Michael Alig, the flamboyantly costumed “King of the Membership Youngsters” in late Nineteen Eighties and early ’90s Manhattan whose involvement within the sordid homicide and dismemberment of his drug vendor was chronicled within the 2003 function movie Social gathering Monster, died early this morning of a suspected heroin overdose. He was 54.
Alig was discovered unconscious at his Washington Heights condo in Higher Manhattan by a good friend shortly earlier than 3 a.m. Medics pronounced him useless on the scene. The loss of life was first reported by the New York Every day Information.
Alig, who reigned over the Manhattan membership scene as a celebration promoter for Peter Gatien’s immensely standard Limelight and Palladium dance golf equipment, was already notorious outdoors the town’s lushly attired demimonde even earlier than the homicide, having made frequent designed-to-shock Membership Child appearances on daytime discuss exhibits similar to The Joan Rivers Present and Geraldo.
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The seemingly all-for-fun facade of the Membership Child scene turned irrevocably darkish with the March 1996 disappearance of Andre “Angel” Melendez, a nightlife staple who DJ’d, wore angel wings and dealt medicine. In November of that yr, elements of Melendez’s physique carried by the Hudson River washed ashore in Staten Island.
Although the case initially drew little media protection, a Village Voice blind merchandise written by nightlife columnist Michael Musto all however named Alig and fellow Membership Child Robert “Freeze” Riggs because the killers.
Ultimately the weird, sordid story emerged: An argument over drug money owed turned violent, with Riggs hammering Melendez’s head and Alig suffocating him with a sweatshirt. The duo, stoned on ketamine, heroin and cocaine amongst different intoxicants, dismembered Melendez’s physique and left it for days within the bathtub of Alig’s Hell’s Kitchen highrise condo, doused with Drano and cologne. Alig even held small events within the flat because the hidden physique elements rotted.
Alig and Rigg ultimately dumped the stays within the Hudson River. The homicide turned one thing of an open secret on the membership scene, and each Alig and Riggs pleaded responsible in 1996 to the homicide. Alig served 17 years in jail, was launched in 2014 and in 2017 completed his parole, quickly making makes an attempt to return to the town’s nightlife tradition, promoting art work and, as soon as, getting arrested for smoking crystal in a metropolis park. (Riggs was paroled in 2010.)
The homicide and the membership scene had been chronicled in two documentaries: 1998’s Social gathering Monster: The Shockumentary and 2015’s Glory Daze: The Life and Occasions of Michael Alig.
However Alig’s story is most generally recognized by way of 2003’s Social gathering Monster, starring Macaulay Culkin as Alig, Dylan McDermott as Gatien and Seth Inexperienced as James St. James, Alig’s Membership Child good friend and mentor upon whose e-book, Disco Massacre, the movie was based mostly.
After his launch from jail, Alig cohosted, with fellow Membership Child Ernie Glam, the YouTube discuss present The Pee-ew. He would recall his jail days to Rolling Stone journal: “I went to jail hooked on heroin and it’s a really troublesome drug to get off — particularly in jail. I might wean myself off, undergo the withdrawal, and count on to be feeling higher every week or a month later. And when that didn’t occur, I made a decision, ‘Fuck it. I’ve dedicated this horrible crime, no one’s ever going to forgive me, I’d as nicely simply get excessive and never need to cope with it.’”