"He was very, very wise when it came to business sense," Dee Riopelle said. "Everything Dean touched turned to gold."
In September, however, he and Tichelman's lives took a dark turn. On Sept. 6, a drunken Tichelman called police, saying Riopelle threw her to the ground, according to a police report. Riopelle told officers that she had taken pills and drank alcohol, and had been stage diving and exposing her breasts that night at the Masquerade. He said he took her home because he did not approve.
Riopelle also told officers that she bit him on the finger and threatened to hit herself and tell police Riopelle had beaten her. A neighbor confirmed hearing Tichelman say that. She was charged with battery and arrested; Riopelle was not.
Less than two weeks later, a panicked Tichelman called 911, saying her boyfriend had overdosed on something and wouldn't respond. She told a dispatcher that his eyes were open but that he was unconscious, describing his breathing as "on and off." In the 911 tapes released Thursday, she can be heard saying, "Hello, Dean? Dean, are you awake?"
Tichelman tried for five minutes to revive him before calling 911, according to a police report. She said she had been in the shower when she heard a crash and came out to find Riopelle unconscious. Tichelman said she did not know how much drugs Riopelle had taken, but that he had been on a "bender the last few days," according to the police report.
Riopelle died at a hospital a week later. An autopsy report listed his death as an accidental overdose of heroin, oxycodone and alcohol. Tichelman had told the dispatcher that he had been taking painkillers and drinking.
Police say surveillance video from the Google executive's yacht shows Tichelman's next deadly encounter with heroin in California, on Nov. 23.
Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark gives the following account from the video:
Tichelman prepares the heroin to a liquid and injects it into Hayes' arm. Shortly after, Hayes clutches his chest, near his heart. Tichelman tries to prop him up, but he then loses consciousness.
Tichelman then starts picking up her belongings, including the needle, and cleans up a counter while stepping over Hayes several times. During that time, Tichelman calmly drinks a glass of wine and surveys the scene.
Tichelman then goes outside the cabin of the boat on the dock, looks back inside, then pulls down a window blind, closes a door and leaves.
"Never does she call 911 or call out to others in nearby boats for help. She never tries to administer any aid to him," Clark said. "She is more concerned about getting herself out and concealing evidence than helping Mr. Hayes."
Clark said that investigators learned that Tichelman later did online searches "on how to defend herself after giving a lethal dose of heroin."
Investigators also learned that Tichelman planned to leave California late last month, possibly for Georgia, and maybe even the country, Clark said.
Collins reported from San Francisco. Associated Press writers Kate Brumback and Ron Harris in Atlanta; Martha Mendoza in Santa Cruz, Calif.; Michael Liedtke in San Francisco, and researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.