After just a few recent minutes in conversation with Michael Alig, we'd fallen right back into the intellectual relationship we'd developed over two prisons and several shared years in the incarcerated world. I always liked him; I'd even forgiven him for when he tried to rat me out. (He did graciously apologize.)
I was doing 10 years for robbery; his bid was both longer and just slightly better publicized. The tabloid-haunted "Club Kid" kingpin served 17 years after turning himself in for the 1996 manslaughter of Andre "Angel" Melendez—what he now calls "a silly, pushy catfight" over an unpaid debt that ended with codefendant Robert "Freeze" Riggs attacking Angel with a hammer, Alig joining in after wrapping his fist in a sweatshirt. The 2003 film Party Monster, starring Macaulay Culkin (why not), sensationalized the lifestyle of drugs and partying and NYC club-hopping that Alig helped create in the '80s and '90s, but it did not help the man at parole hearings, depicting Melendez's death in a callous, brutal, and to Alig's mind, wildly inaccurate way. Drano was involved. Parole boards denied him his freedom several times, while his co-defendant, Robert "Freeze" Riggs, was released years ago.