A 12-year-old Waukesha, Wi., girl charged with trying to fatally stab a friend needs a mental health evaluation as soon as possible, her attorney tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, also 12, were charged as adults with attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Prosecutors say the girls plotted for weeks to kill their 12-year-old friend during a sleepover for Geyser’s birthday last month. The girls told police they were motivated by a belief in Slender Man, a mysterious fictional character from Internet horror story sites. The victim — whose name has not been released — was discovered on the edge of woods by a passing bicyclist. Police said she had been stabbed 19 times. She remains hospitalized.
Forensic psychologists who specialize in juvenile crimes say as the investigation continues, additional information will likely surface that could help further explain the motivations behind the stabbing. Robert Kinscherff of the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice said that in the few similar cases that exist, the suspects’ relationship with each other was a key component. “When you think back to being 12 or 13, relationships are intense,” Kinscherff said. It’s that intensity, developed in isolation — and without oversight or moderation — that in rare cases may lead to extreme behaviors. The children feed off each other’s thoughts and reaffirm each other’s increasingly unrealistic appraisal of the world.