• Suicide baiting now legal in Minnesota

    Those who have watched the William Melchert-Dinkel case from the beginning are either celebrating or despairing right now. While most everyone agrees that this nut job’s actions were immoral, some argue his actions should be legal. That now includes the Minnesota Supreme Court. Last Wednesday, they reversed the lower court conviction of Melchert-Dinkel claiming his constitutional right to freedom of speech had been violated. Urging suicide in Minnesota has now become a legal free speech right!

    Dubbed “the suicide nurse,” William Melchert-Dinkel had been convicted in 2011 of encouraging two victims he met online to kill themselves. Posing as a suicidally depressed nurse, Melchert-Dinkel would often first offer sympathy to his victims and then suggest step by step instructions on how to complete the deed. Often, he made suicide pacts with his victims. The chat room predator — himself a father of two teenage girls, no less — revealed he loves “the thrill of the chase,” being especially fond of watching people die by hanging, his favorite fetish.

    Melchert-Dinkel will still be prosecuted in a lower court on his appeal, but only for the crime now of “assisting” in the suicide deaths of 18 year-old Nadia Kajouji from Canada and 32 year-old Mark Drybrough of England. Presumably, if the suicide nurse is exonerated on the charge of assisting in those deaths, he can safely return to his lethal webcam hobby — the predatory stalking of the suicidally depressed. We still do not officially know how many victims are notched onto his webcam. He estimates 10.

    Yet the highest court in the state of Minnesota has defended his right to do what he loves, chat about the proper length and thickness of ropes suitable for hanging success. How fortuitous for him that the Minnesota Supreme Court has struck “encouraging and advising” off their state’s Right to Life Statues this March.  Before that, it was a crime to “encourage, advise, or assist” anyone to commit suicide, just like it still is in some form or another in 49 other states. Ten states regard encouragement of suicide as manslaughter, most others as a felony, and only one as a pastime. Only three states allow “assisted” suicide and only by a licensed doctor.

    Minnesota must love trendsetting, though.  Their supreme court is hollowly marching forward, holding its banner high for free speech rights in front of a predator with behavior so despicable even his lawyer Terry Watkins will not defend it.

    “We certainly are not condoning the actions in any way, shape, or form,” Watkins advises. “We are simply saying that as troubling as the speech may have been, it is protected.”


    There are already several common sense exceptions to our First Amendment rights. Defamation of character — both slander and libel — child pornography, obscenity, and sedition against the government are well-known exceptions. In this instance, though, speech used to incite violence (clear and present danger) or provoke a crime are the exceptions being argued. While the act of suicide, itself, is not criminalized, those who have previously urged another’s suicide have committed a crime.

    What the Minnesota Supreme Court actually struck down was that criminality. If Minnesotans in the future want to designate a chat room as their predatory territory to encourage suicide — have at it! If Minnesotans happen to see someone in crisis standing on a bridge or building ledge — what recreational luck! Go for it! Do a flip! The Minnesota Supreme Court has championed your cause and licensed your fun!

    Free speech, indeed. My royal, royal boohiney. Do we pretend we do not understand the difference between free speech and criminal behavior? I do not know how many bothered to read Rice County Judge Thomas Neuville’s thoughtful 42-page ruling in the 2011 conviction, but I did, having become hypersensitive to baiting and bullying issues since the death of my son, Dylan Yount.

    I have avidly followed the Melchert-Dinkel case because it is quite unsettling to learn that other bereaved folks, like myself, might experience the same complicated grief I have endured since the February 16, 2010, death of my son in Hallidie Plaza, San Francisco, when no one intervened to stop a suicide baiting. The suicide baiting had been an impromptu open season on a man so psychologically confused he had to be convinced for over an hour before he jumped to his death in full view of 24 grinning and laughing police officers standing all around. What kind of world are we creating?

    The Minnesota Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling is a national disgrace. Minnesota will not allow physician-assisted suicide but will allow suicide baiting? WTH? What chop logic! Clearly the Latin sui means one, not many. Has Minnesota ushered in the legality of participatory murder or participatory suicide?

