Filed under: Police, Repression, Southwest
An update on the case of Alix Tichelman
We are saddened to learn that Alix Tichelman, the woman formerly accused of murdering a Google executive in 2013, is once again being hounded by the fraternal police network in the United States. After serving three years in the Santa Cruz County Jail for manslaughter, Alix was immediately stripped of her US citizenship, apprehended by ICE agents, and incarcerated in Folsom Prison until her deportation to Canada, a nation-state of which she’s also a citizen. She settled in the suburbs around Vancouver BC, found a loving partner, got a job, and remained sober, all the while carving a path to becoming a social worker.
Several months into her freedom, Alix was contacted by a journalist from The Sun and agreed to be interviewed about Forrest Hayes’ death in Santa Cruz, California. On June 15, 2018, this article was published online and including the following passage: “The Santa Cruz police started to build a case, quickly identifying Tichelman as a suspect and finding a way to get hold of the recording. They also hatched a plot involving an officer posing on Seeking Arrangement as “Sebastian” to lure her back to Santa Cruz. It is unclear why they used this method rather than simply issuing a warrant – or why the officer asked her for nudes pictures.” While this subtle criticism of the police made it into the article, much of the content about Alix’s jail time and Santa Cruz police/sheriff misconduct was removed by The Sun’s editorial staff (an unedited version can be found here).
The publication of this article quickly generated further media interest and Alix was soon contacted by a reporter named Amy Larson from KSBW, the same Santa Cruz news station that helped demonize her in 2014. Alix agreed to answer her questions and rather than air a sensational and heavily edited news segment, Amy Larson posted the lengthy video online and allowed Alix to finally speak for herself with her own words. In this honest and raw interview, Alix told of how despicable, corrupt, and predatory the Santa Cruz police are.
She candidly explained that “I feel safe [in BC] from the police. Everything that happened, it seemed like the police have this hatred and anger towards me, though I’m not really too sure why. I feel like if I had been allowed to stay in the states, I would have been driving one day and been pulled over randomly and all of a sudden there would have been an ounce of heroin in my trunk that wasn’t there before. I just feel like if I’d stayed in the states that the police wouldn’t have stopped trying to get those 15 plus in prison that they initially wanted. I definitely feel a lot safer up here, that I don’t have to worry about them.” Further on in the interview, Alix explained that after her arrest in 2014, “the officers, which I thought was actually very twisted and sick of them, said ‘oh, well, how would you feel if [officer] Tim wanted to press assault with a deadly weapon charges against you’ and things like that.”
This interview generated even more interest in Alix’s story and led to CNN contacting Amy Larson at KSBW for an interview about the interview. Just before Larson was to go live on CNN, the Fulton County District Attorney in Georgia contacted the media and stated “There is currently a Fulton County grand jury warrant for her arrest that was issued on September 28, 2017. Tichelman’s case here in Fulton County [for accidental lethal overdose of her former partner] is still active and open, and the District Attorney’s Office will be working with Canadian authorities to arrest and extradite Tichelman back to the United States to face those charges.” When asked what prompted this announcement, the Fulton County DA claimed it was in response to the impending CNN interview.
The broadcast went ahead on July 25, 2018 and the CNN talk-show host immediately called the situation “unbelievable…we didn’t expect this to be the story tonight. We expected to talk to you [Amy Larson] about your interview with Alix.” In response, Amy Larson told CNN she was “truly stunned. [Alix] talked to me about [her former partner’s] death and she told me she wasn’t even at home at the time he overdosed on drugs…I’m stunned…she’s stunned…she’s at a loss for words, just like I am.”
We can plainly state that Alix is suffering direct retaliation for exposing the every-day practices of the corrupt Santa Cruz Police Department. Despite the clear evidence exonerating her in both overdose cases, the Fulton County DA went ahead and convened a secret grand jury against her. As many others have documented, a grand jury operates almost identically to the witch hunts of the Holy Inquisition. The Grand Inquisitor summons witnesses against a suspected witch, assembles evidence of witchcraft, and then forcibly detains the accused witch until she confesses to false crimes. The only difference in a modern day grand jury is that burning at the stake has been replaced with imprisonment. It remains unclear if the Crown will cooperate with the Fulton County DA in extraditing her into this hysterical inquisition, especially in the current political climate, and the little differences between the two colonial government might play a large part in Alix’s future. While the refugees from the hit television series The Handmaids Tale might flee patriarchal domination for the safety of Canada, our present reality is quite another matter.
We write this update in the hope it will generate support and interest in Alix’s case. Please spread word of her situation to all of your networks and contacts, for what they’ve done to Alix could happen to anyone. The grand jury against her takes place after the FOSTA-SESTA acts were voted into law by both the Democratic and Republican parties of the US, creating a repressive and intolerant climate towards sex-workers. Alix has already survived a well-documented conspiracy against her in Santa Cruz, served three years in jail, and been deported by ICE only to now face international state repression in Canada. Alix will need cross-border solidarity against this desperate witch-hunt, so please share widely.
NO GODS, NO MASTERS