Former club promoter and convicted killer Michael Alig has died of a suspected heroin overdose inside his Manhattan apartment, where he was discovered by his boyfriend early Christmas morning. He was 54.
Alig, a co-founder of the ‘Club Kids’ underground party movement of the 1980s and 90s, served 17 years in prison for brutally killing and dismembering his roommate over a drug debt. He was released in 2014.
Alig, who had led a troubled life marked by periods of homelessness, was found unresponsive inside his Washington Heights apartment on West 159th St by his boyfriend around 3am on Friday.
Michael Alig, 54 (pictured in June, left), on Friday died of a suspected heroin overdose. Alig was one of the leaders of the ‘Club Kids’ counterculture of the 1980s and 90s (pictured in 1993)
Alig, pictured during his birthday party in April 2019, was found unresponsive by his boyfriend inside his Manhattan apartment, where police recovered suspected heroin and paraphernalia
Alig was said to have been using heroin shortly before his death, according to the boyfriend, reported the New York Daily News. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives were said to have recovered at the scene several plastic bags possibly containing heroin, along with drug paraphernalia.
Alig reportedly moved into the Manhattan apartment about six months ago. His next-door neighbor told New York Post he often heard screaming coming from the former club promoter’s unit and saw men outside his door waiting for him.
The neighbor described Alig as stumbling, always in a rush and looking ‘anxious’ in the last months of his life.
Alig was photographed in late June during his Pride Month party looking haggard and unshaven.
Alig served 17 years in prison for murdering and dismembering his roommate and drug dealer Andre ‘Angel’ Melendez (pictured)
Alig is pictured at an event in 1995. He once proclaimed himself ‘the King of the Club Kids’
Alig, the one-time self-proclaimed ‘King of the Club Kids,’ was part of the decadent 1990s party scene characterized by over-the-top flamboyant costumes and outrageous underground parties where drug use was rampant.
The partying abruptly ground to a halt in 1996, when Alig and fellow ‘Club Kid’ Robert ‘Freeze’ Riggs were arrested for a brutal murder.
Alig pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 1997 for killing Andre ‘Angel’ Melendez.
Alig admitted that he and Riggs killed Melendez by striking him with a hammer, throttling him and pouring Drano down his throat.
The pair placed the body in a bathtub, covered it with ice and baking soda, and continued partying inside the apartment for the next week as the victim’s corpse decomposed.
When the smell became too overwhelming, Alig and Rigg cut up the body and dumped the remains in the Hudson River.
The story of Melendez’s murder inspired the 2003 film Party Monster, starring Macaulay Culkin as Alig (pictured)
Riggs also pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was released in 2010.
The grisly story was turned into the 2003 movie Party Monster, in which Macaulay Culkin starred as Alig.
Following his release from prison, Alig expressed remorse for his actions and hedonistic lifestyle.
‘Eighteen years on, looking back at the person I was at that time, I feel nothing but shame and disgust,’ Alig wrote in a piece published by the New York Post in 2014. ‘I was a selfish junkie who killed another human being.’
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2017, Alig talked candidly about battle with addiction behind bars.
‘I went to prison addicted to heroin and it’s a very difficult drug to get off — especially in prison,’ he said. ‘I would wean myself off, go through the withdrawal, and expect to be feeling better a week or a month later. And when that didn’t happen, I decided, “F*** it. I’ve committed this horrible crime, nobody’s ever going to forgive me, I might as well just get high and not have to deal with it.”’