Michael Alig, the notorious NYC club kid personality who spent 17 years in prison for Murder, passed away on Christmas Day at age 54. He is suspected to have died of a heroin overdose.
Alig’s ex-boyfriend found him unresponsive in his Washington Heights home after midnight, according to officials, reported the New York Daily News. The police said that the ex-boyfriend claimed that he had been doing drugs, and they found heroin in the apartment.
Alongside socialites like James St. James, Julie Jewels, Superstar DJ Keoki, and Ernie Glam, Alig was a prominent figurehead in the colorful club kid scene of NYC in the ’80s and ’90s. His nightlife career began with a job at Danceteria and grew rapidly as he began organizing parties at Peter Gatien-owned clubs like The Limelight, Club USA, the Palladium and Tunnel.
On March 17th, 1996, Alig and Robert “Freeze” Riggs killed Alig’s drug dealer, Andre “Angel” Melendez after arguing over an unpaid drug debt. After a few days, they cut Melendez’ body into pieces and disposed of it in the Hudson River.
Investigation into the matter moved slowly as police hoped Alig would testify against Gatien in a separate case aiming to tie the club mogul to the sale of illegal drugs, but both Alig and Riggs finally pleaded guilty on October 1st, 1997. Both were sentenced to 10-20 years in prison; Riggs would be released in 2010 with Alig to follow in 2014.