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If you've been following the Slender Man story, both teenagers involved in the attempted murder of Payton Leutner have now pled not guilty by reason of insanity. Based on what has been reported about the attempted murder, that sounds about right as no rational explanation exists for the horrifying actions.
Payton Leutner was invited to a sleepover at a classmate's house along with one other classmate. The following day, while out in a park, the two other girls, then only 12 years old, attacked, stabbed, and attempted to murder Leutner. Fortunately, she was able to escape, and she has now recovered from her physical injuries.
What's the Basis for the Insanity Plea?
Both girls charged with attempted murder are claiming innocence by reason of insanity. Basically, when a defendant claims insanity, they are asserting that while they did in fact commit the crime in question, they were, because of their mental illness, incapable of understanding what they were doing, they weren't able to determine right from wrong, or they were not able to resist the impulse.
The first defendant that pled insanity claims to be schizophrenic, to suffer from oppositional defiant disorder, and to have relationships with imaginary people. Based on the story as portrayed thus far, these conditions seem to provide some sort of rational explanation for the horrific and unbelievable actions. Information regarding the other defendant's alleged mental conditions are anticipated at some point next month.
Who Is the Slender Man?
The two girls charged with attempted murder claimed to have been following the instructions of the Slender Man when they committed their heinous act. Allegedly, they feared that this mythical Slender Man would harm them and/or their families if they did not obey his orders. Shockingly, prosecutors have alleged that the girls had been planning the murder for months and were hoping to gain favor or servant positions with the Slender Man.
The Slender Man is nothing more than an internet meme that started gaining popularity almost a decade ago. At first, it was just a creepy tall man with a blurred face that was photoshopped into creepy and funny internet memes. Short stories, urban legends, and even feature length movies have now been made featuring the Slender Man.