Thursday, June 23, 2011

Melchert-Dinkel Case on Appeal

By Margaret Dore, June 23, 2011

William Melchert-Dinkel, a middle-aged man, posed as a young woman and trolled Internet chat rooms looking for suicidal people.  His goal was to induce victims to hang themselves in front of his webcam.  He told police that "he most likely encouraged dozens of persons to commit suicide and characterized it as the thrill of the chase."[1]

On March 15, 2011, the Rice County District Court convicted Melchert-Dinkel of intentionally encouraging and advising Nadia Kajouji and Mark Drybrough to commit suicide.[2] The case is now on appeal.[3]

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Canada's "The Fifth Estate" ran two episodes on Nadia's death: "Death Online" and "Justice for Nadia."  Nadia's mother, Deborah Chevalier, has since launched a suicide prevention site, Nadia's Light.  The message is:  "There is hope.  There is help."

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[1]  Complaint, page 4, lines 1-2. 
[2]  Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment and Memorandum, March 15, 2011, pp. 41-42.
[3]  See Notice of Appeal, filed May 31, 2011.