Club promoter, provocateur, and convicted murderer Michael Alig has died of a suspected heroin overdose. According to the New York Daily News, Alig, 54, was found dead inside his Washington Heights apartment on W. 159th St. by an ex-boyfriend very early Christmas morning, officials said. The ex-boyfriend said Alig had been doing drugs, and heroin was found in the apartment, police sources said. During his life, Alig inspired books (the acclaimed Disco Bloodbath: A Fabulous but True Tale of Murder in Clubland by James St. James) and biopic big screen productions (Party Monster starring Macauley Culkin).
Alig was known as the ‘King of the Club Kids’ in the late 1980’s/early to mid 1990’s, running nightlubs like The Limelight and weekly parties like Disco 2000. Alig’s nightlife reign tragically in March of 1996 as he and friend Robert (Freeze) Riggs violently took the life of drug dealer Angel Melendez over a delinquent drug debt. After bludgeoning Melendez with a hammer, Alig & Freeze kept the body in their apartment, chopped up the body in the bathtub and proceeded to dump his body parts into the Hudson River. These actions led to Alig’s eventual conviction and incarceration for seventeen years for manslaughter.
— Page Six (@PageSix) December 25, 2020
Legendary nightlife writer and New York City bon vivant Michael Musto knew Michael Alig for decades. He attended many of Alig’s notorious Disco 2000 parties, reuniting with Alig briefly in the 2016 film Vamp Bikers Tres, where Alig ironically portrayed….God. Musto frequently covered the club kids of that era in his legendary Village Voice column “La Dolce Musto” and also wrote several of articles that contributed to the New York Post expose’ “Mystery Of The Missing Club Kid”.
Musto spoke with Ernie Garcia, known during the club kid era as Ernie Glam, who often portrayed Clara The Carefree Chicken during the Disco 2000 era. Garcia said in part,“I invited Michael to stay in my guest bedroom upon his release from prison in 2014, and he spent 16 months with me. I took him in mostly rent free, to help him get back on his feet. He was very generous with me and I loved his creativity and perverse sense of humor. Unfortunately, he was a profoundly flawed, unhappy man who carried many painful and self-destructive impulses.“
Ernie went on to say “His demons had carried him into drug addiction, which led him to commit a depraved crime against my friend Angel Melendez. I did my best to help him avoid his toxic past after he was released, but the horror and guilt of his crime haunted him and he sunk into abuse by 2016. In recent years, I avoided spending time with him because I was saddened by what I saw, though we still exchanged texts and emails. I’ll miss him, but I’m relieved that his anguish has ended”
Michael Alig spoke with me in 2017 for The Huffington Post following his release from prison. During our conversation, he was mischievous, frenetic. and reflective. He was almost thankful for some of his experiences in incarceration and was looking towards the future. During out conversation, he hauntingly told me when speaking about a post-club kid life out of prison “I never want to fall into that trap again where I take these things for granted; you can’t take life for granted.”
Ernie Garcia (Glam) summed up the death & legacy of Michael Alig by simply saying “I hope Michael’s death will help bring closure to members of Angel’s family and friends who are still in pain.”
i love you angel melendez. a true angel that deserved the world. may this icon rest in peace <3 pic.twitter.com/dc0M65UOQw
— zachariah (@airtightangelic) December 25, 2020
May Andre (Angel) Melendez finally, Rest In Peace.