The condition of the Wisconsin girl stabbed 19 times in a crime receiving worldwide attention has been upgraded to fair, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Two 12-year-old girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, have been charged with first-degree attempted homicide and are being held on $500,000 bail. The girls were charged as adults. In more than 20 states, kids as young as 10 are often charged as adults automatically, using laws intended to crack down on gangs and guns. The Associated Press says the practice has been widely questioned by juvenile-crime experts, who say that research shows many young offenders pose no long-term threats to society.
The suspects had been plotting to kill their friend for months, charges a criminal complaint. Weier told police they were trying to impress Slender Man, a character they thought was real after discovering him on a website called Creepypasta. The complaint detailed the girls’ obsession with the paranormal figure, known for his ability to sprout tendrils from his fingers and back, and prey on children. Weier said Geyser told her they should become “proxies” of Slender Man and kill their friend to prove themselves worthy of him, the complaint said. London’s Daily Mail quoted the elder brother of Anissa Weier as saying his sister “loved CreepyPasta, she loved the Slender Man stories, just anything a bit creepy.” What mystified William Weier was “why it changed from dream to reality.”