Trial of the Serial Suicide Killer not a question of freedom of speech or a person’s right to die, it is a question of intent!
As I was pondering the pending trial of Serial Suicide Killer William Melchert-Dinkel, I could not help but wonder what my opening remarks would be if I was the prosecuting attorney.
While the issue of the First Amendment relating to freedom of speech and a person’s inalienable right to die that is being presented as a viable defense for Melchert-Dinkel has credence in some legal circles, the real question that needs to be considered is one of intent.
Within this context, I would likely say to the jury:
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury . . .
If William Melchert-Dinkel had truly been exercising his right to free speech or championing a person’s right to take their own life, then why pose as a young female nurse and obfuscate his true identity?
If his intentions were in fact to help people in reaching a difficult decision at the crossroads of their life, then words such as “the thrill of the chase” and indirect references to finding a way to “commit legal murder” would never have been spoken or written. Nor would he have attempted to talk these people into taking their lives in front of their Internet camera thereby enabling him in a perverse form of sadistic voyeurism to watch.
If Melchert-Dinkel’s intentions were truly a matter of free speech related to an individual’s right of self-determination, there would not have been the need to lie to his victims by knowingly entering into what was in reality a one-sided suicide pact. It would also be unlikely that he would take the time to meticulously instruct victim Mark Drybrough as to how to place the noose’s knot that he used to hang himself so as to leave a distinguishable mark just under his left ear.
No ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the real question . . . the only question is one of intent!
Did William Melchert-Dinkel intend to do harm? Did he seek to gain perverted pleasure from his ability to coerce people who, at the lowest point in their lives, were vulnerable to his malicious subterfuge?
In weighing the evidence you will hear over the course of this trial ladies and gentlemen of the jury, ask yourself this one question . . . if you had a loved one – a daughter, a brother or mother – going through a difficult time, would you entrust their well being to William Melchert-Dinkel?
The verdict . . . your verdict, is found in the answer to that question.
In the first of what will be a series of posts, I will talk about a discussion I had with victim Nadia Kajouji’s mother Deborah Chevalier, who shared with me an overview of an e-mail she received from Ottawa police investigators as to why the Crown Attorney did not want to pursue the case here in Canada.
Even though I am not a lawyer, I believe that my opening remarks to my imaginary jury is nonetheless both compelling and damning in terms of Melchert-Dinkel’s actions and ultimate guilt. In the next post I will provide the legal basis for this view and why, the Crown Attorney in Canada should have sought to extradite the Serial Suicide Killer and try him in this country before purported issues of double jeopardy came into play.