Notorious ‘club kid’ killer Michael Alig, who served 17 years in prison for killing his roommate over a drug debt in a case that became a book and film, died at Christmas last year from a drug overdose, a medical examiner has confirmed.
Alig´s death at the age of 54 came on Christmas Eve 2020, some six years after his release from prison in 2014.
The Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York City found his cause of death to be acute intoxication by fentanyl, acetylfentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine.
Michael Alig, 54 (pictured in June 2020, left), was found to have died from acute intoxication by fentanyl, acetylfentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine on Christmas Eve last year. Alig was one of the leaders of the ‘Club Kids’ counterculture of the 1980s and 90s (pictured in 1993, right)
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
Michael Alig attends DailyMail.com’s Holiday Party in 2015
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.
Alig reportedly moved into the Manhattan apartment about in the summer of 2020.
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 a 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, 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 hedonistic bacchanal abruptly ground to a halt in 1996, when Alig and fellow ‘Club Kid’ Robert ‘Freeze’ Riggs were arrested for a brutal murder.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 1997.
Alig admitted that he and Robert ‘Freeze’ 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.
Alig is pictured at an event in 1995. He once proclaimed himself ‘the King of the Club Kids’
When the smell became too overwhelming, Alig and Rigg cut up the body and dumped the remains in the Hudson River.
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 played Alig.
Alig maintained a social media presence while behind bars, although he had no access to a computer and dictated tweets to a friend over the prison phone.
Following his release from prison, Alig expressed remorse for his actions and decadent lifestyle.
The story of Melendez’s murder inspired the 2003 film Party Monster, starring Macaulay Culkin as Alig (pictured)
Michael Alig attends the ‘Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig’ New York Premiere at The Players Theatre in June 2015 in New York City
‘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 his 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.”
Originally from Indiana, Alig moved to New York in the early 1980s to attend Fordham University but later dropped out and became involved in the New York underground club scene as a promoter.
Even before his conviction, Alig and his fellow Club Kids had grabbed national attention for their outrageous Manhattan dance parties that showcased sex, rampant drug use and over-the-top costumes.
Michael Alig is seen during his Pride party at private location last June in New York City