Ms Blay talked her friend out of taking her life and then set about tracking down Li Dao.
At the appointed hour, he would claim his camera had stopped working and then watch as the other person went through with it.By the time Ms Blay persuaded the US authorities to act, he had urged at least two people to kill themselves: 32-year-old Mark Dryborough, from Coventry, in 2005; and Nadia Kajouji, 18, from Ontario in Canada, in 2008.In 2006, Celia Blay, a retired Berkshire schoolteacher, inadvertently clicked her way into an online suicide chatroom while researching local history.Shocked to find that such forums even existed, Ms Blay took it upon herself to counsel its members and to persuade them that death was not the answer.He would disguise himself online as a young woman, going by several names, including Li Dao, “Falcon Girl” and “Cami-D”.
He would offer his victims to join him in a suicide pact, suggesting they take their lives together via webcam.
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In Wednesday’s ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court found that while “assisting” suicide may be illegal, the section of the law that forbids “encouraging” suicide is indeed unconstitutional.
Mr Melchert-Dinkel’s case has thus been sent back to a lower court to decide whether he, in fact, “assisted” his victims.
His lawyers maintain that Minnesota’s assisted-suicide law is too broad.