Payton Leutner is from Waukesha, Wisconsin, United States. Here are 10 more things about her:
- She is Josef “Joe” Leutner and Stacie Leutner‘s daughter.
- She is 2 years older than her brother Caden Leutner.
- In fourth grade, she befriended her classmate Morgan Geyser when she saw the latter sitting alone. Geyser nicknamed her Bella.
- In sixth grade, Geyser befriended their classmate Anissa Weier. When Geyser and Weier started talking about Slender Man, a fictional character that started with an online post in 2009, she thought it was odd but she went along with it.
- On May 30, 2014, she and Weier attended a slumber party at the Waukesha home of Geyser, who was celebrating her birthday.
- On May 31, 2014, Geyser and Weier lured her in David’s Park, a wooded area near Waukesha where Geyser stabbed her 19 times to appease Slender Man while Weier was urging Geyser on. Left alone, she managed to pull herself out of the woods then a bicyclist found her and called 911. That day, Dr. John Kelemen performed emergency surgery on her at ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital in Waukesha.
- She, Geyser and Weier were all 12 years old when the stabbing took place in David’s Park on May 31, 2014. Inspired by the stabbing, the movie “Terror in the Woods” aired on Lifetime on October 14, 2018 while the movie “Mercy Black” was released on Netflix on March 31, 2019.
- In September 2014, she returned to school.
- She spoke publicly for the first time about the events on May 31, 2014 in an interview with David Muir on the “20/20” episode that aired on October 24, 2019. She told Muir that the stabbing inspired her to pursue a career in medicine. She also said, “I’ve come to accept all of the scars that I have. It’s just a part of me. I don’t think much of them. They will probably go away and fade eventually.”
- She and her family were disappointed, according to their spokesman Steve Lyons, after Judge Michael Bohren approved on September 10, 2021 the conditions of Weier’s release from Winnebago Mental Health Institute in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.