    Suicide baiting is nothing but a bloodsport game as barbaric as the uncivilized gladiator games played in the Rome’s ancient Coliseum. It is as if the Minnesota Supreme Court has yelled, “Let the games begin!” while society has become the modern Nero — fiddling — while Rome burns if we simply accept such a outlandish decision without a fight.

    I remember when I first began locating the various blogs and forums written about Dylan’s death, around 400 in all. I kept finding references to a “bus” of screaming passengers. At first I though these passengers must have been screaming from the horror they were witnessing in front of the Forever 21 building while their bus had been stuck in traffic on Market Street, running parallel to Hallidie Plaza.

    It would be December 2010 (according to my dated hard copy) before I discovered Sexpigeon’s blog, and it would be even later when I would be shocked all over again by a rave review about Sexpigeon’s work. The “famed blogger and hilarious caption-smith” was moving from San Francisco to NYC, I discovered, “soul-numbingly depressing” news for readers who had not yet been able to “pore over his brillance” (google SFist come back soon sexpigeon).

    Although one can google Sexpigeon’s original blog and accompanying picture just by keying in the great photo/journalist’s name and his first sentence, the entire body is so short I can share it in four sentences. In his “brilliant” blog Sexpigeon said, “A man jumped out the window. From the lofts above Forever 21 to the pavement outside the Bank of America. Everyone on this bus is grinning meanly, tittering, blaming the economy, wondering aloud if that building is even tall enough to, you know, succeed.”

    So Dylan had not yet jumped. So the passengers on the bus would have violated no law in Minnesota. What violence will we see there now? I do not know when death became such entertainment, but I do know how courts can enable the growth of such depravity.

    • This is INSANE. Our entire legal system is upside down. And William Melchert-Dinkel is a MONSTER. Monsters should not have rights.

      • I believe in the sanctity of freedom of speech with all my heart, but this decision lacks any common sense. The Minnesota Supreme Court has definitely favored monsters, people who are probably much sicker than the suicidally depressed victims they target. We will see repercussions in the coming days. I do not think the gravity of this decision has been understood yet at all.

      • Terri Connett

      • March 23, 2014 at 6:58 am
      • Reply

      Oh, Kathie. Another smartly written column about pure evil. I had no idea this whole thing existed, as I’m sure you did not, until your Dylan was shockingly encouraged to die. These thrill-seeking fucks rank right up/down there with child molesters. Sickening beyond words.

      • Thanks, Terri. William Melchert-Dinkel is extremely sick, yet HE has been empowered. Exactly like child molesters. I absolutely treasure your support!

      • David Wohlfeil

      • March 24, 2014 at 9:53 am
      • Reply

      Although I normally defend the constitution this is one time I ca not and will not defend it. A person simply does not have the right to coerce anyone into killing them selves. That is the way I view this. assisting and helping a person where you are defining the way they should do it is coercion nothing less nothing more coercion for employment where the people hiring say you can not have the job unless you take a polygraph test is illegal by definition of coercion. I look at this the same way you can not commit suicide unless you do it the way I want you to. That is what he is doing from what I have read. This sick bastard needs to be put away one way or the other. In case some deranged person reads this I don’t mean to go out and kill the MFer although that would not entirely be an unfavorable thing. Now do you see how easy that was and its no different than what he is doing buts it legal now. The mere temptation by putting it out their as I did is exactly what this MFer does. Prays on the sick mind and pushes it a little more each time until he gets his way. The MN Supreme Court was not supreme when they made this decision and the is my opinion granted to me by the constitution of the U.S.A.

      What really pisses me off is that their are many teens out there coming to terms with growing up and are very confused with their bodies and how they feel and this guy is out there lurking in the shadows waiting for any chance to play his games. Parents please warn your children about people like this let them know they are loved and wanted everyday they breath. Make sure they understand that the chat rooms are safe for the most part but they still need to be alert pay attention and look for people like this guy. Send private messages or look for video chat rooms is another good way of being safe.

      All in all if this creep were to have a fatal accident i wouldn’t cry or lose sleep. Oops there I did it again. I put that idea out there in some deranged persons head. If you read that please disregard.

