Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Confessions of an Internet Suicide Chat Room Ghoul

William Melchert-Dinkel

William Melchert-Dinkel
William Melchert-Dinkel

William Melchert-Dinkel has been described as a loving husband and a wonderful father to two teenage daughters, as well as a churchgoer, but police allege that he led a double life — one as the loving family man described above, and a second, dark and fiendish life as a ghoulish man who has for years harbored a suicide fetish and got his kicks by convincing vulnerable people to take their own lives in front of him via the Internet and a webcam. Police now allege that he spent several years posing as various women in their twenties, trawling the Internet for his victims. Detectives believe he may have contacted more than 100 people around the world in efforts to persuade them to kill themselves, and believe at least five complied. Police further allege that he has admitted to having been involved in those five deaths, including those of Mark Drybrough and Nadia Kajouji.

It became evident to investigators that Melchert-Dinkel's modus operandi was to pretend to be a young, compassionate female nurse visiting the Internet chat rooms so that he could more easily prey on people who were depressed, vulnerable, and contemplating killing themselves.

Authorities in the United States said that Melchert-Dinkel admitted to the police that he had encouraged dozens of people to kill themselves, and described his actions "as the thrill of the chase."

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