The National Post reported on Friday August 8 that Minnesota prosecutors are seeking to once again convict William Melchert-Dinkel, a former nurse with an obsession with suicide voyeurism, with assisted suicide in the death of Canadian teenager, Nadia Kajouji. The National Post article stated:
Prosecutors argued Friday that a former nurse should be convicted of assisting suicide for sending emails and other online communications in which he urged two people in Canada and Britain to kill themselves and gave them information on how to do it.
William Melchert-Dinkel, 52, was back in court more than three years after he was convicted of encouraging suicides in the deaths of Nadia Kajouji, 18, of Brampton, Ont., in 2008 and Mark Drybrough, 32, of Coventry, England, in 2005.
Melchert-Dinkel’s previous conviction was overturned by the Minnesota Supreme Court, earlier this year, after they ruled that the definition of encouraging or advising suicide was too broad and restricted his “freedom of speech.” The Supreme Court ruling upheld the assisted suicide law and Minnesota prosecutors argued that Melchert-Dinkel contravened the law. The article stated that:
Evidence at that trial showed Melchert-Dinkel was obsessed with suicide and sought out depressed people online, posing as a suicidal female nurse, faking compassion and offering detailed instructions on how they could kill themselves. Police said he told them he did it for “the thrill of the chase,” and allegedly wanted to watch his targets die via a computer webcam.
In a hearing Friday, Assistant Rice County Attorney Terence Swihart said the state Supreme Court had defined “assist” as providing a person with what they need to die by suicide.
According to court documents, he acknowledged participating in online chats about suicide with up to 20 people and entering into fake suicide pacts with about 10, five of whom he believed killed themselves.
His online pseudonyms included “Falcon Girl” and “Cami D,” but he was charged in 2010 following amateur investigative work to identify him by three British women, including Dryborough’s mother, Elaine.
The defense acknowledged the charges but claim that his acts are protected by his “freedom of speech.” The article stated:
“We are not condoning his actions and there is no attempt to suggest that anything he did is anything but salacious, immoral or depraved. But we believe this it was protected by the first amendment of the constitution.”
Melchert-Dinkel encouraged people at their most vulnerable time to commit suicide. He acted like a friend under a false name and he gave them instructions for suicide while encouraging them to do the act on front of their webcam. Melchert-Dinkel should be prosecuted.