Slender Man victim breaks silence five years after she was stabbed 19 times by her friends: 'They had been planning it for a long time'
The Slender Man stabbing victim, Payton Leutner, has finally broken her silence after five years of the horrifying attack where she witnessed her friends stabbing her and leaving her for dead in the woods. Leutner, now 17, in an interview described how she has recovered from the trauma after surviving the tragedy.
Two 12-year-old girls from Wisconsin, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, attempted to murder Leutner by stabbing her 19 times, claiming they did so in an attempt to show their loyalty towards a mythical figure known as the Slender Man. The two girls, who left their friend to die in the woods, were found by police walking along the interstate to Nicolet National Forest. They later told officers they needed to kill Payton so that the Slender Man wouldn’t come for their families. The incident occurred in May 2014.
Leutner, who managed to survive by crawling to a nearby road where she flagged down a cyclist, appeared for an interview by ABC's David Muir for an episode of 20/20. The teen, in the segment to be aired on Friday, recalled being lured into the woods by her friends Geyser and Weier in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
"They just wanted to go on a walk. And I didn't think much of it, it's just a walk. It's in Waukesha, what bad stuff happens in Waukesha, Wisconsin?" Leutner said. "Anissa told me to lie on the ground and cover myself in sticks and leaves and stuff to hide in a sense. But it was really just a trick." The pair then stabbed her 19 times and abandoned her.
After the girls were apprehended, they were both sent to psychiatric institutions. They had told investigators that they had been planning it for a long time.
“It was a little shocking to me to see that they had this big, huge plan that they had been working on for months,” Leutner said.
Geyser was sentenced to 40 years and Weier was sentenced to 25 years in custody. While Geyser pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree intentional homicide, Weier pleaded guilty to being a party to attempted second-degree intentional homicide. The latter claimed that she was not responsible for her actions because she was mentally ill.
Leutner, during the interview, revealed that she and Weier were never close, and that she "didn't like her at all." The teen added that she tolerated Weier because she and Morgan were such good friends.
"I didn't like [Weier] at all," she said. "I just hung out with her because I knew that Morgan really loved her as a friend. But she was always cruel to me. I feel like she was jealous that Morgan was friends with me and her."
The three girls were reportedly having a sleepover on that unfortunate night when Weier and Morgan lured Leutner into the woods. They later told authorities that they "went ballistic" when they started stabbing Leutner.
The teen said after years of handling the trauma, she has struggled to trust her new friends.
"I've come to accept all of the scars that I have," she explained. "It's just a part of me. I don't think much of them. They will probably go away and fade eventually. I'm happy. I have good friends that I trust pretty much."