him look like a spider. Slender Man has a taste for children, whom he stalks, kidnaps, then kills (I think he only goes for the fat ones as he’s trying to put on a few).
Over time Slender Man became an increasingly well-known internet phenomenon. People who wrote to online dream interpretation sites even stated they had nightmares of Slender Man. No doubt. In this murder, a nightmare became reality when two 12-year-old’s named Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier stabbed a girlfriend almost to death 19 times with a knife. The girls were found walking near Interstate 94 after stabbing a friend 19 times and leaving her to die in the woods. When questioned by police, they said they were on their way to meet Slender Man, their personal American idol, so to speak. These girls believed Slender Man was the “leader” of a silly site entitled Creepypasta. It collects creepy horror stories for publication and Geysey and Weier were avid readers. They attempted to kill their friend to show their devotion to this mythological creature. They also believed Slender Man lived in a mansion in Wisconsin’s Nicolet National Forest. Truly that is the worst kind of promo for the forest. Nicolet is destined to lose a lot of tourists this year lest Slender Man starts wriggling around among the trees.
It is obvious to anyone reading this article and anyone who knows what the Slender Man is, that he is not real. Anyone who believes otherwise is unable to distinguish fact from fiction, a crack smoker of epic proportions, mentally ill, or just plain evil and looking for an evil idol to seduce. Geyser and Weier are a story unto themselves. They might even fall into all four aforementioned categories, including the crack option. Don’t Geyser and Weier remind you of Venables and Thompson, the two morbidly twisted 10-year-old boys who bludgeoned 2-year-old James Bulger to death and left him on an old railroad track? Truly, these four sound like two couples from The Gothic Dating Game show. Can you imagine the kind of kids they would have if they got married? Anyhoo. Not surprisingly, Venables and Thompson had terribly troubled home lives. They were physically and in Venables’ case, sexually abused by his older siblings.
Venables and Thompson – The James Bulger Murder
Jon Venables and Robert Thompson abducted little James Bulger from a shopping mall, leading him to an abandoned railroad track where they bludgeoned, stomped on and strangled the child to death. His clothes were removed from the waist down, indicating a sexual element to the crime. Venables emerged from a household of strict
discipline. He lived in terror of losing his mother’s love, yet he was terrified of her. He exhibited highly disturbed behaviour in school, banging his head on his desk and attempting to strangle a peer with such ferocity that it took two teachers to pull him off him. So far as I’m aware, the school didn’t follow up by establishing psychiatrist help for the boy or family counselling for the Venable family. If that is the case then the school was negligent in its responsibility towards Venables. Venables’ sibling Phillip requested to be placed into a foster home. The constant moving and disruption in Venables’ life made him a highly unstable little boy.
Thompson was sexually abused by his older brothers. In turn, he sexually abused a younger brother but the two of them turned to each other for comfort at night when they slept together in the same bed, sucking each other’s thumbs. Thompson was beaten severely by his mother and his older brothers. The boys all lived in fear of each other, tormenting, taunting, and beating one another. By the time he partnered with Venables at the age of 10, the two boys were both bullies on the schoolyard and in their respective neighbourhoods. They began to terrorize local children and no one intervened. It was rumoured that the two boys watched a total of 400 horror movies together with extreme violence and graphic deaths. Certainly for such disturbed children the movies were yet one more dark influence in their personality development.
In this pairing, Thompson was the dominant partner and Venables was the weaker and more submissive. Although he was also bloodthirsty and cruel, he was happy to follow Thompson’s lead. It was Thompson who planned the abduction, Thompson who told Venables where they were taking Bulger, and Thompson who planned what they would do to the child, which included a sexual attack (although later both boys vehemently denied this to police and their own lawyers). Venables simply followed along. By contrast to Geyser’s father, Venables’ father “is a slight man, sharp-featured, with the look of a man who has learned not to expect many lucky breaks, but never imagined a bad one like this. He likes a pint, but not too many. He was always a timid man. He spoiled those kids, especially the killer.” Not surprisingly, “the mother is the disciplinarian.” Coincidentally, Thompson’s mother was the disciplinarian in his household, but this resulted more or less from her husband’s abandonment. “He said his mother beat him. Her critics around there say she is shrill, a big- mouth with a foul temper and a nasty streak. There are neighbours who say it was hell living next door….the mother was often in the pub.” Dysfunctional families were also at the root of these boys’ problems. An interesting study on the two boys entitled: Children of Misfortune: Parallels in the Cases of Child Murderers Thompson and Venables, Barratt and Bradley,” explores the two aforementioned child killer cases, the latter taking place during the Victorian Era.
