"I stabbed an innocent woman to death earlier today ... It was absolutely fantastic." If that sounds to you like the diary entry of Charles Manson and not a teenage girl, you'd be very wrong. It is that of Pearl Moen, now 19, who will serve 15 years in prison after taking a plea deal Friday for stabbing a stranger 21 times on Nov. 14, 2015. Moen goes on to describe the early morning attack, at a park near her home in Austin, Texas, as "a high unlike any other—it feels like this crisp unreality, flashing and sparkling, adrenaline and shock, fight or flight mode." The victim survived, reports the Austin American-Statesman, and told police that her attacker was smiling.
The victim tells KXAN that her medical background as a nurse saved her life. She'd been relaxing on a blanket with a friend and closed her eyes when the friend went into an apartment; and seconds later she was attacked. She lost a lot of blood and suffered a collapsed right lung. "I always thought she would walk around with guilt, but knowing she had this joy and this pride is very unsettling," she says. KVUE reports that Moen made several drawings depicting the attack, which her mother found and gave to police. In March of 2016, KVUE interviewed a former classmate of Moen's, who expressed shock that a shy, sweet girl who'd left school to be homeschooled had turned so violent. Moen apparently fell in with a rough crowd and had a history of drug use and psychological issues, though no criminal record. (America's smallest state capital is investigating a rare murder.)