Two 12-year-old girls accused of stabbing another 12-year-old girl in Waukesha, Wisconsin
This is a story I casually ran across online a few days ago that read, "Wisconsin: 2 Girls Accused of Stabbing Friend" but for some reason it didn't grab my attention. At least not until yesterday, when a friend I was with was reading a follow-up story [i] and told me some of the details.
The story was about two twelve-year-old girls stabbing another 12-year-old girl 19 times--all friends--with the intent of killing her.
Apparently, the bizarre attack grew from an internet legend called "Slender Man", a fictional character the two accused of the assault said was the impetus for the attack. They told police they believed Slender Man was real and they needed to kill to prove themselves worthy of him.
According to the Times article, "The girls expressed remorse at times, but a stunning callousness at others. "It was weird that I didn't feel remorse," one commented to the police. The other girl said, "The bad part of me wanted her to die. The good part wanted her to live." Luckily as it turns out the girl who was attacked somehow was able to get away, crawl out of the woods, was found by a passerby and taken to the hospital, and is in recovery from the stab wounds.
The two girls have been charged as adults. Under Wisconsin law all murder and attempted-murder charges must start in adult court if a child is older than ten. But these are legal matters defense lawyers, prosecutors, and judges will deal with and sort out.
There are a myriad of non-legal things to consider. These girls after all are 12 years old. They aren't adults, regardless of Wisconsin law.
What of the parents? Were they absentee parents? If they weren't did they converse with their kids? Were they aware of their children's habits, the time they spent on the internet, the sites they visited and what they were reading? If the parents were attuned to their kids could they have picked up clues as to their daughters soon to be macabre behavior?
Then I thought this could only happen in America; two 12-year-old girls wanting to kill another 12-year-old girl friend over a fictional internet character, a myth they fantasized as real and to "prove" it had to kill a best friend. Not even Rod Serling of "Twilight Zone" fame could have come up with this one.
Then my mind started wondering was this a cultural phenomenon, peculiarly American?
I've read of other cultures where stoning occurs with women found guilty of committing adultery in Iran. Pakistan apparently has what are described as "honor killings" where family members kill a woman relative that has committed adultery. There are of course sectarian killing among Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Some Hindus in India killing Muslims and vice versa. I've read of some Indian's murdering a newborn baby girl simply because it wasn't born a boy.
There are to be sure other horrendous acts committed in all cultures even by juveniles. Certain warring factions in Africa are known to take boys as young as 10 away from their families, train them to use firearms and train them to kill, apparently too young for them to feel remorse for the victims they are forced to kill.
Again, the horror that occurred in Wisconsin was in a well-to-do suburb of Milwaukee. Yet how unlike the killing rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut, the murders committed by a gunman in a movie theatre in Colorado, "Columbine", et al, bring a sense of horror, incomprehension and a sickening feeling to most Americans as they should.
But why is it--or so it seems--Americans generally are horrified only with the murder--or in the case in Wisconsin attempted murder--of innocents that occur in America and when you think about it mostly innocent white Americans?
Of course the Times didn't indicate the race of the girls involved but the "trim, upper-middle-class Milwaukee suburb" of Waukesha was a dead giveaway.
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