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After Hours AM Wisconsin Slender Man Stabbing Case

  • Broadcast in Spirituality
After Hours AM

After Hours AM


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On a disturbing but profound episode of After Hours AM/The Criminal with hosts Joel Sturgis, Eric Olsen, and forensic psychologist Dr. Clarissa Cole — we delve into the shocking Wisconsin Slenderman stabbing case and the eloquent HBO documentary, BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN, detailing the crime and its psycho-cultural setting with the film’s producer Sophie Harris, developmental psychologist Dr. Jacqueline D Woolley, and folklorist Dr. Jack Zipes. Our guests will join us in the hour 2; in in the hour 1 we will check out the week’s True Crime news, with a special eye toward teen killers in honor of our topic for the evening. On May 31, 2014, Slenderman went from compelling but wholly fictional Internet meme to household word when two 12 year-old Wisconsin girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, lured a friend, Payton (“Bella”) Leutner, into the woods and stabbed her 19 times in an effort to earn the favor of the faceless, elongated, dark-suited figure. This real life homage is all the more disturbing because the creation of the character is readily traceable to writer Eric “Victor Surge” Knudsen on the “Something Awful” Internet forum in 2009, in response to a contest asking “participants to turn ordinary photographs into creepy-looking images through digital manipulation and then pass them on as authentic photographs on a number of paranormal forums.” And did they ever. As the most powerful memes do, this one seeped into the very fiber of online culture to the extent that five years later young girls were willing to kill for it. In a sense, Slenderman did become “real” when humans believed he was real and took action accordingly. This is the ultimate compliment for a meme — “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture” — when it jumps from concept bandied about on the Internet, to causation in the real world. Suddenly, Slenderm