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‘Sugar Baby’ Escort Alix Tichelman Pleads Not Guilty in Google Exec’s Heroin Death

Alix Tichelman, left, of Folsom, Calif., confers with public defender Diane August during her arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Tichelman, an alleged upscale prostitute, is facing manslaughter charges for the November 2013 death of Forrest Hayes, a Google executive. Tichelman, who is also facing drug and prostitution charges, is being held on $1.5 million bail. Photo: Shmuel Thaler, AP

Alix Tichelman, left, of Folsom, Calif., confers with public defender Diane August during her arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Tichelman, an alleged upscale prostitute, is facing manslaughter charges for the November 2013 death of Forrest Hayes, a Google executive. Tichelman, who is also facing drug and prostitution charges, is being held on $1.5 million bail. Photo: Shmuel Thaler, AP

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — A high-priced prostitute accused of leaving a Google executive to die on his yacht in California after shooting him up with a fatal hit of heroin has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and heroin charges.

Twenty-six-year-old Alix Tichelman entered the plea on Wednesday in a Santa Cruz County courtroom. Prosecutors, additionally, Jonathan-Copsey-AP-Dean-Riopellecharged her with great bodily injury.

A judge refused to reduce her $1.5 million bail.

[The Black Widow of Silicon Valley: Alix Tichelman's Trail of Dead and Damaged Men]

Police say Tichelman did not help 51-year-old Forrest Hayes or call 911 as he went unconscious after she administered heroin to him.

[Last Taste of Sugar: Escort Charged in Google Executive's Fatal Heroin Overdose]

According to police, surveillance footage from the yacht shows Tichelman gather her belongings, including the heroin and needles, casually step over Hayes’ body to finish a glass of wine, clean up a counter, then lower a blind before leaving the yacht on Nov. 23.

[Hooker Business Booms in Silicon Valley]

Hayes was found the next day. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Black Widow of Silicon Valley: Alix Tichelman’s Trail of Dead and Damaged Men

Alix-tats

Police hunted down the prostitute accused of watching a Google exec overdose—and found a trail of dead and damaged men in her past

For The Daily BeastMichael Daly reports: The detectives from the Santa Cruz police department could see an unmistakable injection mark in the arm of the deceased Google executive.Alix-cuffed
But the detectives could see no drugs and no syringe on the yacht where 51-year-old Forrest Timothy Hayes had been found dead from a heroin overdose. What the detectives did see was a pair of wine glasses on a table. They also noted that somebody appeared to have straightened up the cabin.

“We’re like, ‘Holy smoke, this isn’t her first rodeo.'”

The body had been discovered on the floor of the main cabin by the captain, who had been retained by Hayes after he purchased the 50-foot powerboat. Hayes had started out as an automotive executive in his native Michigan, which was in keeping with his decision to eschew eco-friendly sails such as were favored by other Silicon Valley types and buy a craft powered by big fuel guzzlers.

[Also see – Last Taste of Sugar: Escort Charged in Google Executive’s Fatal Heroin Overdose  [Hooker Business Booms in Silicon Valley]

But he had come West to take increasingly senior positions with Sun Microsystems and then Apple and finally with Google X, the research and development division whose projects included the perfect one for a one-time car guy: the self-driving auto. Hayes had become enough of a techie that he had installed a wireless surveillance camera system on his yacht. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Last Taste of Sugar: Escort Charged in Google Executive’s Fatal Heroin Overdose

alix_tichelman

For the LATimesJoseph Serna reports: The woman accused of being a high-priced escort who administered a lethal dose of heroin to a former tech executive on his yacht in Santa Cruz will not be charged with murder in the case, but still faces manslaughter, prostitution and drug counts, prosecutors said Wednesday.

“Police identified her as a suspect after learning that she and Hayes allegedly had a relationship that began with the help of Seeking Arrangements, a website that caters to affluent clients seeking ‘sugar babies.'”

Alix Catherine Tichelman, 26, of Folsom was arrested Friday in connection with the overdose death of 51-year-old Forrest Hayes, who worked for GoogleSun Microsystems and Apple.

