July 16, 2009

Harry Potter fan commits suicide over spoiler

I heard this on the radio today. They relayed it as a real story. Read it, then read below.

HUDSON, OHIO (The Borowitz Report) -- A rabid Harry Potter fan took his life yesterday after inadvertently learning a plot spoiler from the soon-to-be-released J.K. Rowling movie, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." 

Jude Ralston, 32, of Hudson, Ohio left a suicide note indicating that since overhearing the plot spoiler at a shopping mall earlier in the day, "I no longer have a reason to live." 

Family and friends who gathered for a candlelight memorial outside Mr. Ralston's house remembered a man who seemed to live only for Harry Potter - and wondered if they could have done anything to prevent his tragic fate. 

"When Jude got that vanity license plate that said 'Hogwarts,' that seemed harmless enough," said Polly Clovis, who attended Model U.N. with Mr. Ralston while the two were in high school. "But when he started wearing that wizard hat around town, we really should have seen that as a cry for help." 

According to friends of Mr. Ralston, the Potter fanatic had done everything in his power to protect himself from stumbling across Potter plot spoilers, even disconnecting his computer from the Internet and avoiding his favorite vintage comic book store. 

Ms. Clovis said that she hoped Mr. Ralston's death would cause federal authorities to tighten the flow of Harry Potter plot information to prevent similar tragedies from taking place. 

"In my heart I believe that could have saved Jude's life, even if he didn't have one," she said.

Once I got to work, I got to investigating. Upon further review I found that this was actually a hoax set up from 2005. Here's what Snopes.com said in a nutshell.

The hoax was initiated by Andy Borowitz in 2005 before the release of the 6th Harry Potter book. He produces a daily humor column and used that as a story. News organizations picked it up, and since the 6th movie is currently being released, it flamed to life again. Silly wizard boys.

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