      • Thank you, David, for your reply. William Melchert-Dinkel is, indeed, very sick. The spirit of the Constitution allows everyone many liberties and freedoms IF WE DO NOT HURT ANYONE ELSE. I agree with you completely that what the Minnesota Supreme Court has done has empowered predators like him. We cherish the freedom of speech, yet we still protect our children by not allowing child pornography. William Melchert-Dinkel should lose his freedom of speech when he endangers someone else in the pursuit of his “hobby.” Thank you for your outrage.

      • davidlacy

      • March 24, 2014 at 11:03 am
      • Reply

      This is pure evil. “Speech” in all its forms that does significant, tangible, grievous harm (child pornography, suicide baiting), should NOT be protected speech.

    • As a Minnesota Citizen, I cannot be quiet on this and will start writing letters to someone!! This is not going to be okay in my state!

      • Alyssa

      • March 28, 2014 at 10:34 am
      • Reply

      I work at a Suicide Prevention Agency in Minnesota, what can I/we do to help battle this?

      • First off, bless your heart, Alyssa. I cannot imagine the frustration you and your colleagues must be feeling! So sorry!

        I hope that you and your co-workers will take care of yourselves and your clients FIRST and foremost. I know that this situation must feel pretty hopeless. I worry that suicidal youth in your state will feel that hopelessness — that no one cares enough to speak out for them. You must be particularly strong to keep explaining that MOST feel this new law is outrageous, that many are working and trying as hard as they know how to END bullying.

        I am still in personal shock myself. I went right away to the forums after I first learned of it, and sure enough, some idiots were already eagerly asking if would it be “legal” to cause someone standing on a bridge to jump. They are looking forward to the opportunity!

        The Minnesota Supreme Court has emasculated your police by making it legal to try to coax someone in psychological crisis into killing himself. I understand that the police in your state were not in favor of decriminalizing this law. I cannot imagine how they will handle such depravity. My newest column is “Minnesota Supreme Court turns its back on mentally ill” right here at iPinion Syndicate.

        I try to take some comfort knowing that this is the very same Constitution Americans have always had, and that it has been “interpreted” incorrectly many other times before, allowing many injustices in our history — slavery, for one, and all kinds of discrimination! I also take comfort that MIGHT does not — and cannot — ever equal RIGHT. They will never have “right” on their side because provoking the mentally disabled/ill is an immoral abomination.

        The justices in your state supposedly took 10 months to decide the William Melchert-Dinkel case after the plea bargain appeal that Melchert-Dinkel took in accepting the verdict from Judge Thomas Neuville (HERO, alert). Judge Neuville’s opinion was thoughtful and articulated well! I also admire Prosecutor G. Paul Beaumaster. I hope Beaumaster speaks out about the “constitutionality” of this new law. He said it represented the opposite of what the constitution meant. I would write him. Maybe he would come speak for your organization! Grassroots organization is always effective. Find out who hates this the most and get your voices together to become ONE.

        I am certainly not one to give advice per se — before my son Dylan Yount died in a suicide baiting in Hallidie Plaza, San Francisco on Mardi Gras Tuesday 2010, none of my friends would have said I had a political bone in me!

        That has changed. I see litigation. The litigation is going to have to happen if we are to end “bullying” or “baiting” or predatory assault, whatever. May it never be called freedom of speech in any other state. MY freedom of speech ends when I endanger someone else. Period. The suicidal are especially vulnerable, ambivalent, and irrational.

        I am engaged in a lawsuit with the San Francisco Police Department. It will be four and one half years by the time we will finally get into the courtroom (Start August 25, 2014). HOW will they defend themselves, I am wondering, for not stopping the suicide baiting? “Encouraging and aiding” are still illegal in California and everywhere else — except Minnesota.

        Next, I see legislation. Already we have plenty of exceptions to free speech. We do not allow child pornography or obscenity or defamation of character, government sedition, etc. MAYBE the Minnesota Supreme Court has only speeded up the process (THINK POSITIVE). Maybe the U.S. Supreme Court will have to intervene SOONER than everyone thinks on this issue. I do not think America is ready to have people screaming “JUMP!” at those in suicidal crisis standing on ledges and then sticking around to watch them do it. The trauma this creates is very great. What kind of world are we creating for our children?

