Aiding Suicide... With Words?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A former nurse appears in court in Minnesota this morning charged with two counts of aiding suicide. His weapon? Words. For years, William Melchert-Dinkel, 47, allegedly spent hours in online chat rooms with suicide themes, posing as a young female nurse and befriending vulnerable people contemplating suicide. He encouraged them to end their own lives, gave them tips on how to do it, and entered into suicide pacts with some - pacts police say he never intended to keep. At least two of the people he advised took their own lives – a 32-year-old British man in 2005, and an 18-year-old college student in Canada in 2008. Now Melchert-Dinkel is being charged with their deaths.


We talk to Celia Blay, the 65-year-old British grandmother who first began to unravel Melchert-Dinkel's secret online life four years ago.

We also speak with Jeff Rosen, a professor of law at George Washington University, about the sticky legal issues this case brings up surrounding free speech and the Internet.


Celia Blay and Jeffrey Rosen

Produced by:

Samantha Fields and Kate McGough

Comments [5]

Miyoko Goto

I want Dr. English-Lueck, Sgt. John Laws, Dr. Wiggsy Sivertsen (these from SJSU), Dr. Peter Newsom, Dr. Robert Burr, Dr. Kent (of El Camino Hospital) to be charged for false claims of me as suicidal nor danger to others, nor gravely disabled.

In my case, I was claimed to be suicidal by SJSU faculties, and I was sent to mental hospital on my way from to my class. At Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, someone made up a document claiming me as suicidal and danger to others. Next day, I was sent to El Camino Hospital and then I was claimed to be gravely disabled and danger to others. This all happened because the local connection of organized stalkers and the power abuse by the authorities. It is not scientific and helping the patients at all. I was threatened by Dr. Peter Newsom to keep me in the hospital for 14days hold, and I was suggested to sign the voluntary patient form and then raped at night.

El Camino Hospital is engaged in the government covert operations. Can I have the compensation from my experience? I never said anything suicidal but the people around me made up so, and in El Camino Hospital, the psychiatrists can write the document without meeting the patient.

Later, I was started to be followed by people driving the cars with DOD parking stickers. In my case, gang stalking started by the students engaged in ABSC club and anthropology professors. To know more about gang stalking to electronic harassment, please check out the below page. Some politicians are aware of the problem.

Jun. 18 2010 02:18 PM
Walker from Washington state

On 2nd listen, I noted that it was your guest, Jeffrey Rosen, who made mention of the Oregon law. Thank you for adding the cautionary note at the end of the second play, that the Oregon law applies to different cases.

May. 25 2010 10:45 AM
Walker from Washington state

I take strong exception to the carelessness with which Oregon's so-called assisted suicide law was mentioned in your otherwise interesting piece about the potential legal prosecution of persons using the internet to prey on the vulnerable by entering phony on-line suicide pacts. The Oregon law explicitly deals with qualified physicians assisting confirmed mentally competent individuals with terminal illnesses in having the means to quicken their deaths, and would have no bearing whatsoever on the internet case which was discussed. To suggest that it might have any bearing on the case, had the perpetrator been in Oregon is the height of irresponsible sensationalism, and perpetuates existing misconceptions about such Death with Dignity laws.

May. 25 2010 09:15 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Figuratively speaking.

May. 25 2010 08:20 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Fry him.

May. 25 2010 08:15 AM

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