“She was cool until 4th grade:” Classmate talks about 12-year-old stabbing suspect

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WAUKESHA (WITI) -- The details surrounding two 12-year-old girls, accused of stabbing a classmate nearly to death, is causing growing concern. Now, classmates are coming forward to say there were signs one or both of the young girls were so involved in fantasy, it became real for them.

Morgan Geyser

Morgan Geyser

A sixth-grade classmate of Morgan Geyser describes Geyser as smart and capable. With her mother's permission, she talked to FOX6 News about the girl she sat next to in some classes.

Geyser is accused of stabbing a friend 19 times to gain favor with a fictional, demonic character known as Slenderman.

"I met her in kindergarten. She was cool until fourth grade when she acted weirdish," said the classmate. "As she talked about more suicidal things and she was, 'Slenderman was coming to get all of us.' She was a part of Slenderman's tribe or something."

The classmate says she once saw Morgan with a sledgehammer.

"I remember her holding it and saying that this is a weapon and I can do anything with it. I kind of stayed my distance when she showed me the sledgehammer."

Anissa Weier

Anissa Weier

Meanwhile, a British tabloid is publishing comments and photos it claims are from the brother of Anissa Weier. The Daily Mail says Weier's older brother, William, said Anissa could not tell the difference between dreams and reality. The Daily Mail says William was fully aware of Anissa's interest in Slenderman and the ghost story website Creepy Pasta. Although William is reported saying the stabbing was out of character for the girl, who was relatively quiet.

Family Service of Waukesha says it's getting a lot of questions about children, fantasy and reality.

"I think with young people that are already interested in maybe things that are a little bit unusual and that's excitement for them. When kids spend a lot of time in that kind of activity, that line can get very blurred," said Laura Cherone, who works for Family Service of Waukesha.

What can parents do?

That raises the question of what parents can do, especially when it seems impossible to know everything our children are doing online.

“Parents have to be involved and proactive before even allowing young children to become active online and must continue to monitor, educate and discuss behavior and situations throughout their teen years,” Anna White Berry said on Facebook. She’s a mom of two in Littleton, Colorado.

“Too many parents take a back seat because they either don’t want to bother learning ‘new’ technology and sites or feel like they need to give their children privacy,” she said.

Warning signs for parents that their children may be having trouble absorbing what they’re engaging with online, or differentiating fantasy from reality, include withdrawing from real friends, not engaging with other aspects of their lives, self-injury and injury to others, experts say.

Jim Steyer, chief executive officer and founder of the nonprofit child advocacy group Common Sense Media, said the takeaway from this latest tragedy is the need for every parent to talk with their children, but he concedes that isn’t always enough.

“I think that the key is you need to have an ongoing dialogue with your kids and learn what they’re doing, and what they’re watching, surfing and playing with and you can’t always unearth everything,” Steyer said.

“You try to be involved. You try to set context. You try to know, but it’s not easy,” he added. “You can’t blame the parents. There’s no one factor involved. There’s no one simple factor.”

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  • K. A. Rock

    I had a few discussions about this yesterday and I will say I still think that both these girls knew what it means to kill or murder, when asked by authorities they were clear on the outcome of death and what they were doing and planned to do for several months. They may have believed that this would put them in a higher standing with a fictional evil character, but they still knew right from wrong. Let’s face it there are a lot of us who really love Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter and several other fictional things. We write about it and we dream about it and we follow it, but if we were to go out and start killing one person from each other state (hunger games) or killing someone or an animal and consuming their blood (twilight) we would still be killers. These little 12 year old girls plotted, planned and carried out (except they failed to actually kill the victim) a murder. They took the time to plan and do preparations for this heinous act. They made ready their weapon of choice. They had an escape plan set and they carried out the actions and plans. They are cold blooded killers, plain and simple. The long and the short of this is these girls may have some sort of mental disability when it comes to what is real or not, but they knew better. This wasn’t an act of random, spontaneous violence. This was planned for months and carried out. These girls knew what they were doing was wrong and didn’t care. Plain and simple they can blame fictional things such as games, tv, movies, etc … they can try and blame the parents and such as well, but the truth is they are clearly functional children who know the difference between right and wrong and choose to be evil like the fictional person they idolize. The true victim in this matter is the little girl who almost lost her life and sadly the parents, families and friends of every person who knows any of these girls. To the families of the victim, I hope that with serious therapy, your daughter will heal and know that she was merely a pawn in their game and did nothing to deserve this happening to her. To the families of the girls who did this violent act, I pray that you are all able to get the help you need. I would never want to be in any of your shoes and I am sorry for the deep seated feeling of loss this gives your family. The best you can do is support your girls, but don’t let them think what they did is okay.

