High-end call girl Alix Tichelman, 27, took a plea deal this week in the case of the heroin-induced death of Google X executive Forrest Timothy Hayes, who died aboard his yacht in a harbor in Santa Cruz in November 2013. As KPIX/CBS 5 reports, she pled guilty to two felony charges of involuntary manslaughter and administering drugs in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, and was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison, with credit for timed served. She's likely, then, to be released in three years.
The case was sordid and tabloid-worthy enough that 48 Hours picked it up this past January, as you can see in the episode below. The story involved a 51-year-old married Silicon Valley executive, Hayes, whose role in Google's shadowy Google X department remains a mystery, and who frequently escaped to his yacht in Santa Cruz, which was named Escape. He met and hired Tichelman through the website SeekingArrangement, which 48 Hours went to some lengths to cast as a thinly veiled hub of prostitution.
After repeated encounters, likely all aboard the Escape, Tichelman arrived to meet Hayes on November 26, 2013, two nights before Thanksgiving. They engaged in consensual sex, and as can be seen from a surveillance camera one of several that Hayes had had installed on the boat for security purposes Tichelman either injected herself with heroin, or pretended to while turned away from the camera, and then administered a lethal dose by injection to Hayes. Hayes can then be seen clutching his heart and slumping over on the floor of the boat. While Tichelman at first appears to try to revive him, slapping his face, she then gets up and goes about wiping her fingerprints from surfaces and collecting her drug paraphernalia. As Hayes lay dying, Tichelman can be seen stepping over his body with a glass of white wine in her hand as she cleans up the scene, and then leaves.
As 48 Hours reported, Tichelman had a boyfriend where she lived in Folsom, California, who believed she was making a living modeling, and the $1000 she would come home with after getting dolled up came from modeling gigs. Boyfriend Chad Cornell, a construction worker, was with her earlier in the day of the murder, and she had told him she was going to Santa Cruz to meet up with some friends.
Further casting suspicion on Tichelman is the fact that she had an older ex-boyfriend, 53-year-old Dean Riopelle of Atlanta, who previously died while alone in a home with her of a mixture of heroin, oxycodone, and alcohol, and it was Tichelman who made the 911 call. The AP reported that Tichelman had been charged just weeks before his death in a domestic violence incident that occurred in the home the two shared. His death was initially ruled accidental, however the case was reopened after Tichelman's arrest in Hayes' death last year, and she may still face charges there. Many friends of Riopelle's suspected Tichelman played a role in his death, since he had been sober for a number of years and never touched alcohol.
It remains to be seen if she will be charged in a Georgia court in that death.
There's also the creepy twist that Tichelman has an ex-boyfriend who's currently serving a 20-year sentence for administering a lethal dose of heroin to a young woman and then leaving her to die without calling for help, as CBS News reports.