Man charged with aiding suicides on Net

William Melchert-Dinkel, 47, is charged under a rarely used state law that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years and a fine of $30,000. He is accused of encouraging the suicides of Mark Drybrough, 32, who hanged himself at his home in England; and Nadia Kajouji, 18, of Ontario, who drowned in 2008 in a river in Ottawa.

Investigators have said Melchert-Dinkel feigned compassion for those he chatted with, while offering step-by-step instructions on how to take their lives. He told investigators he encouraged “dozens” of people to commit suicide and “characterised it as the thrill of the chase”.

The Minnesota Board of Nursing, which revoked his licence last June, said he encouraged numerous people to commit suicide. Legal experts have said prosecuting the case would be difficult on freedom-of-speech grounds because Melchert-Dinkel didn’t physically help kill them, just encouraged them and gave directions.
Minnesota authorities began investigating in March 2008 when an anti-suicide activist in Britain alerted them that someone in the state was using the Internet to manipulate people into killing themselves.

Melchert-Dinkel worked at various hospitals and nursing homes and was cited several times for neglect and being rough with patients.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry