Do you remember Michael Alig? If not, you might know the story of the New York City party promoter turned murderer as he was portrayed in the 2003 film Party Monster. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Alig will be released from jail for his manslaughter charges. This is a feat for Alig’s team as he has been denied in 2008 and 2012 in addition to his first hearing, after he received his charges for murdering Andre “Angel” Melendez.
At the time, the film was seen as a hindrance in Alig’s case, and he was initially denied parole in 2006 after the judge watched the film.
Back in the day, he was known as the Club Kids co-founder, and his so-called proteges back in the early 90s include Gitsie, Jennytalia, Robert “Freez” Riggs, Richie Rich, Charlie “Dash” Prestano, Amanda Lepore, RuPaul, and many others.
Into the wild partying scene, Alig’s antics booked his group on the Geraldo Rivera show five times. In 1996, everything came to a head when Alig and his buddy Robert “Freeze” Riggs murdered Andre “Angel” Melendez in an argument over a drug debt. At the time, Alig was living with Melendez. Because of his drug use, Alig said that the events surrounding Melendez’ death aren’t clear. Riggs confessed to police after an interrogation on March 17, 1996.
Melendez’ body, which was dismembered, was found in the water near Staten Island. Both Robert Riggs and Alig pleaded guilty to manslaughter. At the time they were both sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.
Before the film Party Monster, in 1998 a documentary was released called Party Monster: The Shockumentary. In addition, St. James, who was portrayed by Seth Green in Party Monster, detailed the events of the murder in a memoir called Disco Bloodbath.
Macaulay Culkin spoke with 20/20 about researching Alig before playing him and his meeting with the convict at Attica State Prison in upstate New York:
“We spent four hours at the prison. I’d never been to prison before. I kind of just was listening and I was watching how his hands moved … He seemed remorseful, but at the same time he was putting up this facade. He was putting on the ‘Michael Alig’ act for me, the wild and crazy guy.”
The Hollywood Reporter mentions that throughout Alig’s time in prison, he has been transferred to numerous New York City penitentiaries. His most recent one was Elmira Correctional Facility, which is 240 miles away from Manhattan. During his time behind bars, Michael Alig also spent some time in the psych ward at Rikers Island.
[Image Credit: Strand Releasing]