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Santa Cruz: Demonstration at Santa Cruz County Superior Court for Alix Tichelman

by Stop all witch hunts!
On Monday, February 23rd, a small group held a demonstration on the front steps of the Santa Cruz County Superior Court in support of Alix Tichelman, the person charged with involuntary manslaughter in regards to the death of a Google X executive on November 23rd, 2013.
At 7:45 AM, half an hour before the brief discovery hearing for Alix Tichelman took place, we set up a table with coffee, tea, and pastries. Some of us held two banners, one reading FREE ALIX, and the other reading WHO IS FORREST HAYES. Some of us also handed out pamphlets to every heading to court detailing the situation. For the next two hours, we informed everyone of the case against Tichelman and the complete lack of attention being given to her one-time employer Forrest Hayes, Google X engineer. The majority of the people we spoke to expressed clear animosity to Google and the rest of Silicon Valley for their invasion of Santa Cruz and the imbalance of power being played out in the courtroom. Nearly everyone thanked us for our efforts and expressed support for Alix Tichelman. At a time when all of the media coverage is slanted against her, we hope our modest efforts can help turn the tide. Attached below is a copy of the pamphlet we distributed. Read below for the full text:


On the evening of November 22nd, 2013, a high-ranking Google executive met a sex worker on his yacht the Escape that was docked in the Santa Cruz, CA, harbor. Forrest Hayes, an employee at the secretive Google X laboratory, hired Alix Tichelman off a website called Like many other executives and tech-workers in Silicon Valley, Forrest Hayes used this website whenever he needed to get away from his wife and family. Unsurprisingly, the yacht he brought Alix Tichelman to was filled with cameras and recorded the events that transpired that night.

In the early morning hours of November 23rd, 2013, when most people in the harbor were asleep, Forrest Hayes asked Tichelman to inject him with heroin. Shortly after, Hayes went into cardiac arrest and collapsed. What happened next is not known, but Alix Tichelman eventually left and Hayes died from a heroin overdose. He was discovered later on the 23rd by the captain of his boat. When asked by the SCPD if there was any video evidence from inside the yacht, the captain said there was not. The reason for this lie is unknown.

The death was initially kept a secret and the SCPD did not release many details to the public. A few weeks after his death, on December 9th,2013, a blockade of a Google employee shuttle bus took place in San Francisco, CA. This action was followed by several more blockades and vandalism of Google buses. It would not be until January 12th, 2014, that a brief obituary for Hayes was printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel in which his death is summed up in these simple words: “he passed away unexpectedly.” It is not known why Google, the mainstream media, and the SCPD kept the circumstances of his death such a secret.

Six months were to pass before the SCPD apprehended Alix Tichelman as the prime suspect of what they were now calling second degree murder. After creating a fake account on, the SCPD lured Tichelman to a hotel on July 4th, 2014. Once she was locked up in the Santa Cruz County Jail, the SCPD began to freely tell the media details of the death on the Escape. According to the police, Alix Tichelman coldly murdered Hayes and casually drank wine once he was on the ground. The police referenced newly discovered surveillance video from the Escape and explained to the press that it showed Tichelman stepping over Hayes’ body before leaving the boat. Beyond this, they revealed that one of Tichelman’s boyfriends also died of a heroin overdose. The SCPD made their best effort to spread this story of a hardened “black widow” murderess to the public, and the media eagerly spread it to an international audience. All of the SCPD officers speaking to the media about the case are white men, and it is no secret that police brotherhoods are highly patriarchal in nature. Their dedication to jailing Tichelman is flagrantly misogynistic. It is not so easy to divide this world into saints and sinners, and truly the police are unfit to pass judgment on anyone.

In the meantime, the official trial has yet to begin and Alix Tichelman maintains her innocence. Although the prosecutor’s office wanted to charge her with second-degree murder, the charge was dropped to involuntary manslaughter. Nevertheless, the media campaign has had its effects on public perception. A casual Google search reveals only a handful of articles favorable to Alix Tichelman. The overwhelming majority of the existing media articles focus on Alix the serial killer, not Alix the sex worker. The SCPD has done its best to expose her entire life to the public, but little is known about the man from Google.

Why is there an inordinate amount of information available about the “evil seductress” Alix Tichelman and almost none about her “ïnnocent victim” Forrest Hayes? From what we know, he worked at Google X and had been assigned to the Google Glass project. He had a wife and five children and they all lived together in a $3 million mansion in Santa Cruz. He often complained about his commute over the Santa Cruz mountains to Google HQ, and apparently his corporate-executive lifestyle was not exactly fulfilling. By all accounts, it would seem Forrest Hayes was highly depressed in the last days of his life. Something drove him to ask Tichelman to shoot him up that night.

The tech industry is dominated by white men like Forrest Hayes. These men support a thriving sex industry in Silicon Valley and their debauches are an open secret. Like everything else, these entitled men think they can lay claim to everything money can buy: cities, communities, land, and bodies. The alienating and sterile worlds these men inhabit often drive them to seek some form of escape, and these men often escape into the arms of sex workers. Without these women (and men), the psychic cost of corporate life would be too much for people like Forrest Hayes. One must wonder what would happen to the tech industry if all the sex workers went on strike?

Though we know this is how the police and the media justify their existences, we demand an end to their misogynistic witch-hunt against Alix Tichelman. Her friends have requested that her bail be reduced to a reasonable amount so she may be released from jail. All evidence should be released to the defense immediately. We offer our unconditional support to Alix Tichelman and hope more people begin to ask questions about this case.

Who is Forrest Hayes?
What was his job?
Why was he trying to escape?

Facebook: Alix Tichelman
by Stop all witch hunts!
PDF document:
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Wed, Mar 4, 2015 11:00PM
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hard truth
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Justice For Alix
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Free Alix!
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