May 22, 2024

Former nurse admits to assisting suicides via web

Suicide help via chatroom
William Melchert-Dinkel

A Minnesota man was charged last week
with egging on a British man and a young Canadian woman to commit suicide
in a web chatroom. A former hospital nurse, William Melchert-Dinkel,
47, has been accused of assisting suicide on two counts: Briton Mark
Drybrough in 2005 and Canadian Nadia Kajouji in 2008. He was charged
in a Minnesota court, and could face up to 30 years’ jail.

Allegedly Melchert-Dinkel posed as
a female emergency nurse, giving people on internet suicide chatrooms
encouragement and advice on committing suicide. He reportedly admitted
that he had coached up to five people  to kill themselves. Authorities
have said that Melchert-Dinkel provided detailed information on how
much rope to buy and how to tie a slipknot when hanging themselves,
as well as the best way to drown oneself.

A British woman who frequented the
chatroom for people feeling depressed and suicidal, alerted authorities
in 2008 to a possible predator on the site. The former nurse may have made
suicide pacts with 10 or 11 people, describing his actions as “the
thrill of the chase”. According to some legal experts, it
could be difficult for Mr Melchert-Dinkel to be prosecuted because he
only encouraged victims to end their lives, and did not physically assist.
~ Reuters
Apr 24
, BBC News Apr 23

Jared Yee
assisted suicide