Michael Alig Released from Jail and Returns to New York
Does anyone care? I want to know how you murder someone, chop up their body, and only get 17 years in jail?
New York City’s most infamous club kid from the ’90s, Michael Alig, has been released from prison after serving 17 years behind bars for first-degree manslaughter. He pleaded guilty in 1997 to killing, dismembering and dumping the body parts of his then-roommate, Andre “Angel” Melendez, into the Hudson River over a drug deal gone wrong.
“Alig effectively destroyed nightlife for many years,” Michael Musto, the Village Voice reporter who first broke Alig’s murder story in 1996, told Paper magazine in April. “The killing happened during the Rudolph Giuliani era when nightlife was portrayed [by the Mayor] as evil. It became uncool for many years to go out in costume in any way.”
ANDY WARHOL said everyone is famous for 15 minutes – is Alig’s 15 minutes up? Young kids don’t even know who he is and they have no interest in the past.
Alig’s friend, World of Wonder curator and occasional TV personality James St. James, wrote Alig an open welcome-back-to-the-world letter, advising Alig on what movies, technologies, conversation topics, drugs and social outcasts he should know about now that he’s back on the outside. In the letter, he also offers Alig the following advice:
Speaking of clubs: You’ve become a bit of a legend since you went in (YOU’RE WELCOME) and you WILL stop the room the first few times you go out. It’s an odd sensation, but even odder is when it doesn’t happen. See, you’re old now, and although many of this generation were raised on Party Monster , sometimes you’ll find yourself in a room where everybody is completely CLUELESS. They’ve never seen the Geraldos or Phil Donahues or Jenny Joneses.
They’ve never heard of Angel. They don’t know or care who Julie Jewels was. They don’t even know who Andy Warhol was. A 21-year-old at WOW had never heard of Moby. MOBY. It’s weird. The generation that has the greatest access to knowledge in the history of mankind is the one that cares the least about it.
So there will be places where you go where NOBODY WILL RECOGNIZE YOU and NOBODY WILL CARE. And because you are no longer a cute little twink, 20-somethings will LOOK RIGHT THROUGH YOU. Or worse: SNEER at the old man. Joy Behar once said that after 35 nobody looks at you on the beach anymore, no matter how good you look. It’s true. And it’s true everywhere. My point: Enjoy the times people recognize you, because not being recognized when your old SUUUUUUUCKS.