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Indybay Feature

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.
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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:

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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 SeekingArrangements.com. 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 SeekingArrangement.com, 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
§Pamphlet
by Stop all witch hunts!
tichelman.pdf_600_.jpg
PDF document:
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Comments (Hide Comments)
by rgegeq
pics of demo in article, no mention of demo in text, the text is disgusting and calls her the "harbour hooker"

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/general-news/20150223/attorneys-inch-toward-trial-in-harbor-hooker-case

by unbelievable
Totally sick. Regardless of how one feels about Google (I despise them, personally), someone died here. Yes, it was his decision to shoot up. However, it was also her decision to shoot him up, and LEAVE HIM TO DIE without looking for medical assistance. What are Tichelman's defenders saying about that aspect of the case? Doesn't seem to be addressed here.
by unbelievable
Also, for what it's worth, I thought it was a pretty pathetic way to go out, leaving his kids and family to do heroin with a prostitute. And I said so at the time. No, this guy didn't deserve a pass at the time for his Google wealth... nor does Tichelman deserve a pass for leaving him there to die.
by Alix Supporter
Thank you all for standing for justice for Alix.

Alix is getting skewered in the media by arm-chair misogynists who know little about the facts of the case. She is being blamed for what looks like an accident on the part of the Google exec to me.

The smear campaign and frame up all started with the dubious remarks made in the media by the creepy Deputy Chief of Police Steve Clark of the Santa Cruz police. He also had a creepy grin on his face when he talked about Alix and uses unprofessional language about her.

Personality wise he is the worst kind of cop and he is the mouthpiece for the department, but worse than that he has a say in the investigation and in how the evidence that is going to trial is handled.
by unbelievable
Not here to defend the deceased, but let me ask Alix's defenders this: Why did she leave? Why did she not call for medical help? Even an anonymous call would have been the right thing to do if she was afraid of getting in trouble.

Also, whoever had the idea to fill her Support page on Facebook up with pictures of her in the sluttiest outfits possible is doing her no favors...
by @
IF she left him there to die, then good. fuck a google exec. propaganda by the deed. social war.
by Alix Supporter
Why is Alix being charged with manslaughter?

I don't see the evidence to support that charge.

She left the scene of an accidental death, that isn't manslaughter.
You can defend her motivations and employment choices all you want. But when you stick a needle full of heroin in someone's arm, then calmly walk around wiping away your fingerprints and stepping over their still-breathing body while finishing your wine before leaving them to die......you bear responsibility. Morally, and legally.
by Alix Supporter
Like I said, I don't see any evidence that supports those assertions about what Alix did or did not do.

I see a lot of fictionalizing about the evidence in this comments section.

What I do see is a person making misogynist comments about Alix here, who also wants her prosecuted for a death that, more likely than not, she was not responsible for.

This is another situation where the police and the DA wanted to overcharge the defendant so they could get something to stick or get her to plea out of desperation.

I think the police straight up hate certain people and/or were 'influenced' by the wealthy deceased man's connections, but on another level the police probably acted the way they did for the publicity. Deputy Chief Steve Clark constantly seeks inappropriate publicity for the department.

It's innocent until proven guilty in this country. In theory.
by Alix Supporter
This quote from the article says it all......

"All evidence should be released to the defense immediately."

We have these armchair misogynists in the comments section making up the "facts" of the case here because they want Alix prosecuted for as many crimes as they can imagine, but the defense isn't even able to get all of the evidence in the case.

That's justice in Santa Cruz for the right wing who hate drug users, blame sex workers for the crimes of the clients, and of course overlook real crimes against women.

There is a real gender imbalance in the public's perception, the police investigation, and the DA's prosecution, of this case.
by Russel
She purchased the Heroin. She obtained the needle. She delivered it, and injected it. She left the man in serious Medical distress, and did nothing to help him, nor did she call for any kind of help. She left the scene, covering her tracks by wiping off her fingerprints, and then left Town.

But don't let any facts get in the way of the conclusion you wish for.

P.S. It's NOT any kind of "Misogyny" it's called "Responsibility".
by Alix Supporter
Not that I believe the "facts" you cite.

