'Slender Man' teen to be released, survivor's family wishes she served longer sentence

In 2017 Anissa Weier was sentenced to up to 25 years.

September 13, 2021, 12:34 PM

Anissa Weier, one of the two then 12-year-old girls who said they attacked a friend to please the fictional character "Slender Man," will be released from a mental health facility on Monday. Weier is now 19.

In 2014, Weier and Morgan Geyser lured Payton Leutner, also 12, to the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier watched. Leutner was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries but survived.

Judge Michael Bohren on Friday approved the conditions of Weier’s release from Winnebago Mental Health Institute. The full report on those conditions hasn't been released to the public.

In 2017 Weier was sentenced to up to 25 years in a mental institution.

The Leutners are "disappointed" that Weier is being released and "wish that she would have served a longer sentence," Steve Lyons, spokesman for Leutner's family, told ABC News on Monday.

But the family has "mentally prepared for this day for a long time," he added.

The Leutners are "reasonably comfortable" with the rules Weier must follow after her release, which include no contact with Leutner until 2039 and GPS ankle monitoring, Lyons said.

At a March court hearing, Bohren reviewed several medical reports and a letter written by Weier. "I have exhausted all the resources available to me at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute. If I am to become a productive member of society, I need to be a part of society," Weier wrote.

Anissa Weier, listens as former teachers testify during her trial in Waukesha County Court, in Waukesha, Wis., Sept. 13, 2017.
Rick Wood/AP

Weier said in the letter she's taken the responsibility that comes with "living with a mental illness, by communicating with total transparency to my treatment team members, participating wholeheartedly in all aspects of my treatment, and maintaining 100% medication adherence."

"I am sorry and deeply regretful for the agony, pain, and fear I have caused," Weier wrote, adding, "I take full responsibility for my actions."

"I vowed after my crime that I would never become a weapon again, and I intend to keep that vow," she said in the letter.

Geyser and Weier were charged in adult court with first-degree attempted intentional homicide. Weier pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was found by a jury to be not guilty by mental disease or defect. Geyser pleaded guilty to the first-degree charges, and in 2018, as a part of her plea agreement, Geyser was convicted but found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

Geyser was sentenced to up to 40 years in a mental institution. Last year a state appeals court upheld her sentence.

Geyser and Weier said they had intended to kill Leutner to appease the fictional character "Slender Man" -- often depicted online as a horror figure who stalks children -- and prove that he was real.

After Geyser stabbed Leutner, she and Weier left Leutner alone in the woods. Injured and bleeding, Leutner pulled herself out of the woods and into the open where someone could find her.

"If the knife had gone the width of a human hair further, she wouldn't have lived," Dr. John Kelemen, who operated on Leutner that day, told ABC News in 2014.

Leutner, now a sophomore in college, is "doing very well" and "enjoying school," Lyons said Monday.

In a 2019 interview, Leutner told ABC News she was doing well and that her hope was to "put everything behind me and live my life normally."

ABC News' Jason Volack, Allie Yang and Sean Dooley contributed to this report.

Related Topics