The world got their first look at 12-year-old Slender Man stabbing victim Payton Leutner on ABC’s ’20/20.’ In the interview, her parents revealed her desperate fight to survive after her two best friends allegedly stabbed her 19 times in a secluded forest area in May 2013.
We’re finally getting a glimpse at Payton Leutner, the 12-year-old who suffered 19 stab wounds allegedly at the hands of her 12-year-old best friends, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, who were obsessed with the Slender Man myth. Her identity and first photos were revealed in the world exclusive interview with 20/20 on Sept. 26, and her parents spoke out about her harrowing survival story.
Slender Man Stabbing Victim: First Photos Revealed Of Payton Leutner
The world got their first look at Payton and her recovery since her brutal near death stabbing in May 2013. In the interview with 20/20’s David Muir, Payton’s parents detailed the horrific ordeal and their daughter’s brave journey.
Payton has remained anonymous until now. The only picture we’ve seen of Payton is of her being carried away on a stretcher. The 12-year-old seems to be recovering wonderfully, despite one of her multiple stab wounds missing a major artery by “the width of a human hair,” according to the interview.
In the interview, Payton can be seen playing with a cat, carving pumpkins, attending a Katy Perry concert and going back to school for the first time since the brutal attack. Payton did not speak of the stabbing on 20/20.
We are so proud of Payton for not letting this situation stand in the way of her living a normal live. She is an inspiration to us all.
Slender Man Stabbing Victim: Payton Leutner’s Parents Detail Her Journey
Despite suffering 19 stab wounds and left for dead in the Wisconsin woods, Payton managed to crawl out of the woods where a bicyclist found her and called 911.
Payton’s injuries made it hard for her to talk, so she wrote notes to her parents, Stacie and Joe Leutner, to stay connected. The first question she asked, “Did they find them?”
When the time was right, her parents asked her how she was able to crawl out of the woods. “I wanted to live,” she said.
“She’s an amazing child,” Payton’s mother said. Her father added, “She’s definitely our hero.”
Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier were arrested soon after the stabbing. The girls could face up to 60 years in prison if they are convicted as adults of attempted homicide. If they are convicted as juveniles, they could still face up to 25 years in prison.
We wish Payton all the best as she continues to recover.
Here’s a clip from the 20/20 interview:
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— Avery Thompson