Florida Teen Says Soul Eater Manga, Slenderman Inspired Her to Set Home on Fire
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
14-year-old Florida girl allegedly lit her house on fire early Thursday morning and then fled her Port Richey home while her mother and 9-year-old brother slept. According to the police, she soaked a bedsheet and towel in rum and bleach and then lit it on fire in her home's garage. The teen spent the night stocked with clothes, bottled water, cookies, flashlights, lighters, and knives in a nearby park bathroom.
Her mother and brother escaped the blaze unharmed. Firefighters searched the burning home three times looking for the girl. Her mother received a text message from her daughter saying "Mom, I'm so sorry. I don't know why I did it. Did any of you get hurt?" Police found and arrested the girl on one charge of arson and two charges of attempted murder.
The teen said she thought about lighting her house on fire after reading Atsushi Ohkubo's Soul Eater manga. The manga's story follows Maka Albarn, a death god in training who must capture the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch. According to Hartwell, the story reminded her of being bullied and how her mother disciplines her.
Pasco County detective Daniel Toner said, "There's a part in this book where two characters get in a fight with each other. All of a sudden that clicks something in her mind, and she decided she was going to kill her family."
Police found the girl's diary where she wrote extensively about the fictional horror character Slenderman. In her diary, Hartwell wrote, "If this keeps up there will be no safety in this house."
Note: 10 News and other sites incorrectly state the girl was reading "SoulEater.com" and that it is a "violent" site related to Slenderman. Other sites reference the manga as a Japanese comic or an e-book that "talks about killing."
Thanks to calimike for the news tip
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history