Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Two Young Girls in Waukesha Try to Kill Classmate to “Please Slenderman”

with 5 comments

Yesterday, news broke that not fifty miles up the road from me in Waukesha, WI, two twelve-year old girls had tried to murder their equally young classmate.

Their motive? To please “The Slender Man,” also known as “Slenderman.” This is a fictional character who’s often depicted wearing a black suit — with tendrils coming out the back — and lives in a mansion in the forest up North.

I’d never heard of The Slender Man before the two girls were arrested and charged. Apparently, this Internet sensation has been around since 2009. And as the site itself said, most people know that The Slender Man is fictional.

However, these two twelve-year-old girls didn’t realize this. And because they didn’t, another young girl is in the hospital right now, recovering from nineteen stab wounds — one of which missed a major artery by what’s been reported as “a millimeter” by both WTMJ Channel 4 and WITI Fox 6 in Milwaukee.

As Jim Stingl, opinion writer for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, put it:

The pair of shaggy-haired sixth-graders, according to the charges against them, plotted a murder for the most outlandish reason. They wanted to please Slender Man — a make-believe demon that became real in their jacked-up imaginations — and run away to live with him in, of all places, the Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin. They had packed bags and were going to walk there after the slaying.

For most of us, it’s a freak show. For the 12-year-old victim clinging to life, and for her family and friends, it’s a nightmare worse than anything you’ll find on Creepypasta Wiki.

As a writer, I am appalled by this tragedy.

I’m frustrated that these two young girls could plan for what’s been reported as a year to kill a classmate without anyone knowing except themselves. (This according to just about every news person working for HLN Cable News this afternoon, including Dr. Drew Pinsky, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and Nancy Grace.) I’m shocked that anyone would believe a character clearly drawn as fictional (a really slim man in a dark suit with tentacles, whose face you can’t look at lest you drop dead on the spot) could be somehow appeased (or worse, joined) by killing a classmate.

But I’m also not happy with some who are blaming the website for this particular crime, merely for having what’s the Internet equivalent of what used to be called “campfire horror stories” on their site.

As a post called “Fiction, Reality and You” from user Sloshedtrain at says:

According to the story, the girls read about Slenderman here on this wiki, and of course the usual response lead to hostility and blaming towards the wiki by some “very concerned parents”. Some calling for the censorship and shutdown of the wiki.

Will these people succeed on their quest? Most likely not. These are the same people who think violent video games help create mass murderers, because it is convenient to blame and point fingers.

Besides the backlash, this incident shows what happens when the line of fiction and reality ceases to exist. When a person truly believes that Internet short stories are cold hard facts. When a person attempts to replicate works of fiction to the point others are harmed. And for this, I’m going to make myself loud and clear:


So there you have it. Two twelve-year-old girls try to commit murder, because they cannot separate reality from fantasy, and are now being charged as adults.

It’s awful. It’s shocking. It’s disgusting. It’s distressing.

But as a fiction writer, it makes me wonder . . . will I start having to say in every post, “Remember, this is a fictional character we’re talking about” because I write YA fantasy and my target audience isn’t that much older than these two deluded young girls?

5 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on Likamarie's Blog and commented:
    This really makes me wonder how no one knew about this… They didn’t say anything to trip the teachers or counselors at school? Their parents didn’t know they were exhibiting mentally ill type behaviors or violence? Remember, in the development of humans, we understand the basic difference between right and wrong by 3. It’s pretty set by the time we are 5. Yet we have kids more than double the ages who are exhibiting poor choices and behaviors.

    It also shows how much we’ve come away from raising our children to parents wanting to be the cool parent or the friend of their kids, versus parenting their kids.

    I could go on. It’s just sad.


    June 4, 2014 at 10:52 pm

  2. It makes you wonder how they didn’t talk about it at school to the point that the teachers or counselors didn’t get the red flags. Nor the parents knowing what they were up to, by exhibiting mentally ill behavior by looking at these dark stories…

    Too bad parents are too busy trying to be cool parents or being their kids’ friends, rather than really being parents and knowing what they are doing.


    June 4, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    • I agree, Lika. The parents didn’t listen to what their kids were doing and weren’t paying attention, either, to what they were hiding.

      There’s been some stuff coming out about the parents of one of the girls being “Goth” or the like. But just liking “Goth” stuff doesn’t make you a bad parent, nor does it lead you in this particular direction, either. So I’m taking that with a grain of salt.

      I do think there’s mental illness involved and I wonder what will happen down the line once all of the particulars of that come out. Because it’s incredibly rare that two young girls would do something like this — sit on something _for a year_, and then attack someone with no provocation other than trying to please a fictional character.

      Barb Caffrey

      June 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      • Well, these girls are more like ignorant. I think the parents are mentally ill for not raising their children properly, as well as for the fact that the didn’t seem to figure out that the behavior of the two girls weren’t strange, at all. What kind of parents are they? The ones that don’t know their kids?


        June 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      • I think that’s exactly what they were — the parents — but not necessarily who they are today. They now know something was being hidden from them, so they must find out why these girls did that and if there were any warning signs they flat missed.

        Barb Caffrey

        June 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm

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