ABC’s David Muir Exclusively Interviews Payton Leutner, Speaking for the First Time After Her One-Time Friends Stabbed Her 19 Times in the Name of Slender Man, Friday, Oct. 25
ABC’S DAVID MUIR EXCLUSIVELY INTERVIEWS PAYTON LEUTNER, SPEAKING FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER HER ONE-TIME FRIENDS STABBED HER 19 TIMES IN THE NAME OF SLENDER MAN
Two-Hour ’20/20′ Special Also Features New Interviews with Payton’s Parents, Detectives Who Interviewed the Attackers and the Assistant District Attorney Who Prosecuted the Case
‘The Wicked’ AirsFriday, Oct. 25 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC
Anchor David Muir has the exclusive interview with Payton Leutner, who speaks for the first time five years after her two friends stabbed her 19 times and left her for dead in the woods of Waukesha, Wisconsin, when she was 12 years old. Pre-teens at the time, authorities say Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier claimed they wanted to kill Payton to prove themselves to a mysterious fictitious character—known as Slender Man. Now 17 years old and in high school, Payton talks about the unspeakable day, the long road of recovery, and her life now. “The Wicked” airs on “20/20” Friday, Oct. 25 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on ABC.
The two-hour special edition of “20/20” features new interviews with Payton’s parents, Joe and Stacie Leutner; Waukesha Police Detectives Tom Casey and Michelle Trussoni, who interviewed the suspects during the investigation; Shelly Fisher, who interviewed Payton at the hospital; Dan Klein, who was the first officer on the scene the day of the attack; Waukesha County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Osborne, who prosecuted the case; Morgan’s attorney, Anthony Cotton; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Reporter Bruce Vielmetti, who covered the case; and doctors who evaluated both suspects. “20/20” will also include the shocking police interviews with Morgan and Anissa about the crimes they committed and Muir’s interviews with Angie Geyser, Morgan’s mom, and Kristi Weier, Anissa’s mom.
In May 2014, Payton and Anissa attended a sleepover at Morgan’s home. The next morning while pretending to play hide-and-seek, Morgan repeatedly stabbed Payton in the woods. After the girls left her, Payton struggled to reach a nearby road, where a bicyclist spotted her and called 911. Morgan and Anissa were missing for several hours before authorities apprehended them along Interstate 94. Authorities charged both girls as adults with first-degree attempted intentional homicide. Anissa accepted a deal to plead guilty to attempted second-degree murder, and a jury found her not guilty determining she was mentally ill at the time of the crime. In 2017, a judge ordered her under a state mental commitment for 25 years, with at least three years of locked confinement. Morgan pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted intentional homicide in exchange for prosecutors not holding her criminally responsible for her actions. In 2018, the judge sentenced her to 40 years under state institutional care. Both girls are currently serving out their sentences at the same Wisconsin state mental health institution.
Muir has been reporting the Slender Man story since 2014. In 2014, Muir had the first interview ever at the time with Payton’s parents, who described the harrowing sequence of events of that fateful day that changed their lives forever, and Payton courageously revealed her identity for the first time.
David Muir and Amy Robach are the anchors of “20/20.” David Sloan is senior executive producer.