Of course we have to look into the families of both Geyser and Weier in order to comprehend the horror of their actions and their mindset. In Geyser’s
case, her father,
Matt, shared a picture on his DEADBOY Instagram, of a portrait she drew of Slender Man. A deadboy instagram. Well, then. That explains a lot…something to do with visit the sins of the father on the heads of the children, I believe. Matt Geyser often included expressions such as
ILOVEEVIL and 666. The mother, Angie, is another prize: she is into that whole “goth” scene. After the crime, Chief Jack of the Waukesha, Wisonsin police department stated “Parents should not be allowing their children to have unrestricted or unmonitored internet usage.” I wonder what Matt Geyser would say to that. Now it’s not the goth I object to, so long as it isn’t taken too far. Goth can be, and typically is, a lifestyle totally unrelated to murder and violence. Some people take it into a culture all its own with either startling, “goth” clothing and dyed black hair, or beautiful apparel from an earlier century, possibly Victorian. These are your basically harmless goths and should not be harassed upon meeting them on the street. You are in no danger. Do not draw your gun.
Crime Duo Dynamics
Now running into Geyser and Weier or (god forbid) others like them is something to be disturbed about. You may wish to hop into your vehicle and floor it like hell outta there. Isn’t it inevitable that parents who “are into evil“ would influence their gullible child? This isn’t to say that Geyser deserves to be tried as a child (she isn’t) after such a heinous attack on another little girl. The same goes for Weier although I don’t know if her family was as into horror and evil etc as Geyser’s. I doubt it. All it takes is one person in a pair to lead the other down the (forest?) path and that person can adopt the leader’s values, beliefs, and actions no matter how twisted. In fact this is true of all partner murders. In a “couples” murder (and this doesn’t have to mean romantic couple) there are two distinct personalities:
(1) the dominant, more intelligent leader who initiates the crime
(2) the submissive, less intelligent follower
Victoria Stafford Murder
The leader dictates to the follower. She is the centre cog in the wheel. She plans the attack with her partner, assigning roles to them both. The interaction between them is unbreakable and is what leads to the murder. There is fierce loyalty between the two, but much more so for the follower. She will do anything that is asked of her without question and when the chips are down, she will not betray her partner even for less jail time. Meanwhile, one office over at the police station, the leader is already accusing her dim companion of planning and executing the entire crime. As an example, think of the Victoria Stafford Case. One major issue in this case was the police’s failure to use the Amber Alert system the States has been using since the abduction and murder of Amber Hagerman. Michael Thomas Rafferty, 28 and Terri-Lynne McClintic, 18, were the killer couple that abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered the little girl. Rafferty told McClintic to lure the little girl to his car, which McClintic willingly did. Rafferty raped the child as Tori begged McClintic to make him stop. He then stomped on and bludgeoned the the child to death with a hammer. At first, McClintic stated Rafferty was the killer but stated that Rafferty came to visit her in the detention centre, worried that she would say something to police that would implicate him, but she told him she would take the fall for everything. McClintic wrote her recollection of the events of April 8 in a letter to her lawyer while in detention, including that Rafferty was the one who killed Tori with blows to the head from a hammer. Then later during trial, she testified that she did it. This is a prime example of the influence the dominant partner has over the submissive in a violent crime.
The Role of the School
The media questioned the role of the middle school the two girls attended, specifically whether or not the school enacted appropriate structure and discipline. The interviewer stated she is in agreement of the use of iPads for students then she asked an anonymous student of the school if it had become too lax in its use of the gadget in class. The girl agreed wholeheartedly that the school was partly to blame for the murder since the number of children there had risen from 500 to 900 after she left, the implication being there were too few teachers to uphold school discipline. She also stated that the school was too “lax” with its approach to discipline because it didn’t deal efficiently with its “troubled” students. There could be some merit to that opinion, if it’s true. The Waukesha school board released a statement to the press stating “we have also provided counsellors at all schools where this may have caused distress among students.” These are the statements of a high school student. There has been no verification by local authorities or the press. Speaking of schools, Morgan Geyser looks remarkably like a very young Brenda Spencer, the 16-year-old girl in San Diego who shot and wounded several children, and killed one adult, at Grover Clement Elementary School one Monday morning. Perhaps they will become friends in prison…yet another creepy criminal duo.
