Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2010 01:13 pm
During my lunchhour at work I like to watch Dateline, 48 Hours Mystery, etc. Today I watched a Dateline Show that is exctremely disturbing to me. It is a story about a man pretending to be a young nurse that encouraged others to commit suicide. Unfortunately, some young people, obviously in deep depression, killed themselves. This man tried to convince them all to commit suicide on a webcam so "she" could watch. "She" even convinced them "she" would commit suicide right after they did. For years it seemed nothing would be done to the man behind all of this but now he has been charged. It will be very interesting to know the outcome.

Personally, I think they need to throw the book at the man. He is married and even has children of his own! The story is about 42 minutes long if anyone would want to watch it.

I am very curious as to how others feel about internet assisted suicide. I believe in the documentary it stated that 43 of the states have laws against it.
Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2010 01:25 pm
the term is misleading, this isn't internet assisted suicide, this is internet stalking that leads to suicide, cyber bullying to the extreme

when this story first came out i was upset by the term, i'm for assisted suicide for terminally ill patients, and this term belittles that idea
Arella Mae
Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2010 02:27 pm
Hmmm, you are right djjd62. I hadn't thought of it that way. So, I apologize for the name of the thread. What did you think about the rest of the story?
Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2010 02:34 pm
@Arella Mae,
wackos everywhere, the internet just makes it easier for them to get their message out
0 Replies
Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2010 02:43 pm
obviously the internet should be restricted to users that are certified nice, well-intentioned, and totally rational. unfortunately, if we do that, the internet will be limited to weather-forecasting and cross-word puzzles.
Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2010 02:58 pm
I forget his name, but Alburquerque used to have a tv weather forecaster who was rational in only the broadest sense.
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Arella Mae
Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2010 07:11 pm
That documentary really disturbed me. I know that the ultimate responsibility is for the person that commits suicide or doesn't but I cannot fathom someone doing what that Dinkle guy did! How can anyone be so heartless?
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 12:55 am
@Arella Mae,
He's a selfish, cowardly, voyeuristic opportunist. He's using these peoples' pain to feed his own sick fascinations.
Thank god he'll never be able to practice nursing again. Can you imagine a nurse who likes to view other people in pain?
What I don't understand is how that woman (whom I assume is his wife) could continue to live in the house with him much less hold the hand of such a person.

I'm glad he's being charged. At the very least he should be charged with inhibiting the course of an investigation. He knew what had happened to that girl - he had a picture of her, so he knew what she looked like, and I'm sure with his obsessive voyeurism he was compelled to google for news of the search and investigation as it progressed as the weeks went by with her missing - and he didn't step forward to give information and help her parents and her brother learn about what had happened to her.
Her parents were in such obvious pain - I'm sure he enjoyed watching that too.

I find the whole thing very sad and I agree with the British woman who said that he'd 'lost his humanity'. He probably never had any to begin with. Some people don't.
Arella Mae
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 06:41 am
I agree he lost his humanity if he ever had any. I have a hard time understanding such sick minds as his. I can't stand to see people in pain, physical or emotional, and yet this man fed off of it and exacerbated it. Surely, he has no conscience.

I would imagine it's going to be tough prosecuting since it is the internet and it seems the hardest part is going to be to prove he was the actual one doing the typing on the computer. Hopefully, that one picture of him will be enough.

I really hope they do make an example of him. Perhaps in some way that might deter others from this but I don't hold out much hope of that.
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Arella Mae
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 10:27 am
Prosecutors: Minn. man `hunted' suicidal victims

MINNEAPOLIS – A Minnesota man charged with two counts of aiding suicide was committing a crime — not playing a game — when he "hunted" vulnerable people on the Internet and encouraged two of them to kill themselves, prosecutors claim.

William Melchert-Dinkel used alter egos to stalk victims and get them to commit suicide for the "thrill of the chase," prosecutors said in written arguments filed in advance of a court hearing Thursday in front of a judge who will decide whether the former nurse's actions were criminal.

"Advising and encouraging others in suicide is not an online game for Mr. Melchert-Dinkel's amusement — it is a crime," Rice County Attorney Paul Beaumaster wrote. He added that Melchert-Dinkel admitted his "conversations moved into the realm of sick and perverse advice."

Melchert-Dinkel has pleaded not guilty to two counts of aiding suicide in the 2005 hanging death of Mark Drybrough, 32, of Coventry, England, and the 2008 drowning of Nadia Kajouji, 18, of Brampton, Ontario. Melchert-Dinkel's fate is now in the hands of Rice County District Court Judge Thomas Neuville after the 48-year-old southern Minnesota man waived his right to a jury trial and said he would not dispute the evidence against him, only whether what he did was a crime.

Neuville was set hear arguments from both sides Thursday, then has up to 20 days to decide whether Melchert-Dinkel is guilty.

Defense attorney Terry Watkins has not filed written arguments and did not return phone messages Wednesday. He has said previously that his client's online activities were protected speech, that the victims were predisposed to suicide and that Melchert-Dinkel's comments were not a factor. Watkins has also said his client's actions do not constitute a crime.

Prosecutors say Melchert-Dinkel, of Faribault, was obsessed with suicide and hanging and that he sought out potential victims on the Internet. When he found them, prosecutors say, he posed in chat rooms and in e-mails as a woman, using such names as "Li dao" or "Cami," played the role of a compassionate friend, and offered step-by-step instructions on how they could take their lives.

Prosecutors say he acknowledged participating in online chats about suicide with up to 20 people and entering into fake suicide pacts with about 10 people, five of whom he believed killed themselves.

In his arguments, Beaumaster wrote that the evidence shows "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Melchert-Dinkel intentionally encouraged both victims to kill themselves, and that he aided in Drybrough's suicide.

According to court documents, Drybrough posted a message in a chat room, asking if anyone had instructions on how to hang oneself without access to something high. He began receiving e-mails from "Li dao" containing detailed instructions. Beaumaster wrote that Drybrough died by the hanging methods described by "Li dao."

In the Canada case, evidence shows Kajouji went online March 1, 2008, saying she wanted to commit suicide but was afraid of failing. Five days later, she participated in online chats with "Cami" — who prosecutors say was actually Melchert-Dinkel, claiming to be a 31-year-old emergency room nurse. During the chats, Kajouji said she planned to jump into a river the following Sunday, and Cami said if that didn't work, they would hang themselves together that Monday.

"We are together in this," Kajouji wrote.

"Yes I promise, Monday will be my day," Cami replied.

Police in Ottawa say Kajouji disappeared March 9, 2008. Her body was found six weeks later.

Beaumaster wrote that Melchert-Dinkel had no intention of taking his own life. He also wrote there is no evidence showing he tried to talk anyone out of suicide and that his alter egos became so infamous online that concerned people warned others that he was stalking suicidal individuals.

Kajouji's mother, Deborah Chevalier, was unable to make the trip from Canada for Thursday's arguments, but told the AP by e-mail that she is confident Melchert-Dinkel will be found guilty.

"However, a guilty verdict is not justice," she wrote. "I've come to realize that, even with a guilty verdict, any punishment he receives will be nothing more than an insult and a slap in the fact to each of his victims."
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