[Also see - Hooker Business Booms in Silicon Valley] & [The Black Widow of Silicon Valley]

“Rather than trying to help or calling 911, police say, Tichelman packed up the drugs and needles and at one point stepped over the body to finish a glass of wine before leaving.”

Tichelman had been booked on suspicion of murder, but on Wednesday, Santa Cruz County prosecutors charged her with eight counts, including manslaughter, prostitution, destroying evidence and several related to administering and possessing heroin.

Alix-Catherine-Tichelman-Facebook-Photos-LB

Tichelman’s arraignment was postponed until July 16, but she remained in custody in lieu of $1.5-million bail.

Prosecutors said the charges could still change as the investigation continues. Read the rest of this entry »


Ruled Accidental: Hoffman Died From Toxic Overdose of Drugs, Medical Examiner Reports

hoffman-hatched-screenActor Philip Seymour Hoffman died from a toxic mix of drugs including heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine, the medical examiner’s office has determined.

The medical examiner also ruled Hoffman’s death an accident.

[Alan Dershowitz: No, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Dealer Isn’t a Murderer]

The 46-year-old Oscar-winning actor died Feb. 2 at his West Village home of an apparent heroin overdose.

[See also: Hoffman's Deadly Brand of Heroin: 'Ace of Spades']

Hoffman was found with a syringe in his arm and dozens of packets of heroin in his apartment.

[See also: Glamour JunkiesThe Culture of Heroin Addiction by Kevin D. Williamson]

Hoffman spoke candidly over the years about past struggles with drug addiction. After 23 years sober, the versatile actor reportedly checked himself into rehab for 10 days last year after relapsing in 2012.

Phillip-Seymour-Hoffman-color

NBC New York

Read the rest of this entry »


A Closer Look at Legalizing Heroin

hoffman-heroin-scene-2007.png?w=590

Addicts need medical support like heroin maintenance, which is illegal in the U.S. thanks to the war on drugs.

Valerie Vande Panne  writes;  A great entertainer overdosed on heroin two weeks ago. He was found dead, a needle hanging from his arm. Dozens of empty drug baggies were found strewn around his apartment.He was considered a fantastic actor. Influential. Powerful. Insightful. Potent. Everyone, by this time, knows this man’s name. It’s been plastered across the media landscape not just in the United States, but worldwide: Philip Seymour Hoffman.In the days since, there’s been all kinds of chatter about the evils of heroin or the need for better drug education. But there hasn’t been much talk about the painful, obvious, cold, hard truth: Heroin should be regulated—and not only because science says so, but because, (and again, let’s be honest) look around.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gillespie: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Heroin Problem Does Not Constitute a Crisis

A copy of a New York Times Magazine with a photo of movie actor Philip Seymour Hoffman on the cover in a memorial in front of his apartment building in New York City, on Feb. 3, 2014. Carlo Allegri / Reuters

 Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Nick Gillespie  writes:  The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has given rise to a massive outpouring of grief and sadness by his fans and admirers. It has also given rise to an equally massive outpouring of patently false and exaggerated stories about the increase in heroin use and the need to do something — anything! — about it. This is not just misguided but dangerous: High-profile drug deaths in the past have lead to major public policy mistakes — think mandatory-minimum sentencing guidelines — that can take decades to correct.

[See also Alan Dershowitz: No, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Dealer Isn’t a Murderer]

Even before the inconclusive results of Hoffman’s autopsy were made public, news outlets such as MSNBC were already running stories about “America’s Heroin Problem,” “the rapidly growing crisis of heroin,” and quoting “law enforcementofficials [who] believe the spike in heroin use is driven by addicts becoming priced out of more expensive prescription opiate-based pain killers.”

Hoffman-Heroin-scene-2007

[See also VIDEO: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s (Extended) Drug Scene from Sidney Lumet’s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”]

hoffman-streetsYet as my colleague at Reason, Jacob Sullum, was quick to document, the government statistics that track heroin use show absolutely no increase in regular use of the drug. According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (the latest available), 0.1 percent of Americans ages 12 and older reported using the drug in the past month. That’s exactly the same percentage that used in 2002 and there has been no significant fluctuation in the intervening decade. The Monitoring the Future Study, which tracks behavior of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, shows annual use of heroin declining across the board from a decade ago.

[Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Deadly Brand of Heroin: ‘Ace of Spades’]

Much of the confusion stems from journalists and their sources using raw numbers without controlling for population growth or mistaking lifetime use for anything approaching a habit (both errors are on display in this “Journalist’s Resource” put out by Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy).

Read the rest of this entry »


Alan Dershowitz: No, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Dealer Isn’t a Murderer

1306017445490.cachedThose who sold heroin to Philip Seymour Hoffman are morally culpable for his death. But they shouldn’t be legally culpable

ace-of-spadesAlan M. Dershowitz  writes:  Whenever a celebrity dies of a self-administered drug, particularly heroin, efforts are made to locate and prosecute those who provided the drug.  As I wrote back in the 1980’s, following the overdose death of comedian John Belushi and the prosecution of Cathy Smith, the woman who provided him the drugs, “That issue [holding the supplier criminally responsible for the death] seems to capture public attention primarily when famous people overdose.  The tragic deaths of basketball player Len Bias and the late Robert Kennedy’s son David generated demands for prosecution of the suppliers.  The daily street deaths of dozens of faceless addicts rarely even provoke an investigation.”

 [Professor Dershowitz’s latest book: Taking the Stand:  My Life in the Law at Amazon]

Now the stakes have gotten higher as some states have applied the “felony-murder” law to such deaths, while others have enacted specific statues turning the criminal act of providing drugs into a homicide if death results.

“But there is no acceptable moral distinction between two dealers who sell the same product, in the same way, to the same people—and one of their customers, for reasons unrelated to anything the dealers did, happens to die”

It is easy to understand why the public demands homicide prosecutions against drug providers whose product caused the death of a beloved celebrity like Philip Seymour Hoffman.  A person lies dead; someone must bear responsibility for his death. It is easy to scapegoat the drug provider.  But is it fair to single out the provider whose heroin happened to have killed a celebrity (or anyone else)?

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Creepy Drug Scene from Sidney Lumet’s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (2007)

The film’s title is taken from an Irish blessing:

“…May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead…”

Short version, 2 ms 24s. This is the Philip Seymour Hoffman heroin scene from Sidney Lumet‘s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (2007) It featues Andy Hansen, an accountant, played by Hoffman, making a drug buy in clandestine apartment in a Manhattan high rise. Then being injected, by the dealer, in a quiet bedroom. It’s an erie depiction of a troubled, defeated character, retreating to an exclusive, private, white-collar drug den, high above the city, in the middle of the afternoon…

Hoffman-Heroin-scene-2007

Film story summary from Internet Movie Database:

When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents’ jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother’s wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.

The longer version — 6 ms 55 s —  is here.

Pundit Planet Media – YouTube

Read the rest of this entry »


New York’s Friendly Neighborhood Smack Vendors: Suspected Heroin Dealers Busted in Hoffman Death Probe

Max Rosenblum, 22, Juliana Luchkiw, 22, and Robert Aaron Vineberg (not pictured) were arrested during the investigation into actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death.

Max Rosenblum, 22, Juliana Luchkiw, 22, and Robert Aaron Vineberg (not pictured) were arrested during the investigation into actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death.

Seth Gottfried reports:  Cops raided a Manhattan drug den Tuesday night and arrested suspected dealers who may have been the ones who sold heroin to actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, sources said.

Authorities entered the Mott Street building and at around 7:30 p.m. and nabbed four people after getting a tip that the “Capote” star was sold heroin there a couple of months ago.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tabloid: Did Philip Seymour Hoffman Buy Stash of Tainted Heroin?

Screen capture from CBS News

Screen capture from CBS News

Headline from Mail Online Philip Seymour Hoffman split from partner Mimi O’Donnell in troubled last months. The article includes this sidebar:

“…Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman was discovered dead on the bathroom floor of his 4th floor apartment literally surrounded by heroin and its attached paraphernalia.

[See also: Philip Seymour Hoffman's Deadly Brand of Heroin: 'Ace of Spades'? punditfromanotherplanet.com]

hoffman-streetsSome of the empty heroin envelopes were branded with an Ace of Spades log – other with an Ace of Hearts.

