Two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls accused of stabbing their friend nearly to death say they did so to please a fictional character they read about in an online horror story.
The girls, from the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, have been charged as adults with first-degree attempted homicide. They told investigators they plotted for months to kill their 12-year-old friend because a character called Slenderman required them to kill someone before they could become his "proxy."
The girls told investigators they read about Slenderman on the website creepypasta.wikia.com. One girl told police that Slenderman is the leader of Creepypasta, and in the hierarchy of that world, one must kill to show dedication.
Both girls are being held at a juvenile detention center.
According to court documents, the girls told investigators they invited their friend to a sleepover at one of their houses on Friday and planned to duct tape her mouth while she was sleeping, stab her in the neck, and run away to Slenderman's mansion.
They backed out of that plan, deciding to kill her on Saturday in a nearby park bathroom. They convinced the girl to go to the park with them and got her into the bathroom. One of the girls handed the knife to the other but she couldn't bring herself to stab the victim, she said.
They went into the woods, where one girl pushed the victim down and sat on her. The girls then traded the knife back and forth between them before one of them finally began stabbing the victim.
One girl told a detective she understood they were going to end a life and she regretted it. "The bad part of me wanted her to die, the good part of me wanted her to live," the girl said.
The girls left the victim lying in the woods. She crawled to a road where a bicyclist found her lying on the sidewalk.
On Tuesday, the Creepypasta website condemned the attack as an "isolated incident."
"I'm going to make myself loud and clear: ALL WORKS PRESENTED ON THIS WIKI AND OTHER SITES (INCLUDING SLENDERMAN ) ARE FICTIONAL STORIES AND CHARACTERS," a site administrator identified as Sloshtrain wrote. "We are a literature site, not a crazy satanic cult."
According to the website, "a creepypasta is a short story posted on the Internet that is designed to unnerve and shock the reader."
"This should be a wakeup call for all parents," said Russell Jack, Waukesha's police chief. "Parents are strongly encouraged to restrict and monitor their children's Internet usage."
In response to such criticism, Sloshedtrain cited the site's popularity as a defense. "These are the same people who think violent video games help create mass murderers, because it is convenient to blame and point fingers," the administrator wrote. "Something like this was bound to happen, considering the size of the Creepypasta community. All it takes is one person to do something insane and radical in the name of someone or something."
Reporting: Associated Press, Los Angeles Times