Police are re-opening the investigation of Dean Riopelle’s death. Riopelle was an Atlanta club owner who died in 2013. Riopelle is pictured above with his girlfriend, Alix Catherine Tichelman, who has now been accused of murdering Google exec Forrest Hayes. Here’s what we know so far.
1. Dean Riopelle Dated Suspected Murderer Alix Catherine Tichelman
Dean Riopelle dated Alix Catherine Tichelman (pictured above) up until his death in September of last year. Tichelman is now in custody in California, where she is suspected of providing heroin to Google exec Forrest Hayes. Tichelman and Hayes are believed to have been involved in a “sugar daddy” relationship where Hayes would pay Tichelman for her companionship.
Tichelman allegedly injected Hayes with an overdose of heroin while the two were canoodling on Hayes’ yacht in Santa Cruz. When Hayes began to suffer the ill effects of the drug, Tichelman reportedly stepped over his body to drink a glass of wine, and then left Hayes to die on his yacht.
Dean Riopelle was married to singer Princess Christy. Both Riopelle and Princess Christy played in a band together (more on that below.) One Atlanta-based blog notes that Dean Riopelle and Princess Christy actually tied the knot on an HBO special, filmed at the “star-studded” Exotic Erotic Ball.
2. Dean Riopelle Owned a Nightclub in Atlanta
Check out the video above to get a sneak peek at the interior of The Masquerade. In the video, performer Emilie Autumn expresses her disdain for the venue during her set at the Atlanta Masquerade.
Dean Riopelle owned The Masquerade, a nightclub in Atlanta. Prior to that, he appears to have owned a BDSM club.
Alix Tichelman, under the alias AK Kennedy, talked about her relationship with Riopelle in an interview with fIXE fETISH. In the interview, she stated that her then-boyfriend Riopelle once owned a fetish/BDSM club. In the same interview, she told reporters that she enjoyed being the submissive partner in a BDSM relationship.
Prior to opening his nightclubs, Riopelle studied construction engineering. The Atlanta Journal Constitution states Riopelle studied at the University of Florida.
3. Dean Riopelle Loved Exotic Animals
my baby monkeys and i <3 pic.twitter.com/eCheEcno
— Alix Tichelman (@AKKennedyxx) July 11, 2012
Alix Tichelman’s Twitter profile includes a number of pictures of her pet monkeys, and some of these images include Riopelle.
Dean Riopelle was a noted animal lover. He once told a local news station that monkeys were surprisingly intelligent:
“If anybody would spend 20 minutes or an hour with them, they would see they have a little more personality than most other animals, a little more intelligence than most other animals, and they’re easier to love at least for us than most other animals…
It’s fun. I like seeing other people interacting with them, too, and how they react. The vast majority say, ‘I’ve never touched a monkey before.'”
Riopelle’s interest in animals was somewhat controversial. One report on Riopelle’s death noted that his passion for exotic creatures annoyed his neighbors:
“Riopelle was also well known as a controversial figure, often called the ‘Monkey Man.’ He raised monkeys and many other non-native wild animals on his property, and recently got a permit to turn it into a zoo of some sort, which was hotly contested by many neighbors.”
The same report notes Riopelle had another “animal” interest. Riopelle performed at the Masquerade as “13,” the frontman for the band Impotent Sea Snakes. The Impotent Sea Snakes counted porn legends Jenna Jameson and Ron Jeremy among their fans. You can watch footage of the band in the video below.
4. Dean Riopelle Died From a Heart Attack, Possibly Linked to Drug Use
Check out Dean Riopelle and the rest of the Impotent Sea Snakes in the video above for their song, “Pink Lipstick.” The video also features Lemmy Kilmister and famous pro wrestler Goldberg.
Riopelle reportedly died of a heart attack in 2013. He was 53 years old. The Wall Street Journal notes that Alix Catherine Tichelman is a suspect in another death that was similar to the death of Forrest Hayes.
Some have speculated that Tichelman may have been involved in the death of former boyfriend Dean Riopelle. Atlanta’s WSB-TV notes that the investigation into Riopelle’s death has been re-opened in the wake of Tichelman’s arrest. WSB-TV notes Riopelle’s cause of death was a “drug overdose,” which differs from the cause of death in earlier reports about Riopelle.
CBS News reports that Riopelle’s death was ruled as a heroin overdose, and that Tichelman allegedly found Riopelle’s body on the ground after she got out of the shower. Tichelman told authorities that Riopelle had been drinking and using heroin prior to his death.
Some people who were close to Riopelle question his cause of death. WSB TV quotes Riopelle’s live-in nanny, Khristina Brucker:
“Dean didn’t do drugs. This is a man that doesn’t like to take Tylenol. He didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke. He hated both and he definitely hated drugs…I believe that [Tichelman] had something to do with this.”
5. Dean Riopelle Was Assaulted by Alix Tichelman
While living in Georgia with Riopelle, Tichelman was arrested by the police. Law enforcement in Milton, Georgia were responsible for taking Tichelman into custody, following an incident where Tichelman bit Riopelle.
According to Atlanta’s WSB-TV, the biting incident took place about two weeks before Riopelle’s death.
CBS News has more info about how the assault went down:
“Just before Riopelle’s death, Tichelman had been arrested on a battery charge after her boyfriend told police that she bit his hand during an argument.
Riopelle had said that the woman took pills before they went to a bar he owned in Atlanta, where she drank, dove off the stage and exposed her breasts. After they returned to his home, they fought. She scratched his face and threatened to hit herself in the face and tell police he had done it, Riopelle said at the time.”