        If your agency has any petitions to sign against this ridiculous new law, send them my way. Anything you think I should read or see, I would love to do that! The justices need to understand that what they did is barbaric and unacceptable and demonstrates an appalling ignorance about mental illness. I have googled many papers about what is going on there.

        When his lawyer talked about how good a man WM-Dinkel was at “his core,” I thought I was going to pass out! If you have read any of the testimony (it is in Judge Neuville’s 42-page decision that the MN Supreme Court overturned) you know how depraved this man is.

        And soon, he will be going back to indulging his hobby, to his favorite fetish of watching someone hang himself/herself. There are no words for evil like this.

        My love to you, Alyssa. Stay strong. I do not know what is right for YOU to do, Alyssa. I am going to fight back. Write. Send letters. Complain like hell. Demand explanations. You can contact me ANYTIME at Suicide Baiting Prevention on Facebook at


        I will always write you back, and we can “friend” each other on FB if you’d like. Good luck and much courage to you,


      • Julia

      • March 30, 2014 at 10:29 am
      • Reply

      im so sickened by the man. im a former self harmer and know how heavily distorted the mind gets when its under the impression ending its the only ultimatum. ive been hospitalized twice for attempts to end my life so ive had a very first hand experience with this. the audacity for a grown man, a damn father at that to take advantage of people who are consumed by such heavy hearts and despair just repulses me to my core. thank you from the bottom of my heart Kathie for making this known and for bravely stating your position
      your morals and mindset are supported by so many ♥

      • Oh, Julia, thank YOU for sharing your story with us. I hope you have support all around you. Please get the help you need. This news from Minnesota does not mean that all people are uncaring. It just means that the Minnesota Supreme Court has made a very poor decision. Your decision to try to help a total stranger like me SHOWS you are 90 billion times more of a human being than anyone of the Minnesota Supreme Court!

        And we ALL do know that encouraging someone to kill himself/herself for entertainment is NOT FREE SPEECH. We ALL do know that would be an exploitation of the mentally ill. What is sad is that William Melchert-Dinkel will soon be back in business. He must be polishing up his webcam now! “Assist” is not the same as “encourage” and “advise,” unfortunately, so he will be exonerated next.

        I have been in absolute shock since the high court changed the law in their state.

        I treasure your support!

      • Barbara Marra dower

      • March 31, 2014 at 12:25 pm
      • Reply

      I am also the mom of a son who completed suicide in 2012. For those whose pain has exceeded their coping mechanisms, I can only read on in horror as to what the Court has condoned. As an attorney I am saddened by their interpretation and how this instance to me is an exception under clear and present danger. I can only hope this decision will be appealed as it deserves more intense scrutiny before more innocent vulnerable victims succumb to this man’s evil. May your beloved son rest in peace.

      • My condolences to you, Barbara, on the death of your son. I hope you have a strong support system around you and can find some comfort in those who love you. There is an instant bond for mothers such as we are, yet I am always especially touched when we try to comfort one another in the midst of our own personal pain. I hope your son has found his peace as well.

        As an attorney, you are exactly right: the clear and present danger exists in a suicide baiting. The Supreme Court justices in Minnesota supposedly took 10 months on the Melchert-Dinkel case before they changed the law in their state. The suicide voyeur will undoubtedly be exonerated on charges of “assisting.”

        I’m no attorney, but I do not see any hope beyond the U.S. Supreme Court weighing in. It is not difficult to speak up for those who can no longer speak for themselves. We do this out of love and outrage. At the same time, I honestly do not understand how to fight ignorance on such a high level. I am still in shock.

      • Barbara Marra dower

      • March 31, 2014 at 2:52 pm
      • Reply

      Kathy, you are correct, we all do have that instant bond!
      I hope you will post any updates for us. Thank you.

    • Our trial is scheduled to begin August 25, 2014, in San Francisco’s Civic Center Courthouse with the Honorable Judge Cynthia Ming-mei Lee presiding.

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