In 1997, notorious NYC club scenester Michael Alig was convicted on first degree manslaughter charges and sent to prison. This week he was released on parole.
Before he was convicted of killing and dismembering his associate and temporary roommate Angel Melendez, Alig was a high profile figure in the ’90s New York club scene, associating with notorious club owner Peter Gatien, “club kids” such as RuPaul, and scenester James St. James, who wrote about the events of Melendez’s death in his memoir Disco Bloodbath. The book was the basis for Party Monster, a 2003 film starring Macauley Culkin and Seth Green.
Alig and a man named Robert “Freeze” Riggs killed Melendez on March 17, 1996 in the wake of an argument over a drug deal and related payments. Riggs struck Melendez in the head with a hammer three times before Alig rendered Melendez unconscious by smothering him with a pillow. Riggs and Alig differ on what next took place. Alig claims that he injected Melendez with a syringe filled with Drano, while Riggs claims that Alig poured Drano down Melendez’ throat and then duct taped his mouth shut.
After keeping the body in a bathtub for a few days, Riggs and Alig dumped the body in the Hudson River. Police stepped up their investigation after the body was found in the fall of 1996.
Alig had been incarcerated at the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Marcy, NY.
Here’s Alig, James St. James, and others in a 1990’s appearance on “The Joan Rivers Show.”