The Ace of Spades heroin has been spreading across the country – on July 7, 2011 12 people in Wichita, Kansas, were indicted on heroin trafficking charges – that centered on selling the drugs into New York City.

The majority of the trafficking was to Brooklyn and Queens – from where it would be distributed to Manhattan and into Long Island.

Ace of Spades heroin reared its head again on January 16 when authorities arrested Kendall Sistrunk, 49, with transporting heroin from New York to Stamford, Connecticut. Read the rest of this entry »


Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Deadly Brand of Heroin: ‘Ace of Spades’

hoffman-drudge

Photo: Graham MacIndoe

Was this the brand? Photo: Graham MacIndoe

Emphasis mine…from New York Post:

…Cops found five empty glassine envelopes in a garbage can, two more under the bed and one on a table in the apartment, where Hoffman — who has repeatedly struggled with substance abuse — was living recently, sources said.

[See also: [VIDEO] Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Heroin-inecting Scene from “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (2007)]

Cops also found a charred spoon in the kitchen sink, sources say.

“He was shooting up in the bathroom,” a law-enforcement source said.

The envelopes were marked “Ace of Spades,” which sources said is a brand of heroin that hasn’t been seen on the streets since around 2008 in Brooklyn.

 [See Glamour Junkies: The Culture of Heroin Addiction]

There was no note, and Hoffman’s death is believed to be accidental…

I’m pretty sure Ace of Spades HQ has no connection to the brand. But I had a mental image of an envelope with that logo on it (shown below) as the last thing the actor saw before he perished, of an overdose.

ace-banner

Speaking of Ace

Ace of Spades HQ has a discussion archived here.

Does the MacInoe photo, shown here represent the Brooklyn heroin baggie type similar to the one found in Hoffman’s Greenwich Village apartment? It’s unclear, but certainly possible. The photographer was also a consumer (addict) he has an interesting photo essay here:

“The images in this series are of heroin baggies collected years ago during a period of addiction. I became intrigued by the typography and design of the glassine envelopes used to package dope, stamped with references to popular culture like Twilight, Crooklyn and New Jack City. Dealers branded and marketed their product like entrepreneurs in any business, pairing names like Dead Medicine with a skull and crossbones to appeal to risk-takers, or an airplane labeled First Class to give the illusion of grandeur…

Read the rest of this entry »


[Books] White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin

André Da Loba for the Chroncle Review


André Da Loba for the Chroncle Review

A blackout or a white out is the brain’s way of telling the drug: You win.

Clancy Martin writes:  The most spectacular blackout of my long career as a drinker took place five years ago, during my last trip to Paris. I’m hazy on the details. I remember a huge fight with my second wife outside our rented apartment when I couldn’t remember the entry code. I half-remember being fished out of the Seine, without my glasses (I was later told I leapt from one of the bridges). And then I remember coming to my senses in the morning, still damp, propped up at a cafe table by a kind waiter, a hot cup of cafe crème on the table. I had no wallet, no money in my pockets. I couldn’t see. I don’t know how I found the apartment again, half-blind, with my bad French, in the migraine-strength-aura of a transcendental hangover. Sober—or, I suppose, still half-drunk—I remembered the code, but my wife wasn’t inside. Our passports were gone. I believed she had left the country, been kidnapped, or worse. I lay down and wept, promising God I would never drink again if he’d return my wife to me. (I’ve made and broken other promises to God.) Hours later the buzzer rang, and there she was, with my wallet, our passports, and the hope of a better, sober life. The rest of our week in Paris, I didn’t drink, and I didn’t buy new glasses. My wife led me around by the elbow, and I felt the giddy vulnerability of childhood, responsible for no one.

White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin By Michael Clune (Hazelden)

“Addiction represents a pathological usurpation of the neural mechanisms of learning and memory,” writes the psychiatrist Steven E. Hyman, quoted at the outset of Michael Clune’s terrific memoir White Out. This is the single most insightful and, for the addict, consoling observation I’ve ever read about what addiction is like. It is almost impossible for the addict to learn, to understand, and to remember that he cannot have his drug.

Read the rest of this entry »


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