Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Confessions of an Internet Suicide Chat Room Ghoul

The Police Reject the Information

When they went to the authorities, the files of evidence put together by Celia Blay and Katherine Lowe were rejected by the police in the United Kingdom, and the FBI in the United States said that they lacked authority to launch an investigation based on jurisdictional issues. However, after considerable effort on the part of Blay, Lowe, and Drybrough, police in Melchert-Dinkel's place of residence, St. Paul, Minnesota, agreed to begin an investigation after thoroughly reviewing the women's evidence. According to Blay, the involvement of the police in St. Paul did not come a moment too soon — she said that she was aware of a number of deaths that had occurred between the time that she identified Melchert-Dinkel and when police seized his computer as evidence.

Many of those involved in unmasking Melchert-Dinkel's suicide voyeurism agreed that it would be nearly impossible to determine precisely how many people who had been in touch with him would have killed themselves without his urging them on. Blay firmly believes that he may have encouraged several people to commit suicide or to attempt suicide in several countries over the last several years, people who, without Melchert-Dinkel's urging them on, may not have gone through with trying to carry out their fatal plans.

"He made it [suicide] seem so logical, that it was the only way out," Blay said. "He made sure it happened. I think his targets were in the triple figures and I would not be surprised if the number of deaths was in the double figures."

Blay pointed out that Melchert-Dinkel seemed to be fascinated with the "cusp between life and death," and that the methods he encouraged others to use were not foolproof or speedy.

Nadia Kajouji
Nadia Kajouji

If not for the efforts of the three women in the United Kingdom, authorities in Canada may not have ever been able to discover the links between Melchert-Dinkel, Nadia and the many others. At the time of his first questioning by authorities in Minnesota, concerns about his health and demeanor required that he be hospitalized. While in the hospital, Melchert-Dinkel allegedly told nurses that he was addicted to suicide chat rooms and that he had posed as a 28-year-old female who formed suicide pacts with people — some of whom had no intention of actually taking their own lives.

"If it were not for Celia, he would still be at it," Mrs. Drybrough said. "How many people have died?"

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