Who was Michael Alig and what did he do?
Michael Alig was an American club promoter and one of the ringleaders of a group of New York clubgoers known as the Club Kids. They became a phenomenon in the late 1980s and early ’90s. However, things turned sour when Alig and fellow member of the Club Kids, Robert D. “Freeze,” killed Andre “Angel” Melendez over a drug debt on the night of the 17th March, 1996. Alig and Riggs initially left Melendez’s body in a bathtub while they figured out what to do with it. When the body began to decompose, Riggs dismembered the body and put the remains in a duffel bag, throwing it in the Hudson River.
In the weeks following Melendez’s disappearance, Alig allegedly told many people that he and Riggs had killed Melendez. Most people didn’t believe Alig, as he was known to take drugs, and they figured he was after attention.
What happened during the investigation and trial?
In April of 1996, rumours surrounding Alig’s involvement in Melendez’s death were reported in a column in the news. The New York post then caught on to the story and reported it as a murder mystery.
This inevitably peeked the interest of law enforcement, but there was no proof of a murder taking place until children playing in the water discovered the remains in the Hudson river.
Later that year, the coroner identified the body as Melendez. Alig fled New York and was later located by police in a motel room in New Jersey. He was arrested, alongside Riggs, who then confessed to his involvement in the murder.
In October 1997, Alig and Riggs pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, and both men were sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison. Riggs was released in 2010, with Alig getting out in 2014. It’s shocking that both men received such short sentences for this brutal murder, especially as Alig had dismembered the victim’s body.
Where is Michael Alig now?
Michael Alig stayed out of trouble upon his release from prison. He was under a strict curfew and ordered to attend drug and anger management counselling.
In May 2014, Alig was reportedly attempting to sell his memoirs and launched a career as a magazine writer. Later that year, he launched a YouTube comedy talk show titled “The Pee-ew.”
On Christmas Eve, 2020, Alig died in his Washington Heights home from an accidental overdose at the age of 54.
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