Slender Man vs Laughing Jack seems straight out of a Street Fighter game, but these Creepypasta characters take center stage in two nearly identical criminal cases. The Slender Man stabbing in Waukesha, Wisconsin concerns Morgan Geyser, and is being handed quite differently than the Laughing Jack stabbing in Elkhart, Indiana, despite many striking similarities. One difference in the handling is the ability to name Morgan, who is being charged as an adult with first degree attempted homicide, and whose image was released to the media. The Elkhart girl whom fatally stabbed her stepmother, like Morgan, was 12 at the time of the incident, and is being charged with a juvenile delinquency petition for murder, which allows her to remain anonymous; her name and picture have not been released.
Also like Morgan, the Elkhart girl was suffering from untreated mental illness at the time of the incident, but has since begun receiving treatment, “The court order requires the girl to be committed to the Division of Mental Health for confinement and treatment in a psychiatric institution until her competency is restored, or until a more appropriate treatment facility that accepts the girl is found and approved by the state Department of Child Services.” (South Bend Tribune) Morgan on the other hand is being denied treatment for her now diagnosed schizophrenia, and is facing a much harsher punishment for the non-lethal incident. Both children became violent as a result of delusional communications from fictitious internet characters. While the Slender Man and Laughing Jack characters were the impetus behind their actions, the media has little interest in Laughing Jack. Notwithstanding, Slender Man did and continues to get significant coverage.
Those privy to the laws of various states and jurisdictions may argue that Wisconsin has harsher laws, which is true, but does that make it right? When comparing these two cases it is clear that Indiana legally cares more than Wisconsin about protecting children, “‘Juveniles who are treated as adults, they’re more likely to commit suicide. They’re more likely to be victimized in institutions,’ Freiburger said.” (Fox 6 Now) Tina Freiburger, UW-Milwaukee professor of criminal justice, primarily researches disparities between juvenile and adult court systems. Freiburger covered the Slender Man case for Huffington Post, positing some of her conclusions, “Some research suggests that juveniles who come into adult prisons are more likely to be targeted for abuse by the prison population.”, she goes on to explain, “Most research has found that juveniles who are treated as adults have higher rates of recidivism than those treated as juveniles. These findings may be due to the decreased amount of treatment services juveniles receive in the adult system versus the juvenile system.” (Huffington Post) Morgan’s mother, Angie Geyser, recently attested to what Freiburger refers to as a “decreased amount of treatment services” in Waukesha, “Morgan ‘has yet to receive treatment for her schizophrenia,’ and that she has ‘no outdoor access’ — not even a window.” (Fox 6 Now)
What is most salient is that Indiana is giving a child suffering from mental illness another chance, while Wisconsin is not, “Angie Geyser says ‘when all is said and done, she will still have a chance at a future. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my little girl.'” (Fox 6 Now) Awareness is the name of the game! By sharing this information we seek to be Morgan’s Slender Chance for help. You can help by sharing this website on social media, and with friends, family and colleagues. You can also join our Letter Writing Pool, which will soon be updated for the purpose of petitioning the court of appeals to remand Morgan’s case to juvenile court. We are positing the notion that Morgan needs and deserves treatment! There is no way to undo the harm that has already transpired, but we can certainly prohibit any more from occurring.