Infamous NYC club promoter Michael Alig, who pleaded guilty in 1997 to first-degree manslaughter in connection with the murder of Andre "Angel" Melendez, died Friday at the age of 54.
According to the New York Daily News, Alig was found dead inside his Washington Heights apartment by a former boyfriend at around 3 a.m. local time. The report adds that the death was caused by "an apparent heroin overdose," with local authorities stating that heroin had been found inside the apartment.
Alig was famous as one of the ringleaders of the "Club Kids," who rose to prominence in the late 80s and early 90s. In a Rolling Stone piece published Friday, Alig was referred to as "the King of the Club Kids," though he's also been referred to as the "Club Kid Killer" due to the aforementioned murder of Melendez.
In 1997, Alig pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court in Manhattan to killing and later dismembering Melendez, who was also involved in the popular nightlife scene of the time. Alig’s friend, Robert Riggs, also pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. Riggs, per a New York Times report at the time, told police that Alig and Melendez had been arguing over a debt when—according to Riggs—he intervened and hit Melendez in the head with a hammer.
From there, Riggs said, Alig poured detergent into Melendez’s mouth and wrapped it with duct tape before the body was placed in a bathtub. Alig was reportedly given 10 bags of heroin after agreeing to dismember Melendez's body, which was later thrown into the Hudson River.
In the 2003 drama Party Monster, Macaulay Culkin portrayed Alig: