Former nurse charged with coaxing 2 suicides on web
A man in Britain and a woman in Canada killed themselves with the online encouragement of a Minnesota nurse, according to charges filed Friday.
William Melchert-Dinkel, 47, of Faribault, was charged in Rice County with two counts of aiding suicide.
Melchert-Dinkel, whose Minnesota nursing license has since been revoked, allegedly used Internet correspondence to prod the two into killing themselves.
Melchert-Dinkel is not in custody and was charged by summons. His first court appearance is scheduled for May 25.
Like most other states, Minnesota has a law that punishes anyone who "intentionally advises, encourages, or assists" others with suicide. But experts say such laws are rarely used and nearly impossible to enforce. A call to Melchert-Dinkel's home was placed seeking reaction to the charges.
"For anyone, much less a nurse, to exploit another at their most vulnerable point in life is disturbing and counter not only to the values of their profession, but the values of common decency," St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington said in a statement.
According to authorities, Melchert-Dinkel advised and encouraged Mark Drybrough, 32, of Britain, and Nadia Kajouji, 18, a college student in Ottawa, before they took their own lives.
Yes, this is a really creepy case. Apparently he pretended to be a young woman, and encouraged numerous young women to kill themselves while online via a cam. He would specify the best ways to do it, whether with drugs (using his medical knowledge) or via ropes (and he seemed to have extensive knowledge of strangulation too.)