After surviving death by just millimeters, Slender Man stabbing victim Payton Leutner reveals herself for the first time in this ABC interview.
The 12-year-old girl who was lured into the woods and brutally stabbed 19 times by classmates hoping to impress the fictional character Slender Man has revealed her identity for the first time.
Payton Leutner was completely oblivious to what police describe as a five-month plan concocted by her best friends to murder her when she excitedly arrived for a sleepover in late May.
But just hours later she was crawling for her life from the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin, after being stabbed in the chest, abdomen, legs and arms.
Tonight, she appeared in public for the first time on ABC’s 20/20 as it is revealed for the first time that the knife missed her major artery by less than a hair’s width.
And her mother Stacie Leutner – who has also remained anonymous until tonight – reveals Payton had feared the specter known as Slender Man before the attack, and tried to back away as they neared the woods ‘sensing something was wrong’.
Until now, Payton has not been identified or previously pictured, apart from an image showing her being carried away on a stretcher.
Her attackers, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, both 12, have since been charged as adults for first-degree intentional homicide but questions remain over whether they will be competent to stand trial.
Smiling, playing with a cat, and watching a video of the Katy Perry concert she went to the night before, Payton looks like any other carefree little girl.
However, the marks on her arm betray a horrific ordeal that she is still unable to acknowledge even to her parents.