A rabid Harry Potter fan took his life yesterday after inadvertently learning a plot spoiler from the soon-to-be-released J.K. Rowling opus, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
Jude Ralston, 32, of Hudson, Ohio left a ******* 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.
Elsewhere, President Bush called the jailing of a New York Times reporter "a positive step," but warned that many other reporters were still at large.