The news horrified the world: Two 12-year-old American girls lured a friend into the Wisconsin woods and stabbed her 19 times in an effort to appease a faceless mythical entity known online as Slenderman. But there’s more to the story than the dark headlines it generated. Delving deep into this shocking crime, the sobering documentary Beware the Slenderman examines how an urban myth could take root in impressionable young minds, leading to an unspeakable act.
In separate interrogation rooms, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier both explained to detectives that they were compelled to kill their friend in order to become proxies of Slenderman, a fictional Internet character they believed was real.
Directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky (HBO’s Oscar-nominated The Final Inch), the documentary draws from an eerie array of Slenderman-inspired art, games and self-produced video, all culled from the Internet, along with heart-wrenching, unprecedented access to the two girls’ families, courtroom testimony, and interrogation-room footage.
The conversation dealt with the culpability of minors, mental illness, and Internet culture in court.
Professor Baird’s research examines the brain and behavioral basis of adolescent development. Her work centers around the ways in which social, emotional, cognitive, and brain-based changes impact the ways and means by which adolescents become adults. The long-term goal of this work is to better identify and prevent psychopathology; and further to inform legal and educational policy.
Irene Taylor Brodsky
Irene Taylor Brodsky is an Oscar-nominated, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, most recently nominated for Best Director and Best Documentary with her film Beware the Slenderman at the 2017 Critics Choice Awards. Her other award-winning credits include Hear and Now, Open Your Eyes, One Last Hug, Saving Pelican 895, and The Final Inch.