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How This Nurse Preyed On Depressed People Online

William Francis Melchert was a former registered American nurse who deceived people into committing suicide.

By Rare StoriesPublished about a year ago 3 min read

William Francis Melchert-Dinkel was born on July 20, 1962, in the United States. He used to work as a licensed practical nurse, and in 2011 he was found guilty of telling people to kill themselves.

He told people who were thinking about killing themselves what methods worked best, that it was okay to kill themselves, that they would be better off in heaven, and/or made fake suicide pacts with them. He is married and has two kids.

His Victims

William Francis Melchert-Dinkel is said to have met his victims in suicide chat rooms on the Internet, where he pretended to be a depressed 20-year-old woman with names like "Li Dao," "Cami D," and "falcongirl." His lawsuit states that over the course of four or five years, Melchert-Dinkel talked to dozens of people and told them to kill themselves, usually by hanging. He said that he had succeeded at least five times.

Nadia Kajouji- Canada

Melchert-Dinkel was involved in the suicide of 18-year-old Nadia Kajouji, who killed herself after becoming depressed after leaving home to go to Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to study.

Nadia Kajouji

In April 2008, she jumped off a bridge and was found dead in the Rideau River. Melchert-Dinkel, who was pretending to be a young woman online, told Kajouji to hang herself and gave her detailed instructions on how to do it.

He also told her to record her last moments on a webcam so he and others could watch as part of a suicide pact.

Rideau River where she killed herself

The police said that she "had been talking to Melchert-Dinkel online just before she went missing," including on the day she killed herself.

Mark Drybrough is from England

Melchert-Dinkel was found guilty in connection with the suicide of Mark Drybrough, a 32-year-old British IT technician who hanged himself in his home in Coventry, Warwickshire, England, in July 2005, after allegedly chatting for two months with someone using the names Falcongirl and Li Dao.

Mark Drybrough

Drybrough had been suffering from a nervous breakdown and depression before he died. Melchert-Dinkel was accused of telling Drybrough how to commit suicide.

How He Got Arrested

In November 2006, Celia Blay, a retired British teacher who lived in Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire, heard from a teenage friend in South America that she and a young nurse had made a deal to kill themselves.

Blay looked into Melchert-"Li Dinkel's Dao" identity and found that he had signed suicide pacts in the past. She was able to get the girl to break the deal four hours before she was supposed to kill herself.

During the next year, Blay posted warnings about "Li Dao" on other chat websites. She also found out that Melchert-Dinkel used the names "Falcongirl" and "Cami D," and talked to other users who had made pacts with him. Blay went to the police after he had spent months gathering evidence about Melchert-actions. They decided not to look into it.

Celia Blay, a retired British teacher

In January 2008, when Melchert-Dinkel was talking to Kajouji, Blay and his friend Kat Lowe set up a trap to catch "Cami D" in the act of trying to make a suicide pact. During these conversations, Melchert-Dinkel said that he had seen a man from Birmingham, who he thought was Drybrough, hang himself on his webcam.

Lowe and Blay won Melchert-trust Dinkel's heart and were able to find information that led them to his IP address and home in Minnesota. By chance, they also saw Melchert-Dinkel, who was pretending to be "Cami D," on a webcam feed.

Melchert-trust Dinkel

Blay sent an affidavit to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the situation, but got no response. But the Saint Paul Police Department and the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force agreed to take the case.

In a criminal complaint filed in Rice County, Minnesota, on March 15, 2011, Melchert-Dinkel was found guilty.

Melchert-Dinkel was found guilty on one count of helping someone commit suicide and one count of helping someone try to commit suicide. He went to jail for 178 days and will be on probation for the next ten years.


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