Inside the Horrifying 'Slender Man' Stabbing
'New York' takes a close, compelling look
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2015 6:24 PM CDT
One of the two 12-year-old defendants is led into the courtroom in Waukesha, Wis. on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 during the trial for the stabbing of a third girl in May 2014.   (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Sears, Pool)

(Newser) – Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, the then-12-year-old girls accused of savagely attacking a friend last year because, they said, the Internet horror character "Slender Man" told them to, pleaded not guilty last week. In the latest issue of New York magazine, Lisa Miller offers up a compelling, in-depth look at the girls and their stabbing victim, known as "Bella." Some of the revelations, which Miller pieced together mostly by reading through the girls' extensive court files—which remain open because they're being tried as adults, and which Miller calls "heart-stopping":

  • On the girls and their friendship: "Anissa and Bella knew each other, but Morgan was what they had in common: Each would have said that Morgan was her closest friend. At school, Anissa was an outsider, and Morgan a fantasist who made up stories in her head. Bella was the most social of the three; she had a reputation as a pleaser. But as a group, these were not the most popular girls at Horning Middle School. ... Their friendship was built, in part, on a mutual love for tales of demons and supernatural evil."
  • On Morgan's particularly vivid fantasy life: "Voldemort and Snape, villains from the Harry Potter series, were especially vivid to her; Voldemort she called 'Voldie,' as if he were her pet. She regarded Spock, Star Trek’s Vulcan, as a mentor of sorts, a tutor in how to suppress ­emotion (one sign, perhaps, that she was aware of the extent to which her outward behavior was in need of editing)."

  • On the moments leading up to the stabbing: Morgan and Anissa are accused of first attacking Bella in a park's public restroom, but when Morgan couldn't go through with it, Anissa sent Bella outside while she calmed Morgan down. "It’s hard to understand Bella’s decision to stick with her friends, why, after having been assaulted by them in the bathroom, she thought hide-and-seek might be a fun thing to do (though she might have interpreted the bathroom attack as just a mean episode of imaginary play—and it’s possible that, at the time, Anissa and Morgan saw it that way, too)."
  • On the crime itself: The three friends continued into the woods for hide-and-seek, and while Bella played with flowers in the dirt, Morgan allegedly told Anissa, "I'm not going to until you tell me to." Anissa allegedly responded, "Kitty now. Go ballistic, go crazy." Anissa says she heard Morgan say, "Don't be afraid, I'm only a little kitty cat" before beginning the attack. (Bella survived.)
The full piece is absolutely worth a read.