‘Party Monster’, Convicted Murderer Michael Alig Leaves Prison After 17 Years

As we reported in April, New York City 'club kid' founder Michael Alig was released from prison this month after serving 17 years for the murder and dismemberment of Andre “Angel” Melendez.

Michael_aligDespite his time in prison, Alig seems keen to become an active part of queer culture once more. The Independent has details on his goings-on while in prison and immediately afterwards:

During his spell inside, he’s been keen to capitalise on it. Far from being unproductive, he released a dance single from jail in 2001 and took part in weekly podcasts in conversation with James St James via the prison phone.

Maximising on call time, he ran the Twitter handle @Alig_Aligula from jail by instructing a friend on posts over the phone.

Alig has posted his first tweets since freedom, writing:

Just narrowly escaped being re arrested for having my release filmed but we're ok and in our way to nyc! #narrowescape [Michael Alig (@Alig_Aligula) May 5, 2014]

So overwhelmed: A 15-person van filled with friends, writers, photogs, film crews. WOW will pick me up from prison on Monday. #gulp [Michael Alig (@Alig_Aligula) May 2, 2014]

He has also written a book called Aligula, in reference to the sex-crazed, torturous Roman emperor Caligula.

Alig also offered the following tweets since his release:

Happy to be free and so grateful for this second chance. Can't wait 2C @JSJdarling at dinner. #frenemy pic.twitter.com/AJwvtPcyFf

My first burrito of freedom ! #CincoDeMichael pic.twitter.com/1d0AFDFVmm

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.

St. James helped Alig achieve some notoriety through his book, Disco Bloodbath which recounted Alig’s rise to fame and subsequent crime.


  1. Aron says

    James St James advice is truly disturbing. “Enjoy the times people recognize you, because not being recognized when your old SUUUUUUUCKS.” Ew.

    How about “Don’t base your happiness on getting recognized anymore and try to spread a quiet, humble happiness. Everyone will be better for it.”

  2. Putney says

    Who gives a damn? He is still a murderer. I didn’t care about him before; I certainly don’t care about him now – except that he should keep his nose clean and stay out of trouble.

  3. Icebloo says

    The gay community is going to reward this murderer with fame ?

    We are angry when a gay person is killed during anti-gay violence but we are OK with this scu*bag murdering AND DISMEMBERING someone ?

    He should have been left to rot in prison. The family of his victim should not have to now see this awful human being become famous for murdering their family member. This is disgusting.

  4. IDoTheCuttingAroundHere says

    I’m so disturbed that Michael Alig is allowed back into society. He murdered and dismembered somebody! In my humble opinion, he should not be allowed among people again. Ever. He’s lucky to be allowed to live. Prison was the mercy; letting Michael out is beyond me. I think if there were a list of things warranting not giving someone a second chance, murder and ~dismemberment~ would be right up there.

    His instant fame-wh*** status is repulsive in a whole new way that I never experienced before.

  5. Jeff says

    With all of the hype surrounding how exciting it is to be free and back in the New York club scene and his plans for semi-sensationalism it’s kind of gross. This person murdered and dismembered somebody. Angel Melendez didn’t pack up and move to Cleveland he’s dead thanks to Michael Alig. Forever! World of Wonder indeed.

  6. Chris L. says

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder on display. It’s only a matter of time before he crashes and burns again. This is a man with no depth, a man who apparently believes that “clubbing” is the essence of life. His low self-esteem seems to be bolstered by the external approval of others. That’s a road that leads to nowhere. If this man is welcomed back into the gay community, shame on us.

  7. bleh says

    Angel Melendez was a drug dealer. How many unaccounted for people got hooked on drugs or even died because he supplied them with illegal narcotics?

    Did he deserve to be murdered? Of course not. Dismembering his body was a particularly grisly crime, and Michael Alig in no way warrants any sort of hero status. He needs to disappear and live out the rest of his life in obscurity and regret.

    But let’s stop sanctifying Angel Melendez.

  8. mike128 says

    @chanel: seriously? people are “uppity moral queens” for taking issue with someone who has KILLED another person. wtf is wrong with you?

