Two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls charged with trying to stab their friend to death to please a mythological creature had struggled to decide who should do the deed.
According to a criminal complaint, the girls said they had been planning to kill their 12-year-old friend for months to please Slenderman, a fictional online character.
Slenderman is thought to have originated as an Internet meme around 2009. He is often depicted as a tall, thin man wearing a suit with a blank face.
The complaint said they invited the girl to a sleepover Friday. They planned to tape her mouth shut, stab her in the neck and run away to Slenderman's mansion.
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Instead, they attacked the girl in Waukesha on Saturday, handing the knife back and forth between them before one girl held the victim down and the other stabbed her 19 times.
The victim was stabbed in the torso, legs and arms but was able to crawl out of the woods to a road, where she was discovered by a passing bicyclist. She survived the attack, and police say her condition is stable.
One girl told detectives she regretted it. The other said she was sorry.
Both suspects were charged as adults with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, as a party to a crime. If convicted, they could each serve 65 years in prison.
NBC Chicago is not naming the suspects or showing their faces due to their age.