WAUKESHA -- An obsession with a fictional character spiraled into a very real and dangerous situation when two Waukesha girls allegedly plotted to kill their friend to appease Slenderman. The case inspired one man -- who is working to help parents monitor what their children are exposed to online.
Slenderman is a fictional, supernatural character that originated as an Internet meme. It is depicted as resembling a thin, unnaturally tall man with a blank and usually featureless face, wearing a black suit.
Stories of the Slenderman commonly feature him stalking, abducting or traumatizing people, particularly children.
The fictional character allegedly motivated Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, who were both 12 years old at the time, to stab their classmate 19 times in May 2014 as a sacrifice to the online horror character.
"As I was watching the story, I was struck by the scariness of it," John Michels siad.
The crime inspired Michels to help parents keep tabs on what's going on in their child's digital world.
He says the crime was a driving force behind his creation of the website: CarefulParents.com.
"That was my idea -- that CarefulParents.com would be a resource for parents to not have to know what they are looking for -- but to share things they already knew and research and surf the site to educate themselves on potential dangers that may be out there and facing their kids today," Michels said.
Membership on the site is free.
The content is driven by parents, and the site is a place where parents can share information with alerts and forums.
"It's very important to know what your kids are saying," Michels said.
Material on the site includes texting acronyms, reviews of young adult books, and the latest illegal drug trends among teens.
"We are hoping that we can create a line of communication between parents and kids -- just to help them be aware of what's going on, but also to talk their kids through some things that their kids don`t even truly understand," Michels said.
CarefulParents.com has been up and running for about four months. There are already more than 400 members on the site.
Michels hopes that number continues to grow.
CLICK HERE to access CarefulParents.com.