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Waukesha Girl's Stabbing Stuns Neighbors

Marti Mikkelson

People who live in Waukesha are taken aback by the disturbing crime that occurred in their community. 

Two 12-year-old girls are charged with stabbing their friend 19 times, in order to please an online fictional character.

Police say it happened at David’s Park, located on the southern edge of Waukesha.  The park is tucked alongside a newer subdivision of condos and apartment buildings.

A few mothers stopped by Tuesday with their children, watching as they went down the slides and ran laps around the baseball diamond. Lance Russ sat at a picnic table in the park’s shelter. The 20-year-old Waukesha native describes the city as quiet, and virtually crime-free.

“Most things that you hear about here are like speeding tickets and stuff like that, it’s nothing big and then you hear about something like this that happens and you really don’t expect it,” Russ says.

Credit Marti Mikkelson
Wooded area where the victim was stabbed

Russ says he’s familiar with Slender Man, the online horror-story character, for whom the suspects allegedly planned to kill their friend. And Russ says he’s played video games featuring the character. But, he understands Slender Man is make-believe, and says he’s shocked the suspects thought he was real.

Another person who lives near the park is 25-year-old Tony Miller. He moved to Waukesha from Georgia when he was a teenager. He says he’s growing weary of the constant parade of TV crews at the park.

“That’s not good. I don’t like the negative attention. Positive attention is always great but when we get a lot of attention for attempted murders, that’s not fun at all, right?” Miller asks.

About a block away, I caught up with Dana Lara, as she was climbing into her car with her young son. She says the incident makes her fear for her children.

“I have two boys of my own, 12 and three and I would never want anyone to hurt them and I don’t want any kids to get hurt,” Lara says.

Lara says she’s acquainted with the victim’s family, and her heart goes out to them.

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.
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