  9. AmericanDreamer says

    If a person of color had committed this crime they would have thrown him in a maximum security prison upstate for life.
    Welcome to America and its two sided justice system

  10. Houndentenor says

    Given the depravity of what he did, how did he only serve 17 years? I’m baffled by how our justice system works. Was Alig enough of a sociopath to con the parole board? Can someone explain this? I don’t think I’d want him around anyone I care about.

  11. al says

    “If a person of color had committed this crime they would have thrown him in a maximum security prison upstate for life.
    Welcome to America and its two sided justice system”

    Do you have any data to back up this statement? Shouldn’t be hard to find, since “people of color” commit the majority of murders in the US, and in fact are so lawlessly violent that their presence is the biggest predictor of an area’s crime rate.

  12. JMC says

    Um, there’s a TON of data proving beyond a reasonable doubt that our criminal justice system is racist as hell with people of color serving more time in prison for committing the exact same crimes as white people. Like, I know you’re just one of Towleroad’s many bigoted trolls but come on now lol

  13. Icebloo says

    I have submitted THREE comments criticizing this site for treating this murderer like a hero. None of my comments had bad words. All of the comments have been removed. It seems the biased editors cannot cope with criticism – even when it is fully justified !

  14. AZXPAT says

    He is a creepy murderer. Does anyone care beyond that? He murdered. He desecrated the body. Who cares what he wants to contribute? He is scum.

  15. Patrick says

    Alig is EVIL. He should remain locked up FOREVER. No reduced time ,no nothing. Hopefully he won’t repeat his grisly crime. And where is Robert “Freeze” Riggs? Oh yeah that’s right: doing 10-20 in a NY state prison. During his sentencing hearing, Alig tried to claim he was the victim. Another soulless ,whiny, bitchy, pathetic, horrible excuse for a human being. The judge put Alig in his place and sentenced him to 10-20 years. He dismembers a human being and all NY state can give him was 20 years max. That is phucked up also.Hopefully Alig will disappear into obscurity and anonymity. Which, for some people , is worse than death.He so richly deserves to be allowed to drift into total obscurity. He already is in violation of his parole by being anywhere near a bar /club….. which serves alcohol…He’ll phuck up.

  16. FRC says

    Come to downtown L.A. and work your club magic here Michael! The nite scene is ripe for what you’re known for and leave you cares behind.

  17. steve talbert says

    I agree that it would be depressing if I found he liked the same bars I do.

    Well, at 35 I guess he could try being be a club kid at the main bar at monster on a weekday afternoon. At least he’ll know the songs on the juke box.

  18. Jeff says

    James St. James gives a great testimony to the emptiness of the gay “party life”. People look at you when you are young and then when you commit the crime of aging, they don’t. Your worth as a human being depends upon your looks and your youth and your cool factor. Lose it and people drop you.

    Read it carefully, young LGBs. Partying and hooking up might be OK for a few months or even a year or 2, but that’s it. Stay in it and it will chew you up and spit you out. Don’t wind up like St. James and the other broken clowns of his generation.

    Pursue love. Pursue meaningful, long-term relationships. Build a life with people who care about you, not your designer clothes or the height of your cheek bones.

  19. Del says

    It figures that someone as vile and morally twisted as Dan Villarreal would post this garbage. In his state of moral “queerness” he thinks homophobia is transgressive and cool, and his homophobic writing at Queerty has been cited by antigay groups all over the world. He mocked the memory of the deceased Tyler Clementi and luridly speculated about Clementi’s sexual tastes.

    Why Andy Towle would have this morally handicapped individual on the payroll is beyond me. But posts about how a convicted murderer is enjoying burritos and plans to have a fab social life are about what you would expect from Dan Villarreal.

  20. Leo says


    Andy also has Ari Ezra Waldman on his payroll, who wrote a nauseating op-ed piece here defending Dharun Ravi so that seems par the course for this site.

    There’s been enough of the good to balance that out and keep me here, but I’ve been drifting to joe.my.god more and more every day.

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