The creator of Slender Man said he is "deeply saddened" by the brutal stabbings in Wisconsin that were allegedly carried out by two girls in the name of the spectral Internet character.
On Monday, the two 12-year-old girls appeared in a courtroom in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and were charged with stabbing their friend 19 times during a game of hide-and-seek in the woods. They allegedly carried out the attack to gain favor with Slender Man, a ghoulish character they had read about on Creepypasta Wiki, a site where users contribute scary stories.
Slender Man was created in 2009 by Eric Knudsen, who posted images of the character as "Victor Surge" in a thread called "create paranormal images" on the humor website SomethingAwful.com. Soon afterwards, Slender Man became a popular presence in online stories and spooky YouTube videos, turning it into a bogeyman familiar to many kids who spend time on the Internet.
Knudsen responded on Wednesday to the media attention centered around his creation.
“I am deeply saddened by the tragedy in Wisconsin and my heart goes out to the families of those affected by this terrible act," he said in a statement to the media.
His publicist wrote that Knudsen would be giving no media interviews on the topic.
First published June 4 2014, 12:50 PM
Keith Wagstaff is a contributing writer at NBC News. He covers technology, reporting on Internet security, mobile technology and more. He joined NBC News from The Week, where he was a staff writer covering politics. Prior to his work at The Week, he was a technology writer at TIME.
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He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.