Slenderman: Online Obsession, Mental Illness, and the Violent Crime of Two Midwestern GirlsAuthor: Kathleen Hale
Title: Slenderman: Online Obsession, Mental Illness, and the Violent Crime of Two Midwestern Girls
Published On: August 16, 2022
Publisher: Grove Press
Pages: 368
Source: Net Galley
My Rating:
four-stars

Purchase Links:
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SYNOPSIS

The first full account of the Slenderman stabbing, a true crime narrative of mental illness, the American judicial system, the trials of adolescence, and the power of the internet

On May 31, 2014, in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, Wisconsin, two twelve-year-old girls attempted to stab their classmate to death. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier’s violence was extreme, but what seemed even more frightening was that they committed their crime under the influence of a figure born by the internet: the so-called “Slenderman.” Yet the even more urgent aspect of the story, that the children involved suffered from undiagnosed mental illnesses, often went overlooked in coverage of the case.

Slenderman: Online Obsession, Mental Illness, and the Violent Crime of Two Midwestern Girls tells that full story for the first time in deeply researched detail, using court transcripts, police reports, individual reporting, and exclusive interviews. Morgan and Anissa were bound together by their shared love of geeky television shows and animals, and their discovery of the user-uploaded scary stories on the Creepypasta website could have been nothing more than a brief phase. But Morgan was suffering from early-onset childhood schizophrenia. She believed that she had seen Slenderman long before discovering him online, and the only way to stop him from killing her family was to bring him a sacrifice: Morgan’s best friend Payton “Bella” Leutner, whom Morgan and Anissa planned to stab to death on the night of Morgan’s twelfth birthday party. Bella survived the attack, but was deeply traumatized, while Morgan and Anissa were immediately sent to jail, and the severity of their crime meant that they would be prosecuted as adults. There, as Morgan continued to suffer from worsening mental illness after being denied antipsychotics, her life became more and more surreal.

Slenderman is both a page-turning true crime story and a search for justice.


I received this book for free from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.



My Review

This was a good book. I enjoyed reading it. My only complaint about the book was that in some spots it jumped around a little bit from different time periods and a bit jumpy when switching to giving information about cases that were discussed in the case of the girls. It got confusing a couple times with the switch and it not having a clear transition between the texts. But overall I enjoyed reading it and found it interesting because we got to see into the minds of some of the people involved, seeing what they were thinking/feeling was interesting.

About Kathleen Hale

Kathleen Hale was born in Wisconsin and graduated from Harvard in 2010. She is the author of two novels, NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE YOU and NOTHING BAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN (the latter is forthcoming from HarperTeen in 2015). She also writes pieces for places like Vice.com. One of her personal essays, "Quit Everything," will appear in the collection NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE, forthcoming from Simon and Schuster this fall.

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