Two Wisconsin girls accused of trying to kill a classmate to please the fictional Internet character "Slender Man" told police differing accounts of who hatched the sinister idea, according to interrogation tapes played during their preliminary hearing this week.
The two girls, who were both 12 at the time of the stabbing last May, were interrogated separately hours after the 12-year-old victim was found alive with 19 stab wounds near the woods in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha. The girls were apprehended while trekking along a highway, and both told authorities they were headed to the Nicolet National Forest in Northern Wisconsin, where they thought they would meet up with Slender Man, the online meme turned creepy urban legend.
NBC News is not naming the girls, both of whom are now 13, because their cases could end up in juvenile court. A Waukesha County Circuit Court judge will decide next month whether they will be tried as adults. Both have been charged in adult court with attempted first-degree murder.
In the interrogation tapes, which were released by Waukesha police, the girls told investigators that they had planned to kill their classmate to appease Slender Man and keep him from harming them and their families. They also said they wanted to silence people who doubted their stories about his existence. One of the girls told detectives the plan had started to take shape as early as December 2013.
"I was excited because I wanted proof that he existed because there were a bunch of skeptics out there saying he didn’t exist,” one of the girls told police.
The other girl offered a different motive, saying, "I was afraid of what would happen if I didn’t ... I didn’t want to find out what would happen if we didn’t.”
But both girls blamed the other for coming up with the idea to stab their friend to validate and mollify the imaginary bogeyman.
One of the girls said the other told her they could become Slender Man's "proxies" if they killed the victim. The same girl said the other told her that if they didn't follow through with the plot, Slender Man would "kill my whole family in three seconds."
The other girl said it was her friend who convinced her that Slender Man would harm the pair's families if they didn't attack their friend. Both girls also claimed that it was the other who first struck the victim. The classmate has recovered and returned to school, according to The Associated Press.
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- Preliminary Hearing Set for Girls in Slender Man Stabbing
- Family of 'Slender Man' Stabbing Victim Focused on Her Recovery
— Elisha Fieldstadt