The 2014 case of two 12-year-old girls who stabbed their friend to appease the fictional monster Slenderman haunted the nation. ‘Beware the Slenderman’ aims to look into the minds of Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser to discover why they committed, and confessed to the heinous crime. What the documentary uncovered is disturbing.
Unlike many true crime documentaries, Beware the Slenderman, directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky, skips past questioning the guilt of the people involved in the case. That’s because 12-year-old Anissa Weier, and Morgan Geyer, also 12, outright confessed to their crimes during police interrogations. It’s the least shocking aspect of their case.
Instead, it delves into the mystifying psychological aspects of why the two girls stabbed their friend, Payton “Bella” Leuster, 12, during a slumber party and left her for dead in the woods in Wisconsin. There’s plenty to unpack here. Brodsky conducts heartbreaking interviews with the girls’ parents about what they were like as young children. Morgan’s mother describes her as always being “quirky,” and reflects on how she didn’t “react the way you would expect” (not being upset when Bambi’s mother died, etc.).
Anissa had a rough time at school, was bullied and didn’t have many friends. She thrived at home while playing around on the internet; her main interest was using her iPad. Her parents were thrilled when she befriended Morgan in sixth grade, and they started hanging out with Payton, who was Morgan’s best friend since kindergarten. Yes, Morgan stabbed her closest, lifelong friend.
In chilling interrogation footage from after the girls were arrested, they tells officers, separately, what happened. Anissa was a big fan of Creepypasta Wiki, a popular site where users post scary stories, art and videos. There, she learned about the legend of Slenderman: a 14-foot tall man with no face, who wears a black suit and has stark white skin. Slenderman apparently stalks children from the shadows, appears in dreams, and can grow six arms to snatch unsuspecting prey.
Anissa and Morgan both tell police that they believed Slenderman was after him, and that they thought he was going to kill their families if they didn’t obey his orders. The way to get on his good side was to become his proxy/servant, they said, and that was done by sacrificing someone. They killed Payton so that they could travel through to woods to find Slenderman’s castle and live with him forever.
The girls went to the park with Payton after having a sleepover. Morgan stabbed her more than a dozen times. They told her they were going to get help, but left her to die. She barely survived after crawling to the side of the road to get help. It’s a haunting crime that gets worse when you hear absolutely no remorse from the girls in their interrogations. Anissa, at one point, tells the officer that she was worried because “she didn’t want to see a dead body.” She had to kill Payton, she said “because it was necessary.”
Court psychologists determined in 2014 that Morgan was schizophrenic, and that Anissa had a diminished ability to determine what was real and not real. Morgan has spent the last two years in a state hospital, and Anissa at a juvenile detention facility. They have been charged as adults with first-degree attempted murder, which could land them up to 65 years each in prison. They are awaiting their trial, which will be held in 2017.
Slenderman was created in 2009 as an entry in a horror photoshop contest.
HollywoodLifers, were you shocked by Beware the Slenderman? Tell us in the comments!