I’m willing to bet it was Geyser who was the dominant partner in the Geyser-Weier partnership. Consider the weird family dynamic between Morgan (affectionately known as Momo by daddy dearest): Matt encouraged Morgan to pursue her interest in the Slender Man and he even posted her drawing of the character on his Intagram and wrote “Only Momo draws Slenderman in crayon on a napkin when out to dinner.” How proud he must be. I wonder how proud he is now (I’m afraid to ask, as a matte
r of fact). Weier’s brother, William Weier, stated his sister “couldn’t tell the difference between dreams and reality.” She loved watching online videos with the weird character, Slender Man.Weier also stated, ‘If you looked at my
younger sister you’d see a normal happy 12-year-old. She’s just got a couple of weird interests. Personally I think she found Slender Man on YouTube, took an interest and then read up on it. She loved CreepyPasta, she loved the Slender Man stories, just anything a bit creepy. But I don’t see why it changed from dream to reality. She was very quiet, she kept to herself, but she was happy-go-lucky, so this is completely out of the blue. I know she understood what she was doing because she is very intelligent, to the point where by she lacks common sense. But she is only a little girl so I don’t think she understood the ramifications of what she was doing.’
Completely out of the blue notwithstanding, I cannot dispute more intensely that this “little girl” didn’t understand “the ramifications of what she was doing.” And to state first that Weier is very intelligent and knew what she was doing is a complete contradiction to stating she didn’t understand the ramifications. Ridiculous. When her victim screamed, bled, writhed in agony, and pleaded for her life, I am quite certain Weier knew those ramifications only too well. But she enjoyed the attack against her friend so she refused to stop, as was the case with her equally twisted partner, Geyser. Weier sat on the victim restraining her, so that Geyser could stab her, but Weier worried that the victim’s yelling would attract attention, and she got off of the victim. Geyser first tackled the victim and started stabbing her and eventually, the victim tried walking toward the street but the girls directed her back into the forest. Geyser later told police that they had to kill their friend or Slender Man would kill their families. Weier insisted that Slender Man is the killer and just below the killer is the proxy. In order to be a proxy, Weier explained, you have to kill someone — to show your dedication to Slender Man. Of course Slender Man is the real killer. The proxies are innocent, naturally. They’re just doing as they were told by an internet character.
These so-called little girls have certainly been influenced by the internet, Slender Man and in Geyser’s case, a completely disoriented father and mother. However many children have weird parents, abusive parents, are themselves abused, are exposed to unhealthy environments and (you know what’s coming next don’t you?) they do not become savage murderers. They do not become seduced by a creature known as Slender Man. They do not believe that murdering a girlfriend would prove their loyalty to the creature.
The dynamic between all of these child killer partnerships is clear and each case bears striking similarities. In the Geyser-Weier case internet technology is partly blamed for the girls’ vicious behavior. Having reached the 21st century, crime now has a strong element of computer technology. This is frightening since the internet provides such easy access to inappropriate websites, including peculiar social media sites. These influences were certainly a strong factor in the Geyser-Weier crime but they cannot be completely blamed for the girls’ actions. The home environment and a lack of reality contributed to the attempted murder. But there is something more and this is what bothers me the most: Geyser told police, “It was weird that I didn’t feel remorse” and Weier said: “The bad part of me wanted her to die. The good part of me wanted her to live.” In other words, n o matter who or what you blame, the girls had it in them, they had some sort of resident evil, that permitted them to stab their friend 19 times. Fortunately that the girls wanted their victim to die was in vain. The child managed to survive with help from a passerby after she crawled out of the forest. It will take a forensic psychiatrist to fully analyze the crime and to interview with the would-be killers in order to reach a full conclusion as to how and why this horrible thing happened. Until then, the world will wait and watch with morbid (momo?) curiosity for the trial to begin. Using the internet, of course.