PI News Special: Melchert-Dinkel Counseled and then Watched via Webcam as 16 Year Old Girl Cut Herself
Why are you here? Are you listening?
Can you hear what I am saying?
I am not here, I’m not listening
I’m in my head and I’m spinning
lyrics from the song Fallen by Jared Leto
The gravity of the actions of Serial Suicide Killer William Melchert-Dinkel took both a perverse and frightening turn as I was able to confirm that he did indeed engage with minors over the Internet, counseling them on how to take their own lives.
One of what is believed to potentially be many cases in which the Serial Suicide Killer stalked children to satiate his need for what he referred to as “the thrill of the chase,” involves a 16 year old girl from the Netherlands who used the screen name fallenfall in her exchanges with Melchert-Dinkel.
According to sources, Melchert-Dinkel spoke with the young girl about cutting herself, and then watched her do so via her web cam. The girl thankfully survived the ordeal.
While I am following up on additional leads of other cases where the predator “knowingly” spoke with minors, one of the most difficult elements of this revelation is that the young victims who have survived are not willing to come forward and make their activities known to the authorities.
Conversely, those who didn’t survive their encounter with Melchert-Dinkel have, in the majority of instances, been classified by police as being a suicide with their case being closed without further investigation.
The tragedy here as one person told me is that it is so “sad that people are dying; our children are dying, and no one – not even the police, want to look at why.” Lamenting the fact that for “every person who dies needlessly, there is a reason why,” it is clear that predators like Melchert-Dinkel will continue to operate freely within the relative safety of the virtual world, hunting those amongst us that are the most vulnerable . . . including our children.
Even though we may be inclined to place the burden for protecting the public from the destructive force of a faceless monster on the shoulders of the authorities, in reality parents and family members are the first and most important line of defense. While this will not necessarily eliminate the danger all together, it will make it more difficult for intruders to gain access to our children and possibly lead them down a tragic path of no return.
In this regard, and given the insidious manner through which killers can easily gain access to our homes by taking advantage of the fact that parents have been lulled into a false sense of security through the absence of a physical danger, means that we must all become more vigilant in terms of understanding and even moderating our children’s on-line activities.
In the meantime, law enforcement and legislators also need to do their part by viewing the problem of Internet predators through a new, expanded lens that is commensurate with the opinions expressed by NCR Distinguished Professor of Law and Technology, Susan Brenner. According to Brenner, “we should not simply assume criminal conduct vectored through cyberspace represents an entirely new phenomenon, i.e. cybercrime,” as it may represent “nothing more than the perpetrators’ using cyberspace to engage in conduct that has long been outlawed.”
While some may argue that charging Melchert-Dinkel with a crime relative to counseling adults to commit suicide over the Internet is a possible violation of his right to free speech (and an adult’s right to die), the response to recent PI Window Survey’s and Polls clearly indicate that this same argument does not apply in those instances in which a child has received similar counsel from the Serial Suicide Killer.
In short, and according to the law, minors are not viewed has having the prerequisite understanding of the consequences of their actions and are considered to be more vulnerable than adults, thereby requiring greater protection. Encouraging a girl to cut herself and then watching her do so via a webcam is repugnant beyond comprehension. Doing nothing about it is inexcusable!
To borrow a Sean Connery line from the movie The Untouchables . . . “what are you prepared to do?”