      • Ivy

        Yes I expect people to read that comment. This person had an excellent point right from the start. I share the same opinion. If a person just rambles on and on about pointless things that’s a different story. But that comment piqued my interest.

      • Laura

        I read it all…and it was a lot more interesting and insightful than most people’s one sentence nonsense comments!

      • Ms. Aries

        I read ever word of the comment and I agree 100% on what was said. Maybe you should read it all the way instead of commening on how long it is.

      • Melissa

        I read it. It was engaging and insiteful. It wasn’t boring. I appreciate the comment. I share the same view point. Thanks. :)

  • Kisha Antoinette

    I am really disgusted in the media’s coverage of this story. In particular, it’s covert suggestion that these girls didn’t realize what they were doing or that they have mental health issues. These girls were very cognitive of their actions. They have a very clear understanding of the line between reality and fantasy, otherwise they wouldn’t have tried to cover it up. Violence has been in literature and popular culture for years…centuries even. We celebrate the works of Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes. Our kids learn about horrific events in school. Wars are reenacted on big screens around the world. Death, murder, depression and whatnot are addressed in many songs that top the charts…and I am NOT speaking about Hip-Hop as much as I am speaking about rock, alternative, blues and etc..because for some reason, we forget that violence exist in those musical genres, but I digress. My point in saying that is this. As a society we can’t continue to place blame where there is none. These girls lack a moral compass and are seemingly unapologetic about what they’ve done. Why? Because they did exactly what they wanted to do and had no concern about who it was going to affect. These girls are menaces to society, now and forever. Put them under the jail. The end.

    • Valerie

      I agree with Kisha. The girls lack a moral compass and have no conscience about hurting others. I am a firm believer in artistic expression. It is no one else’s fault that these girls are lacking the correct guidance to separate fantasy from reality except for the people that are supposed to be their caretakers. Someone dropped the ball when raising these youngsters. Yeah, sometimes the truth hurts but hopefully someone will learn something from the tragedy.

  • ayesha7

    The age of reason is eight years old. You can have fantasies but you still the difference between right and wrong. End of story.

  • Unreal

    Wow! Then you interview another unstable classmate that is currently attending Rodgers Hospital due to her own problems, Good job.

    • colbey

      if you mean Rogers Hospital, in Oconomowoc, and you are equating the patients there with serious mental health problems involving detachment from reality and violence, then you know nothing about Rogers or what it treats.

  • shannon

    This situation is similar to what happened in New Zealand. Two teenage gitls lost perspective of reality and ended up murdering one of the girls mothers. The true story is dramatized in the movie Heavenly Creatures starring Kate Winslet directed by Peter Jackson.

  • Mallory

    Does anyone know why the media is interviewing Family Service, rather than Waukesha County mental health services, for this story? Waukesha has some of the best county run mental health programs and services in the srate. They would be the place to call if someone saw warning signs that a young person might have unhealthy thoughts about violence/murder. They intervene in unhealthy thought patterns and prevent crises all the time. Im surprised no one is getting their input and making sure people know who to call in case there are other kids out there like there 2 girls.

    • Summer

      Parents are given a precious gift at birth and are completely responsible for everything. Their health, education, manners, and mental health. If you as parents provide an environment where you leave children to themselves, spending little to no quality time with them, letting them watch violence or inappropriate shows, play violent video games or participate in anything like these two girls did you will have nothing but problems. Parents are to blame. So many parents poison their children with toxic foods, loaded with sugar and chemicals then wonder why they cant concentrate or have hyper active issues and are sick a lot. Then they put them on anti depressants causing more problems. They let them play HOURS of violent video games & tv never spending quality time with them. Also many homes are stressful and negative and lack moral teaching of any kind. Yes, parents are to blame too. We can help them become amazing people in the world by how we treat and nurture them or you can leave them on their own for the world to take over. Parents, you are responsible. These 12 year olds should be tried as adults and put away for as long as the law provides. The damage is done thanks to their parents leaving these girls to their own devices and not disciplining.
      But they knew what they were doing and should be held accountable.
      If I were the victims parent, I would sue the parents as well.

  • meg smith

    why would the parents not have been attune to their own daughters’ involvement in a potentially harmful online website? how could the parents not see their children not understanding reality vs imaginary? how could the parents not possibly overhear their children plotting to MURDER a friend with a knife? did they seriously not recognize any signs, symptoms, off behavior? did their teachers not notice signs or symptoms either?
    wake up parents, wake up.

  • Tisha Howard

    I understand that this is a HORRIBLE act these girls commited. My question is, how can they be charged as ADULTS?? They ARE NOT adults. Now where near adulthood. I was fantasizing and playing barbie dolls when I was 12, I could see how a CHILD could take fantacy into reallity. Especially with technology now. This is so wrong on so many levels, those kids, those parents, us as a society. I am speaking as a victim of a similar crime.

