Just weeks ago, poker playing CEO Bart Tichelman was busy cashing in another World Series of Poker event. Now, he’s watching as his daughter is facing charges related to the death of a senior executive at Google.
Alix Tichelman, a model and an alleged high-end prostitute, has been charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of Forrest Timothy Hayes, an executive at Google who died last November. Police allege that Tichelman injected a fatal dose of heroin into Hayes, and then made no attempt to save his life as he died on his yacht.
Tichelman was arraigned in Santa Cruz Superior Court last week, about a week after she was arrested by police. That arrest occurred after she was lured to a Santa Cruz hotel under the guise that she would be meeting a rich client that was willing to pay her $1,000 for sex.
Police say that Tichelman was on Hayes’ yacht, the “Escape,” in the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor on November 23, 2013. The 51-year-old Google executive and father of five is said to have had an ongoing relationship with the call girl. On that night, investigators say that Tichelman injected him with heroin, leading to an overdose that ultimately caused Hayes’ death.
Tichelman was identified on security footage from the yacht, which showed her packing syringes into a bag and drawing a window blind as Hayes was dying. She is then allegedly seen stepping over Hayes’ body and taking a drink from a glass of wine. Investigators were able to pull prints from the glass, which they say match Tichelman’s.
Tichelman’s very public presence on social media, often modeling under the name of AK Kennedy, also made it easier to track her down. The model shared numerous photos of herself on Instagram and other social websites, making it easy for police to match her tattoos to those of the woman seen on the security footage.
The femme fatale is the daughter of Bart Tichelman, CEO of SynapSense, a California-based company that manages Internet data centers. Mr. Tichelman is also an avid poker player who cashed in the $1,500 buy-in Monster Stack event at this year’s World Series of Poker, earning $2,759 in prize money. Most of his tournament cashes have been small ones, but Tichelman also won a 2008 World Series of Poker Circuit event in Tunica, winning $425,595.
As for Alix, her legal troubles may be just beginning. Police have reportedly reopened an investigation into the death of her former boyfriend, Dean Riopelle. The Atlanta club owner died in September 2013 of a heart attack that occurred after a drug overdose, and the similarities with Hayes’ death have made police curious about the circumstances behind Riopelle’s passing.
In addition, investigators are still looking for more evidence related to Hayes’ death, and are leaving open the potential for murder charges.
“If the evidence shows that murder can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then we’ll certainly evaluate that when that’s presented,” said prosecutor Rafael Vazquez. “She knew the act was dangerous to human life and she acted deliberately and in conscious disregard for human life.”