Where Is Payton Leutner Now? Update on Her Life After the Attack

By Louie Fecou
Published: September 21, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
Payton Leutner
Payton Leutner

Have you ever heard of Slenderman? I imagine a few of you have, especially if you are leaning toward the macabre and supernatural. The idea was originally an Internet meme, a Creepypasta created by Eric Knudsen, a user of the forum Something Awful. Eric, formerly known as Victor Surge, would introduce the character, a thin, tall human-like figure dressed in a black suit but with a frighteningly blank white face, and sometimes depicted with tentacles and limbs that seemed to extend.

However, around 2014, the sinister nature of the fictional creation would bleed into real life, and incidents of violence connected to the character began to emerge. The culmination of the incidents would involve two sixth graders in Wisconsin who would attack and stab a friend nineteen times. Payton Leutner’s life changed forever after being the victim of this.  Their motivation, it was reported, was to please Slenderman.

Payton Leutner’s Life after the Attack

Payton was a normal girl raised in Wisconsin and born in 2002. She met Morgan Geyser when she started fourth grade, and the two became friends. It would seem that things would change by sixth grade.

ABC News would report that the friendship was compromised when Geyser would go on to become friends with Anissa Weier. Payton was wary of Anissa and described her as cruel. As the friendship between Weier and Geyser continued, they started to become obsessively interested in the internet legend Slenderman. Payton was not interested in the character, though.

The morbid fascination with Slenderman would lead Geyser and Weier to plan the murder of Payton, believing that if they killed their friend, they would be allowed to live with the supernatural creature in his woodland home.

A plan to kill Payton at a slumber party for her birthday did not go ahead, but the next day, a new plan was hatched. They would lure Payton to the woods, saying they were going to play hide and seek. Payton was encouraged to hide under leaves and sticks, but as she lay there, Geyser would use a kitchen knife to stab the young girl nineteen times. The two girls would then leave her for dead.

Payton Leutner

Payton Leutner

Incredibly, Payton would survive the horrific attack. Despite her terrible injuries, the brave girl managed to flag down a passerby on a bike, who quickly phoned the police. Six hours in surgery led Payton to survive the assault. An interview on ABC would see Payton talk openly about the event and tell how she would go on to pursue a career in medicine. Payton is currently at college.

Morgan Geyser and Anisa Weier’s Motive

It seems the event was the result of Geyser’s obsessive fascination with Slenderman. She believed that if she murdered Payton, she would become an emissary of the fictional creature.

Both of the girls were charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Geyser pleaded guilty. She was found not guilty by reason of mental disease. The judge would sentence her to 40 years in Winnebago Mental Health Institute, near Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where she remains today.

A report in The New York Times would state that Weier also pleaded guilty. This was to a lesser charge of being a party to attempted second-degree intentional homicide. Also found not guilty by reason of mental disease, she was sentenced to a mental health institute.

Weier was released early on good behavior in 2021 after serving just a few years of her sentence. She was then required to move in with her father.

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