Woman in 'Slender Man' Attack Won't Be Released

Morgan Geyser was 12 when she stabbed a classmate nearly to death
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 11, 2024 12:00 AM CDT
Updated Apr 12, 2024 12:00 AM CDT
Woman in 'Slender Man' Attack Shouldn't Be Released: Experts
Waukesha County Deputy District Attorney Ted Szczupakiewicz questions Dr. Deborah Collins, PhD, a specialist in psychology, during a motion hearing for Morgan Geyser in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in Waukesha, Wis.   (Scott Ash/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)
UPDATE Apr 12, 2024 12:00 AM CDT

The woman who, at age 12, stabbed a classmate nearly to death in an effort to please the fictional online horror character Slender Man was on Thursday denied her request for an early release from psychiatric care. The judge in the case found that there was a significant risk that Morgan Geyser, now 21, could be dangerous to herself or someone else, and that "the scales tip in favor of the public." Two psychiatrists who have worked with Geyser testified earlier Thursday that she was ready to be released, CBS News reports. "She has actively participated in therapy, medication management, and all the treatments that are available," one said. The other added that the things she needs now ("help with socialization, help with education, help with becoming independent") can't be offered effectively at the mental health institute.

Apr 11, 2024 12:00 AM CDT

Two psychologists testified Wednesday that a Wisconsin woman who at age 12 stabbed a sixth-grade classmate nearly to death to please the online horror character Slender Man should not be released yet from a psychiatric hospital, the AP reports. Morgan Geyser, now 21, wants to leave Winnebago Mental Health Institute with conditions. But one psychologist said the case has taken an unusual turn because Geyser claims she had been faking psychotic symptoms, which "doesn't line up" with years of observation and treatment. "That would be rather remarkable. That would be very callous as well," said Brooke Lundbohm, who has seen Geyser since 2014.

"If the person is not able to have insight into their mental health condition, the potential warning signs, the triggers that could cause decline, have insight into the kinds of treatment that may be beneficial—it raises a lot of concerns" about being discharged, Lundbohm testified. Another psychologist, Deborah Collins, said Geyser has made "bona fide progress" but agreed that she could pose a risk to the public. Collins said release could be appropriate in six to 12 months. "She's future-oriented. She's goal-oriented as well," Collins said. Waukesha County Judge Michael Bohren is hearing from experts to determine whether to grant the release. The hearing will resume Thursday with cross-examination by Geyser's attorney.

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Geyser and Anissa Weier were 12 in 2014 when they lured Payton Leutner to a Waukesha park after a sleepover. Geyser stabbed Leutner repeatedly while Weier egged her on. Leutner suffered 19 stab wounds and barely survived, authorities said. Geyser, who was diagnosed at the time with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree intentional homicide and was sent to the psychiatric institute because of mental illness. 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.

(More Morgan Geyser stories.)

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