'Slenderman' attack victim, 12, receives a Purple Heart
By ROBIN A. WEBB | USA Today | Published: July 22, 2014
A 12-year-old Wisconsin girl who continues to recover at home after being stabbed 19 times by two friends in the so-called 'Slenderman' case was sent a priceless gift from an anonymous American hero.
The girl's family set up a Facebook page shortly after the brutal attack two months ago. They asked people to send handmade hearts — made from paper, fabric, felted wool — that would be hung in her bedroom so "she may be reminded that the power of love is greater than all else." They requested the hearts be purple, the girl's favorite color.
Last month, a purple heart of a different sort arrived — the kind given to veterans wounded in combat. According to the family, the Purple Heart arrived with a card that read, "The Only Heart I Could Find – Be Strong." The sender sent the medal anonymously.
The family is hoping that the veteran may come forward, either privately or publicly, so they can deliver their personal thanks for the gift.
According to a post on the family's "Hearts for Healing" Facebook page, Wisconsin Secretary of Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos was informed of the gesture and he stated:
"Those who receive this military recognition do so because they have been wounded or killed in an action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces. American service men and women are also moms and dads, uncles and aunts – brothers and sisters. It does not surprise me that a decorated veteran unselfishly gave this amazingly brave and courageous little girl something from his or her heart."
The girl sustained stab wounds to the arms, legs and torso and was left for dead in the May 31 attack, allegedly carried out by two other 12-year-olds. Police reported that the young victim managed to crawl for help and was found by a passerby.
The attackers have been charged with attempted homicide. The girls told authorities that Slenderman required them to perform the crime in order to curry favor with him. The girls are being held in a juvenile detention center. Slenderman, or Slender Man, is popular on some Internet horror sites and has inspired fan-fiction postings.
The mythical adult male figure is said to wear a dark suit and have no face. His arms and legs are longer than normal and he can extend them at will, according to postings on the creepypasta.wikia.com website. He appears to target children, often for kidnapping, according to the site.
After the attack, Eric Knudsen, the creator of Slenderman, said in a statement that he was "deeply saddened by the tragedy in Wisconsin and my heart goes out to the families of those affected by this terrible act."