Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Confessions of an Internet Suicide Chat Room Ghoul

Long Disciplinary Record

During the course of investigating William Melchert-Dinkel, detectives uncovered a professional record for him with a history of being disciplined for poor nursing practices. In 1998, the Minnesota Board of Nursing placed a number of restrictions on his nursing license after reviewing evidence that he had mistreated some of his patients over a four-year period — restrictions which remained in effect until 2003.

In 1996, he had been given a warning while working in a hospital for what the nursing board deemed "incomplete nursing care," "clinical weakness," "unsafe," and "poor critical thinking skills."

In 1994, while working in another medical facility, he had been given an official reprimand for medicating patients without making notations to their charts, for failing to report a medication error, and for not documenting a patient's condition or updating the physician about the patient's status. In that case, the patient's condition continued to decline and ended in death while en route to a hospital.

Later, Melchert-Dinkel was fired from a retirement home for alleged abuse of two of its residents.

The nursing board determined that his "practice was unsafe because he continually demonstrated difficulty retaining information, following direction and integrating information and concepts."

The report quoted him as saying that he had problems at home, which "spills over into everything." The report also noted that he has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Adjustment Reaction with Anxiety.

On February 5, 2009, the board suspended his license because of allegations that were not immediately made public, noting that his continued work as a nurse "would create a serious risk of harm to others." A few months later, the board revoked Melchert-Dinkel's nursing license, citing violations of Minnesota's assisted suicide laws by engaging in "unethical conduct, including, but not limited to, conduct likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public, by using false identities, encouraging individuals to commit suicide via the Internet, watching individuals commit suicide with a webcam, and telling individuals his nursing experience gave him 'expert knowledge into the most effective ways to kill yourself,'" the order read, in part.

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