  • Debbie

    These are defective humans and should be brought to death penalty. I don’t care what their ‘excuse’ is – mental illness, or whatever – you have this in your soul – one should be put to death to start clearing out the humans race of garbage as these 2 are so society can get back on the right track. Society does what it wants, right or wrong in God’s eyes and no one is held accountable for their actions. Look into these girls’ eyes – you can see they are troubled if you take the time to look deeply.

  • Meyah

    This is Morgan with her brother: http://staging.twenty20.com/photo/45e5b90c-a56d-439f-8060-7ece48ed6173 http://staging.twenty20.com/photo/02e5d3ea-7bfe-4dbd-a77b-551aeb456ad4 despite what she did she doesn’t look like she’s mean. People are not just all black or all white. To say this girl should die is heartless. This is a tragedy for these girls’ families. Yes they should have monitored what they were doing online but they’re not the only parents who don’t. Morgan does seem to have mental health issues from her statements. You you’re all lucky that your kids are doing well in their heads but this could happen to anybody.

    • Andria Lederhaus

      Not anybody that is doing there job as a PARENT. If there were no signs what so ever yes but by all accounts there were and NOTHING was done about them.

  • carmen

    I don’t think the brother is trying to harm his little sister in anyway.. or that he sold out…
    Quite frankly i believe he is trying to help her out.
    Stating: that his sister was not able to tell the difference between dreams and reality….
    He’s implying that she is not mentaly stable… unable to tell the difference between dreams in reallity..
    hopefully setting the ground, so that the judge can rule it as unfit to hold tryal or insanity….

    Avoiding 60 plus years of jail time… if that would be the verdict

  • leakuchan@gmail.com

    Why should they be charged as adults? Because of the amount of forethought that went into this crime, how cold blooded it was, the betrayal of someone they manipulated into trusting them, the lack of remorse despite admitting they knew it was wrong, the innocence taken away from the victim who will be emotionally scarred for life, and mostly for STABBING SOMEONE 19 TIMES and leaving them to die! There’s nothing good about it – would you rather them get a slap on the wrist and be released back into the general population in a few years to potentially do something similar? After these crimes, people always ask “why?” and “What can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?” You give the criminals the strictest sentence possible to protect others and to set an example that society is sick of this Sh#*.

  • Andria Lederhaus

    We can’t blame the parents!?!?!?!?! This is the single BIGGEST copout used in any of these cases dealing with children or young adults with OBVIOUS mental health issues. It always comes out after the fact that the parents seen signs but didn’t want to “upset” them or cause them to be “labeled”. Well guess what, it’s time to be a parent and take responsibility for the fact tgat somehow with or without your knowledge or say so, your child has become obsessed with a dictional character and by all accounts talked about it all the time and they did nothing to discourage it. You cannot just assume that things will take care of themselves with kids. You need to be actively involved at all times no matter what! This isn’t Little Hous on the Prairie anymore! It’s 2014 and its time to wake up and be a PARENT, not a friend!

  • Tasha

    There were no red flags. Most of you people have only read on article and think you know it all.but you don’t so don’t comment on what you don’t know about

  • Peter Barker

    Apparently Morgan Geyser is suffering from a mental disease, probably paranoid schizophrenia. How tragic and sad!

  • Jantavanta

    Is SlenderMan the new Freddy Kruger? We never had such characters in our films in Nigeria, in the name of artistic expression.

  • Karen Johnson

    We’re all screaming that these games incite children to do evil things but the game founders and certain media people tell us the two are not connected. LOL — and yet the connections are found in each and every such crime! Further, we’ve become so collectively sick that our little girls are actually trying to “please” some grotesque, horrific creature — rather than “run away” from it … like we used to do when we were kids! The gamers are recruiting “proxies” (aka murderers) on their website. THEY NEED TO BE PROSECUTED. Someone contact the parents and tell them to hire an attorney!!! I’m sure there’s a nice, media-hungry lawyer out there who’ll work for free.

  • Karen Johnson

    So are you defending the founders of Slender Man, even though they’re recruiting proxies (murderers) on their site? Here’s what you’re missing — not everyone responds the same way to visual and/or violent stimulation. When you put something out there like Slender Man — you NEVER know what the cat’s gonna’ drag in. The gamers took a risk and my guess is, they’ll soon be hearing from the D.A. Can you say … hee hee?

  • m.hernandez

    How can they even come to an idea a fictional image is even real! There’s no excuse for what they did. Is like believing Freddy Krueger is real.. Comeon!!

Comments are closed.

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