Anissa Weier, The Wisconsin 6th-Grader Who Masterminded A Plan To Kill Her Friend For Slender Man

Published May 8, 2024
Updated May 9, 2024

On May 31, 2014, 12-year-old Anissa Weier and her friend Morgan Geyser carried out a disturbing plot to stab their 6th-grade classmate Payton Leutner — because they thought it would make the fictional monster Slender Man happy.

When three young girls headed into the woods on May 31, 2014, few would have assumed the outing would end with a bloody knife. Few, that is, except for Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, who had planned to lure their friend Payton Leutner to her death that fair morning.

After the news of the crime broke, the question on everyone’s minds was: Why? What had compelled these two 12-year-old girls to stab their friend 19 times and leave her for dead?

The answer came soon after: Payton Leutner was meant to be a sacrifice to Slender Man. Geyser and Weier believed they were Slender Man’s “proxies” — devoted servants of the fictional monster who existed to obey his will and carry out ill deeds in his name.

Anissa Weier

Abaca Press / Alamy Stock PhotoAnissa Weier became excited about the idea of murdering Payton Leutner because she wanted “proof that [Slender Man] existed.”

Of course, Slender Man isn’t real. He was something concocted on the internet, the result of a contest to see which forum users on Something Awful could create the most frightening image in Photoshop.

While Geyser was later diagnosed with schizophrenia — which may have impacted her delusion that Slender Man was real — it still begged the question as to why her friend, Anissa Weier, would follow through with this heinous act.

Anissa Weier And Morgan Geyser’s Toxic Friendship

Born on Nov. 10, 2001, Anissa Weier’s early life and upbringing were fairly typical. She grew up in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and for all intents and purposes was a normal child.

That started to change, however, around the time she met Morgan Geyser.

It’s not that Geyser did anything to influence Weier — quite the opposite, in fact. Weier was something of an outsider at school, but she and Geyser bonded over shared interests: fantasy stories, internet legends, and tales of the supernatural. To Weier, the two of them were inseparable.

Payton Leutner Morgan Geyser And Anissa Weier

The Leutner FamilyFrom left to right: Payton Leutner, Morgan Geyser, and Anissa Weier.

There was one problem, though: Morgan Geyser had another friend, one she had known since fourth grade. Her name was Payton Leutner.

Leutner was easily the most sociable of the three. Geyser often got lost in the stories she made up in her head, and Weier fell down creepy internet rabbit holes, but Leutner was more interested in things typical of girls her age.

By the time they were in sixth grade, Leutner had started to pull away. She didn’t like Weier, even describing her as “cruel,” and the gap between them grew even wider when Weier and Geyser began obsessing over the online story of Slender Man.

How An Obsession With Slender Man Led To Attempted Murder

Weier first introduced Geyser to Slender Man sometime around October 2013. Geyser had begun referring to herself as “creepy” and, in one note, a “mental case.” Her father had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and psychiatrists would later discover she had the same condition.

Original Slender Man Photo

Eric Knudsen / Something AwfulThe original “Slender Man” picture uploaded to the Something Awful forums.

Anissa Weier, meanwhile, was struggling with the fallout of her parents’ divorce and feeling depressed. She told police that her first introduction to Slender Man was while watching a Minecraft video on YouTube, which led her to read about the monster on Creepypasta, a forum for user-generated internet horror stories.

The macabre stories Weier encountered there resonated with her — and with Geyser’s wild imagination as well.

The two began to obsess over Slender Man, even tormenting Leutner with images of him and links to the Creepypasta. Leutner didn’t believe in the story, nor did she care for it, but “went along with it.” As she told ABC’s David Muir in a 2019 interview, “I was supportive because I thought that’s what [Morgan Geyser] liked.”

It’s not clear whose idea it was — both girls would ultimately blame the other — but sometime around December 2013, the two began making plans to become Slender Man’s “proxies.”

And they would do it by killing Payton Leutner.

Anissa Weier’s Role In The Infamous ‘Slender Man Stabbing’

On May 30, 2014, Morgan Geyser was celebrating her 12th birthday. She invited her two closest friends, Anissa Weier and Payton Leutner, over for a sleepover.

