Man Sentenced For Encouraging Others to Commit Suicide

On a cold winter day in March of 2008, a girl quietly disappeared from her dorm room at Carleton University. Weeks later, after the university, the city and her family mobilized to find her, her body was found floating in the frigid Rideau River, a victim of an apparent suicide.

But it wasn’t that simple. Nadia Kajouji was a beautiful and well-liked 19-year-old who had been suffering with increasingly severe depression ever since she moved in to her Ottawa dorm room the previous fall. Her friends knew some; so did her family.  But what nobody knew was that Kajouji had been chatting online with a person she thought was a female nurse who was going to enter into a suicide pact with her: they would kill themselves together, the nurse said, discussing with Kajouji the best ways of carrying out the act.

The female nurse, unfortunately, didn’t exist. She was really William Melchert-Dinkel, 48, of Minnesota.  And what Nadia didn’t know about him went far further than simply his identity. Melchert-Dinkel was found to have chatted with several depressed people online and entered into suicide pacts with as many as ten of them, with no intention of keeping up his end of the bargain. He appeared to seek out vulnerable people online and give them advice on the most painless and efficient way of killing themselves — hopefully on a webcam so that he could watch.

Melchert-Dinkel was charged and found guilty of the crime of aiding suicide in the cases of Nadia Kajouji and of Mark Drybrough from the UK. Yesterday, he was officially sentenced to six and a half years in jail and 15 years probation. However, most of that sentence is suspended: Melchert-Dinkel will spend 320 days in prison initially, then for the next ten years he will return to jail for two days on the anniversaries of Kajouji’s and Drybrough’s deaths.

While the unique sentence will certainly mean that Melchert-Dinkel will be forced to remember his victims — at least for the next ten years — the family of Kajouji says the sentence is too light. Melchert-Dinkel could certainly end up serving more time if he violates the conditions of his probation, but even if he does, Nadia will never come back.

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Photo credit: ndanger on flickr


Janine H.
Janine H6 years ago

This is so terrible. Always when i hear about terrible things it makes med sad, and i cannot understand how someone could do something terrible - hurt, rape or kill a person or animal. When i was a child this also happened to me... and surviving this is more terrible than not (parents and other may think different, but a victim?), living with all this pain... living with guilty feelings... full with hate for the own self
No one can understand, because most people cannot imagine this, cannot imagine how much it change. Some of them think, that this would not be so terrible, because all would make some sexual experiences, and so it would not matter if there were some without own interest or wish. This cruel and superficial society makes me sick.

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Jeane Garrett
Jeane Garrett6 years ago

He may not have actually killed this girl but he certainly egged her on. Alot of people have sucidial thoughts from time to time but don't really intend to do it. Maybe this poor girl was one of those people and just needed some "real" help to figure it out. He got off way to easy!!

Don Go
Don Go6 years ago

I notice that Care 2 people just love superlatives. Sorry it's starting to be a pet peeve on these polls.

In any case, I can' help but say I'm leaning no. 10 years is a long time, it's long enough to miss a childhood.

I think it's good enough, I just hope he doesn't plan on suddenly keeping up with his bargain and cutting his sentence short. He deserves to suffer a good 10 years of his life, and hopefully come out a new man.

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y6 years ago

Actually he lives in the U.S. and was sentenced by a Minnesota judge. Sentence far too light by a judge who doesn't understand internet chat rooms can be murder weapons (e.g. recent spate of teenage suicides).

It was an English social worker who helped authorities to track the killer.

Rosie Lopez
Rosie Lopez6 years ago

disturbing! he's getting off too light!

Elizabeth Rodriguez

Lucky for this sick F*#K he lives in the UK

Ronna S.
Ronna S6 years ago

He should have been charged with manslaughter.

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B6 years ago

The sentence is far too light.

Christine S.

Maybe the people were depressed and would have found a way to kill themselves anyway, but this person was a cruel sadist who enjoyed the thought of them killing themselves with his lies and medical knowledge- much different from Kevorkian assisting a suicide for a terminally ill person.

May Howie
may Howie6 years ago

he should be locked up and the key thrown away