ABC News’ ‘20/20: The Wicked’ chronicles the terrifying story of two 12-year-olds stabbing their 12-year-old friend to please a fictional internet character known as the Slender Man. Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser were determined to be suffering from mental illness when they stabbed their friend, Payton Leutner, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in May 2014. They were sentenced to years in mental institutions as part of their plea deals. So what is the story of Anissa and Morgan? Why did they commit this horrific crime, and where are they now? Let’s dive in and find out.
Who are Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser?
In 2014, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser were two sixth graders in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Morgan’s mother, Angie Geyser, reminisced that growing up, Morgan was a very happy child. She was intensively creative, always making up strong music and stories. However, she endured a lot of bullying, especially in the 6th grade, which made her a lot more reclusive. As per the show, Morgan always had a tough time making friends, and it was Payton Leutner who decided to become her friend as Morgan was very lonely at school. For a considerable amount of time, Payton was the only friend Morgan had.
Both of the girls would have slumber parties, play together, and have fun like other children of their age. But things started to go downhill in her sixth grade when Morgan became strangely obsessed with a fictional character known as the Slender Man. Morgan’s mother later stated that she was wary of her girl’s obsession with the character. However, Angie had dismissed the entire thing as a child’s whim. On the show, she said, “She (Morgan) would show us some of the pictures, and she would read us some of the stories, and while some of the subject matter was a little dark, I wasn’t concerned.”
Angie added, “When I was Morgan’s age, I was reading Stephen King novels. I remember being 11 years old and riding home from the library with [the book] ‘IT’ under my arm. And that’s a very scary and dark story, so I just thought it was normal for a child of middle school age to be interested in scary stories.” Anissa Weier enjoyed music and choir. Her mother, Kristi Weier, said that she was very imaginative, imagining a bigger and better world for her barbie dolls. She also lamented, “Looking back Anissa was never invited to a lot of birthday parties. She did not make friends that easily. Anissa never talked about the difficulties she faced at school.”
Anissa had joined Morgan and Payton’s school in sixth grade and lived in the same complex as Morgan. She and Morgan used to take the bus to school together. Kristi said that since both Anissa and Morgan knew what they had gone through, they were there for each other. But she claimed that her daughter “never mentioned anything to me about her belief in Slender Man.” However, everything changed during the slumber party that Anissa, Morgan, and Payton had together on May 30, 2014, to celebrate Morgan’s birthday. The two girls would go on to conspire to appease the fictional character that Morgan was obsessed with, and it ended in Anissa aiding Morgan in stabbing Payton 19 times the next morning.
Where are Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser Today?
Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser were found by the police while Payton was still in surgery. They had walked for almost five hours, traversing to the south of the town. When they were brought in for questioning, the police first learned about the legend of the Slender Man. While Anissa stated the facts and happenings of the morning concisely, Morgan appeared nonchalant and even tried to shift the blame on Anissa. As per the show, she even said that she had to kill Payton to appease the Slender Man, and talked all about how she had planned for over five months about how to carry it out.
Both Anissa and Morgan received mental evaluations, and Morgan was diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia. Morgan’s family had a history of mental illness, with her father being treated and hospitalized four times for schizophrenia. Morgan pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree intentional homicide in late 2017 and was declared not guilty due to her mental illness. She was sentenced to 40 years in Winnebago Mental Health Institute, near Oshkosh, Wisconsin. As per official court records, she is presently incarcerated there and will be for the foreseeable future.
Anissa, then 16, took a plea deal in 2017 where she pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree intentional homicide and being an accomplice to a crime with the use of a dangerous weapon. She was also found not guilty because of mental illness and was sentenced to 25 years in a state mental institution and was to remain there for at least 3 years. Her sentencing also specified that she would have to remain under state supervision till 2039. She was released in 2021 from Winnebago Mental Health Institute under conditions that were not made public. Anissa is now in her 20s and stays away from public scrutiny.
Read More: Where is the Survivor Payton Leutner Now?