Judge denies early release for infamous Slender Man stabber, cites credibility and risk


Morgan Geyser looks on in court

Morgan Geyser looks on in Waukesha County Court after being denied conditional release on April 11, 2024 (Law&Crime Network).

Morgan Geyser, 21, the infamous Slender Man stabber, has been found to simply be far too dangerous to be released from a mental hospital.

“We come back to risk,” Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael O’Bohren said when explaining his decision. “This isn’t just an aspect where somebody drove a car into another car and drove off and let them sit there. This is a personal — a personal, if you will — a brutal attack on another person. This is hands-on, if you will. This is bloody; this is gory. But that kind of risk, that kind of dangerous conduct is what the risk is. Do we know if someone will repeat it? We don’t know.”

The court heard hours of testimony for and against Geyser’s potential release over the course of a two-day hearing.

In 2018, Geyser received a sentence of 40 years to life in a mental hospital in 2018, with the periodic possibility of early release from the Winnebago Mental Health Institute where she has called home since shortly after the 2014 attempt on her friend, Payton Leutner’s, life.

One of two girls implicated in the stabbing, and deemed the more culpable of the two, Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times by Geyser as Anissa Weier egged her on, according to authorities. The two girls claimed to have planned and carried out the attack in order to satisfy the whims of the Slender Man character, a native internet phenomenon popularized by the web series “Marble Hornets.”

On Thursday, Bohren, who has been assigned to the case since its inception, said there were issues with Geyser’s credibility.

More Law&Crime coverage: ‘We Were Trying to Kill Her’ Slender Man Confession Released

“She’s changed her position,” the judge said — saying the credibility issue was “paramount” in the case, despite her progress.

Multiple psychologists testified during the hearing. One of them, Deborah Collins, argued against Geyser’s release. She said the young woman had tried to kill herself in 2021 and stopped taking her medication in 2022. The psychologist also cited some recent statements from Geyser in which she appeared to lack remorse about the attempted murder and said she feigned her mental illness.

Several doctors also testified on Geyser’s behalf — including the professional in charge of the Winnebago Mental Health Institute.

“I do think at this point it is critical to make the transition to the community to help with her ongoing development,” Kayla Pope, the facility’s director, testified.

Additionally, the pro-release contingent said there were no issues of violence and added the caveat that Geyser has been on and off her antipsychotic medications over the past two years.

Prosecutors argued against release — citing the victim’s family’s strong opposition.

In the end, the court agreed with the state.

“The statute says: ‘the court shall grant the petition unless it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person would pose a significant risk of bodily harm to herself or to others or serious property damage if conditionally released,’” the judge intoned. “This court is satisfied — by evidence that is clear and convincing — that Ms. Geyser does pose a significant risk of bodily harm to herself or to others.”

Both Geyser and her co-defendant were found not guilty by mental disease or defect — but that affirmative defense carried mandatory and enforced mental health confinement. In 2021, Weier received early release under strict supervision conditions.

All three of the girls involved were 12 at the time.





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