Police: Woman in 2 heroin deaths panicky then calm

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MILTON, Ga. (AP) - Twice last year, Alix Tichelman found herself alone with a man suffering from a drug overdose. The first time she called 911. The second time, police say, she just walked away.

Tichelman, 26, faces manslaughter charges in California after police say the alleged high-priced prostitute calmly collected her things and left as Google executive Forrest Hayes lay dying on his yacht in November following a heroin overdose. About two months earlier in Georgia, she made a panicked call to 911 as her boyfriend Dean Riopelle, owner of a popular Atlanta music venue, suffered an overdose in their home.

Tichelman was never charged in Riopelle’s death, but police said Thursday they’re going to re-examine that case.

“Both subjects in these cases died of heroin overdoses so there’s just several factors we want to look at to make sure that we didn’t miss anything,” Milton police Capt. Shawn McCarty said.

Police in California say Tichelman had many clients in the wealthy Silicon Valley, but it wasn’t clear how long she may have been involved in prostitution. Police there also said that, after Hayes’ death, she had done online searches for how to defend herself legally after administering a lethal dose of heroin.

No one answered the door Thursday at the two-story home in the upscale Folsom, California, neighborhood listed as the address for Tichelman’s father. The front door was damaged, with a broken door handle and scuff marks on the wood.

A message taped to the door and dated July 8 read, “Please no visitors or media or other contact with the residents, respect our privacy and our property.”

Neighbor Brad Parks, who lives three doors down, said the family moved in a year or two ago. He said he didn’t know much about the parents and had seen Alix Tichelman just two or three times, most recently about two weeks ago.

Numerous social media postings, photos and other articles online suggest Tichelman was pursuing a career as a fetish model and a life with Riopelle - one photo posted on her Facebook page shows her displaying a diamond “promise ring” given to her by Riopelle.

Riopelle and Tichelman had been dating for about two and a half years and lived together, said Riopelle’s sister, Dee Riopelle.

In a 2012 interview with a fetish magazine, fIXE, under the pseudonym AK Kennedy, Tichelman describes herself as a model, writer and makeup artist.

She also said she was interested in bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism, or BDSM. She said she and Riopelle would go to clubs, with her wearing a collar and leash.

Photos that accompany her interview show her in sexually suggestive poses wearing a variety of skimpy outfits, including a studded leather jacket with thigh-high fishnet stockings.

Riopelle was the lead singer of a rock ‘n’ roll band called the Impotent Sea Snakes, known for its wild stage shows and sexually explicit lyrics. Online videos show the band performing at a massive music festival in Germany, with members dressed in drag. Riopelle, under the stage name “13,” is wearing a long, pink wig, a leopard-print jacket, platform boots and tight pants.

Back in Georgia, Riopelle also was known for owning the Masquerade, an Atlanta music venue that is a popular destination for rock, punk and metal acts. Housed in a former mill, the venue is composed of three levels: “heaven” upstairs; “purgatory” on the main floor; and “hell” downstairs.

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