Michael Alig, Infamous ‘Club Kid Killer,’ Dead at 54
Michael Alig - the infamous nightlife legend, "King of the Club Kids" and convicted murderer - died of an apparent overdose at his Upper Manhattan home on Christmas Day, the New York Daily News reports from official sources. He was 54 years old.
Alig reportedly took heroin just before he passed out around 3 a.m., his friend told police, and medics found him dead at the scene.
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In the 1990s, Alig was a notorious impresario for Peter Gatien's nightclub empire (which included Limelight, the Palladium and the Tunnel) and a "pied piper for young clubbies," as Michael Musto reported on the Village Voice website. In 1996, Alig pleaded guilty to the murder of his drug dealer Andre "Angel" Melendez and served 17 years in prison. A drug money dispute turned violent and led to a gruesome affair: Robert "Freeze" Riggs hit Melendez on the head with a hammer, then Alig smothered him with a sweatshirt until he died.
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The duo put the mutilated corpse in the bathtub (covered it with ice and a few dashes of Calvin Klein Eternity Cologne) and then partied for more than a week - fried on a mind-boggling mix of heroin, ketamine, cocaine, and rophynol - and even friends in invited the apartment while Melendez's body was rotting in the other room. When the stench became unbearable, they dismembered the body and threw it into the Hudson River.
The "Party Monster" and the Killer were the subject of James St. James' memoir, Disco Bloodbath, in which a Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato documentary, Party Monster, was rejected. Alig's story later inspired her 2003 feature film of the same name, in which Macaulay Culkin starred as Alig and Seth Green as St. James. Another documentary, Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig, is now also being streamed.
Alig was released from prison in 2014 and returned to New York. He claimed to have been rehabilitated (although the nightlife no longer existed as he remembered it). "The biggest thing I learned in prison was patience," he told Rolling Stone at the time. "I was demanding and self-centered, but in prison you learn very quickly that you are in your time. When Freeze and I first went to the methadone clinic, we were there for almost 36 hours. You sleep in the waiting room.
"I went to jail addicted to heroin and it's a very difficult drug to get out of - especially in jail," he added. “I would wean myself, go through the withdrawal, and expect to feel better a week or a month later. And when that didn't happen, I decided, "Fuck it. I committed this horrific crime, no one will ever forgive me, I might as well fly high and don't have to worry about it."
Alig also discussed the toll that solitary confinement caused him. “I've been through this for eight, nine, ten years. At some point there was even two years of sobriety, but it never took long enough to get my brain wired back to the way it was before I started using drugs, ”he said. "It wasn't until I was gone four years that my brain started to wire up again. But you asked about the lonely one. Every time your urine tests positive you get another year of solitary confinement. If you join a drug program "You will be kicked out. And when you are in solitary confinement, all the more reason to do drugs!"
After Alig finished his parole, he tried to revive himself as a nightlife resident in 2017 and threw a party to celebrate. Page 6 reported that Alig received death threats for throwing the party, and many critics criticized the idea of people "celebrating" a convicted murderer. "The bad are really bad," Alig told Rolling Stone. "They say," We're going to kill you and we think you should get the electric chair and since the state didn't, we are! "
Despite other problems with drugs, addiction, and arrests, Alig remained contrite as he tried to reintegrate into society. "Eighteen years later, when I look back at who I was then, all I feel is shame and disgust," Alig wrote in a 2014 article published by the New York Post. “I was a selfish junkie who killed another person. ”
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