That night, the three went to an indoor roller rink called Skateland before returning to Geyser’s house around 9:30 p.m. There, the girls played games on their laptops, played dress-up, ate snacks, and eventually went to bed — oddly early for Geyser, Leutner later noted, who usually wanted to stay up late.

The next morning, they ate donuts and strawberries for breakfast, and then Geyser asked her mom if the girls could go outside to play.

Little did Leutner know that her living until morning was not the original plan. In fact, Weier and Geyser had plotted to kill her in her sleep, but they ultimately decided they were “too tired.”

Backpack Full Of Supplies

Waukesha Police DepartmentA backpack carried by Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier containing clothing, granola bars, and the knife used to stab Payton Leutner.

So, instead, the girls set out for nearby David’s Park, with Leutner leading the group while Geyser and Weier walked behind her.

When Leutner wasn’t looking, Geyser flashed something at Weier that she was hiding beneath her jacket: a thin, sharp kitchen knife.

Shortly after, Geyser and Weier attacked Leutner inside the park’s bathroom. Geyser attempted to restrain Leutner while Weier pushed her head against a brick wall, but Geyser suddenly fell into a panic. Weier urged Leutner outside and calmed Geyser down, then suggested the three should play hide-and-seek.

For some reason — perhaps confused and not wanting to upset anyone — Leutner agreed and stuck with the other two girls.

Weier recommended Leutner hide by concealing herself with fallen leaves, and once she was covered, Weier told Geyser, “Go ballistic, go crazy,” according to court documents.

Geyser pulled the knife from her jacket pocket and stabbed Leutner 19 times, puncturing her arms, legs, stomach, liver, and pancreas, and just barely missing a major artery near Leutner’s heart.

“Stabby stab stab stab,” was Geyser’s recollection. “It didn’t feel like anything… It was, like, air.”

Weier quickly led Geyser away from Leutner, saying she had a map in her head that would lead them to Slender Man. Neither of them knew that, miraculously, Leutner was still alive — and would eventually crawl to a nearby trail where a biker out for a morning ride would find her.

The Aftermath Of The Attack On Payton Leutner

Shortly after the stabbing, Leutner was rushed to the hospital via ambulance. A few hours later, police found Geyser and Weier walking along the highway and brought them down to the station.

During their interviews, the two girls showed polar opposite emotions. Geyser was stoic and calm, almost emotionless. Anissa Weier, meanwhile, hysterically cried the entire time.

Weier made it abundantly clear in her interview that it had been Geyser, not her, who had done the actual stabbing, claiming that she was “too squeamish.” Geyser’s memory of the event was less clear. She couldn’t recall if she held the knife or Weier did. She recalled Weier coming up with the idea in the first place. However, Weier claimed it was Geyser’s plan.

Importantly, though, Weier admitted in the interview that she knew Slender Man was not real. “Beforehand, I believed,” she said. “Now I know it’s just teenagers who really like scaring people and making them believe false things.”

Anissa Weier In Court

Tribune Content Agency LLC / Alamy Stock PhotoAnissa Weier at a court hearing in August 2015.

Both girls were eventually placed in mental health facilities, where Weier was described as a “model inmate” and a “stabilizing force with the other kids.”

While Weier firmly stated that she knew Slender Man was not real, Geyser struggled to let go of that delusion, continuing to unravel even further as time went on.

Weier was granted conditional release in 2021 to live with her father and ordered to wear a GPS monitor, but on Sept. 11, 2023, a Waukesha judge signed an order to have that monitor removed.

While she is still under supervised release to this day, Anissa Weier’s lawyer expressed optimism at the time that she would one day soon be totally free.

After reading about Anissa Weier and her role in the Slender Man Stabbing, go inside the chilling story of Mary Bell, the 10-year-old murderer who strangled two boys. Then, learn about Brandi Worley, the mother who stabbed her two children after her husband asked for a divorce.

Austin Harvey
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
Cara Johnson
A writer and editor based in Charleston, South Carolina and an assistant editor at All That's Interesting, Cara Johnson holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Washington & Lee University and an M.A. in English from College of Charleston and has written for various publications in her six-year career.
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Cite This Article
Harvey, Austin. "Anissa Weier, The Wisconsin 6th-Grader Who Masterminded A Plan To Kill Her Friend For Slender Man.", May 8, 2024, Accessed May 23, 2024.