Forrest Hayes is not being held responsible for his own actions, which lead to his own death.
by Russel
How do you hold a dead person responsible, instead of the person who killed him?

P.S. The whole thing was video recorded.
by Free Alix!
"but when you stick a needle full of heroin in someone's arm, then calmly walk around wiping away your fingerprints and stepping over their still-breathing body while finishing your wine before leaving them to die......you bear responsibility. Morally, and legally."

1. Have you seen the video? How do you know she did all those things?
2. As a sex worker, she knew she was in a compromised situation. What, was she supposed to leave fingerprints all over the place for the coppers to find and get busted?
3. How do you know she sat there and finished her wine? Again, have you seen the tape? If she did, it's probably because she was in a panicked state and realized that finishing her drink might calm her down to deal with the situation the best she knew how.
by Justice For Alix
Support page for Alix on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alix-Tichelman/1433276666925763

Petition demanding Judge Timothy Volkmann lower Alix's bail amount:
https://www.change.org/p/santa-cruz-judge-timothy-volkmann-call-to-action
when someone rich is doing illegal things and someone else dies, eh, whatever, the pigs rarely if ever care.

assistant chief Steve Clark sounds like a total dick, like an immature sexist high school rumor monger. he's obviously getting a thrill out of leaking details to the media. how many "sexy" photos of her do you think he has on his personal computer?
by Observer
If an exec was on video shooting up a prostitute, then stepping over her prostrate body to finish his wine and wipe down the room, would you support that person? Think about it.
by Justice
Alix made the decision to go to the harbor; she made the decision to take and inject heroin; she made the decision to walk away from a dying human being. She is now paying the consequences of those decisions.
by Viva Alix!
"If an exec was on video shooting up a prostitute, then stepping over her prostrate body to finish his wine and wipe down the room, would you support that person? Think about it."

-That would be a totally different scenario. Of course we would not support them as in that case it would be someone who is a member of an elite class (white male CEOs) doing something to someone of an oppressed class... women!

Ever heard of the patriarchy? Jerk.
by redhotmamasita
I have been advocating for Alix quite a lot online. THIS man was entirely consenting to this lifestyle and activity. IT IS indeed absolutely DISGUSTING that he is, like ALL rich men involved in prostitution, described as a "father, husband, executive, CEO, etc ..." while the women involved are ALWAYS h--kers, prostitutes - aka, wh-res. THING IS, you are NOT helping her nor any other women nor the cause of individual liberty by referring to women involved in escorting, or or any kind of paid companionship as "sex worker". I find this unbelievably demeaning and destructive. Women, just like men, should not be defined by if or how involved they are with these types of arrangements ... Alix, though certainly seriously troubled, is a daughter, a sister, a fiance, whatever she is in her life, even if she mostly lives by these relationships, she and this guy were consenting adults living their social and sexual lives. "Work"? Who did Alix "work" for? No one. Was this "work"? Says who? Are pre-nups barely legal women get from rich older men for millions "work"? When a woman dates any wealthy man who gives her anything of value, is it "work"? Was it all sex with Alix and this man? No. This guy was into all kinds of things, sex being one of them. Terming these consenting relationships as "work" is a value-based, subjective term, and will NEVER fly in this country. If you want to see liberty and equality in this area, DITCH that disgusting term.

AND, to ANSWER your question WHY did the captain LIE re the tape? Um DUH, he was PAID to HIDE this man's illicit, criminal activity - which btw has NO doubt been edited (by google) before being handed over to defense. The DA not only did NOT condemn this captain for obstructing an investigation and tampering with evidence, he actually called the captain's cover up for his rich john boss "commendable" - this ENTIRE prosecution is as you said SEXIST, rabidly sexist.

Or, simply put - WHAT would have happened if it were Alix who overdosed and died on that boat? Hmmmm, think Mr. Married CEO father of 4 would CALL the cops? NO @#$#ing WAY, called the cops to his little heroin dead h---ker party? OH, and said, hey Mr. DA here's the VIDEO of it all! Um, don't think so!!!!! We KNOW he would have covered it up, because that is exactly what his captain was paid to do and what he in fact did.

Yet AGAIN a serial john gets off and painted as a victim. AND, btw, this freak was TAPING women without their permission.
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