It probably goes without saying that high-end female prostitutes and rich men seem to merge, often in the most clandestine circumstances; the secrecy and potential danger of exposure are the allure of the tryst. More often than not, the man is married and often holds down a lucrative job. The very nature of such rendezvous, call for mind-altering chemicals that typically serve to stimulate the experience. Such was the case where Google executive, Forest Hayes (51) died on November 23rd, 2013 from a fatal heroin overdose. Alix Tichelman (26) has been charged with eight criminal counts in California, including voluntary manslaughter.
Police believe that Hayes met Tichelman through a website designed to hook-up “sugar daddies” with attractive young sex-workers. The two went to Haye’s boat he named “Escape” where he met his demise. Evidence of the crime scene includes videos of the event which were captured on some of the 12-plus HD-quality cameras installed on the boat; Hayes spared little expense, he also upgraded the existing “Captain’s Chair” with an $8,000 replacement. The state’s theory is that Alix shot-up Hayes with heroin, calmly watched him overdose (drinking wine- caught on tape) and then left, without calling the police. The police have already said she has a suspicious past, including another overdose death involving her ex-boyfriend in Georgia, strange Facebook postings wherein she wrote about “killing sprees”, she’s admitted to being a “prostitute” with a healthy clientele (200 plus) and has made some incriminatory statements to a former boyfriend whose credibility is unknown at this time. The defense counters by claiming that Alix herself, was in a drug-induced haze at the time, and moreover, she would not have intentionally killed her money source; they are optimistic that the entire video will produce exculpatory evidence; the police had to obtain a Court Order to get the video from the Captain of the boat, and it has not been revealed whether any copies or alterations have been made to the video. Meanwhile, Tichelman remains in custody on a 1.5 million dollar bail.
There are three types of manslaughter laws in California, voluntary, involuntary and vehicular. Involuntary manslaughter cases, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, without malice, intended to cause the death of another; or, the defendant caused the death while behaving in a very negligent or reckless manner. In this case, the state will likely try to convince the jury (if there is a trial) that Ms. Tichelman’s conduct fits into the latter category; it doesn’t help that she left without trying to administer aid, but then again, she was on drugs too, and Hayes was not exactly an innocent bystander. There are way too many fact issues, in this case, to rush to judgment. We think most of the sex-worker-related deaths could be minimized if prostitution was legalized. Also, this case serves as a reminder as to how dangerous heroin can be; government reports show that heroin overdose cases doubled between 2010 and 2012.
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