ABC 20/20 “The Wicked” September 1 2023 Recap & Preview

Prepare to enter the unsettling world of a horrifying attack in “20/20: The Wicked.” This special two-hour episode of “20/20” delves into the chilling account of the violent assault on Payton Leutner, a 12-year-old girl who survived a brutal stabbing by her two friends, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The episode is set to air on Friday, September 1, from 9:01 PM to 11:00 PM EDT on ABC.

What Happened to Payton Leutner, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier?

The episode will shed light on the harrowing event that took place. In a disturbing twist, Geyser and Weier stabbed their friend Payton Leutner 19 times and left her for dead in a wooded area. Astonishingly, the attackers were only 12 years old at the time. They claimed that they committed the violent act in a misguided attempt to gain the approval of the fictional character Slender Man.

Leutner managed to crawl to a road where she was found and eventually recovered after six days in the hospital. Weier and Geyser were deemed not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect and were sent to mental health institutions. Weier received a sentence of 25 years to life, while Geyser was sentenced to 40 years to life. After seven years, Weier was granted early release with supervision until age 37.

Slender Man is a fictional character originating from an online forum contest in 2009, depicted as a tall, thin figure with a featureless face and tentacles, often associated with forests and causing paranoia.

The attack occurred during a game in a wooded area. Weier and Geyser held Leutner down and stabbed her multiple times. They planned to meet Slender Man after the attack.

Leutner survived after intensive medical treatment. Weier and Geyser were arrested hours later, walking miles from the scene. They claimed the attack was necessary to appease Slender Man.

Geyser’s upbringing was marked by hallucinations and mental health issues. She was diagnosed with childhood schizophrenia. Her mental state was left untreated for months, and her trial was preceded by psychiatric evaluations.

Weier pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree homicide, declared not guilty due to mental disease, and received an indeterminate sentence. Geyser accepted a plea deal, was also diagnosed with schizophrenia, and received a similar sentence.

Weier was released early with strict conditions. She is subject to monitoring, medication, counseling, and living arrangements.

Episode Interviews & Summary

Anchor David Muir conducts an exclusive interview with Payton Leutner herself, providing a firsthand account of the terrifying incident, her journey to recovery, and her life in the aftermath.

The episode features interviews with various key figures connected to the case, including Payton’s parents Joe and Stacie Leutner, Waukesha Police Detectives Tom Casey and Michelle Trussoni, and others who were involved in the investigation. Additionally, interviews with Angie Geyser, Morgan’s mother, and Kristi Weier, Anissa’s mother, provide insights into the lives of the perpetrators’ families.

20/20: The Wicked” also includes footage of police interviews with Geyser and Weier, where they discuss their motives and the chilling details of their crimes. The show offers a comprehensive look at the events leading up to the attack, the trial proceedings, and the aftermath for all those involved.

This special episode delves deep into the psychological and emotional aspects of the case, exploring the motivations behind the horrifying act and the ripple effects it had on the victims, their families, and the community. With expert commentary and personal accounts, “20/20: The Wicked” offers a haunting exploration of a crime that shocked the nation and raises questions about the impact of the digital age on young minds.


Alex Matthews

Alex has been an avid fan of television since they were a child, always eager to discover new shows and characters. Over the years, Alex has written numerous articles and essays about television, exploring the themes, characters, and cultural impact of some of the most beloved shows of our time.

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1 Response

  1. Janice spreadborough says:

    My son was diagnosed borderline schizophrenic. I tried over and over to get help and everybody just wanted money. If you’re the average American family you cannot come up with 30,000 or 50,000 or 60,000 to get them help. I had him in Nevada mental health. I paid $5000 to have outpatient help he is in prison for trying to commit suicide or a felon having a gun. I drove eight hours one day from Fallon to California trying to get help. Why don’t you do a show on where the average person can take their child to get help

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