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Hell On Earth Hit By Hack Attack

Hell On Earth Huanted Tour poster gavel court
AP/hellonearth.net
An Internet broadcast of a concert that was to feature a suicide of a terminally ill person did not happen because the Web site was attacked. The band's leader said the concert still went on, but he didn't know whether the suicide did.

Billy Tourtelot, the bandleader of Hell on Earth, said his group performed at an undisclosed St. Petersburg location Saturday night as scheduled and that he was unaware of the Internet problems until after the show.

Tourtelot said the suicide was scheduled to take place at a separate location, which he also refused to reveal. It was not shown on the band's Web site as planned, but that did not necessarily mean it didn't happen, Tourtelot said.

"I don't know if that was done tonight," Tourtelot told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Hell on Earth's Web site was attacked Saturday evening by a flood of data from computers somewhere in Hong Kong, said Jason Trindade, the operator of a San Diego-based technology company that hosts the site.

"There's been a huge amount of traffic which causes the server to lock up," Trindade said.

Trindade said Tourtelot told him the performance would be postponed, possibly until next weekend. But Tourtelot said the show - at least the musical portion - went on as scheduled and that no other performances were planned.

City and state officials have warned that they will pursue criminal charges if the band went through with the suicide plan, and a judge has issued an order banning the event.

Tourtelot had said Saturday morning the concert and suicide would take place that night in two separate, undisclosed locations in St. Petersburg. He wouldn't give any more details on the venues.

Tourtelot's announcement last month that he would host the suicide of a terminally ill fan led the city to ban the event with an ordinance and prompted the court injunction.

The band asked fans to visit its Web page for the performance, but no video was shown. Instead, a link to another site appeared, as did the following message: "Next week the show will go on."

Trindade said the site was victimized by a denial-of-service attack, which is designed to hamper or shut down a computer system by flooding it with huge amounts of data. He did not immediately know how the site would address the problem.

Emergency dispatchers in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County reported they had no calls reporting a suicide nearly four hours after the event was to have taken place. In St. Petersburg, officials were on alert for calls of a suicide or suspicious death.

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist has said that anyone who assists in a suicide could be charged with a felony and face up to 15 years in prison.

The person who has been threatening suicide has said he is dying and wants to promote his right-to-die views. Tourtelot, 33, said he was standing up for what he believed in to grant his friend his dying wish.

"There's nothing bad about that. It's giving the right to die with human dignity and compassion for those that we love," he said.