The “Party Monster” talks about drugs, technology, and the night that changed his life.
There are over eight million minutes that comprise 17 years, and Michael Alig has had to pay for each one. In what was a swift and mighty fall, Alig went from being the legendary leader of the New York “Club Kids” to serving a manslaughter sentence in federal prison. In 1996, Alig was found guilty in the case of friend and drug dealer Andre “Angel” Melendez’s death. Suffering from an intense drug addiction, Alig and friend Robert “Freeze” Rigs argued with Melendez, killed and dismembered him, and ultimately disposed of his body in the Hudson River.
Met with intense media scrutiny, and eventually becoming the centerfold for the controversial 2003 film “Party Monster,” Alig has remained in the limelight well after the New York clubs he often frequented have closed. Now having been released on parole after serving seventeen years of his twenty year sentence, Alig has finally spoken out to Rolling Stone about how his life has changed.
Looking back on the murder that changed his life, Alig – now with several years of sobriety under his belt – is able to see the situation clearly. “No, there is no reason. Not only is there no reason, there’s no justification.” In the interview, Alig recounts hallucinating from a dangerous mixture of ketamine, rohypnol, cocaine, crystal meth and heroin. Thus, he claims was only able to determine Melendez’s death several hours later. When asked about the decision to dismember the body, Alig addresses the all too real issue of being too afraid to involve the police. “…it will sound very selfish, but that’s the nature of drug addiction. We were junkies, and calling the authorities, that’s just not something that we did. We didn’t involve them in our affairs no matter what.”
Ultimately Alig found himself with no other to choice than to turn to the police, and once found guilty, Alig spent several years in intense drug rehabilitation, therapy, and serving bouts of solitary confinement. “…there [in solitary] you really learn patience. If you’re freaking out and suicidal and want to see a therapist, you have to write a letter. Maybe three or four days later, somebody will come and knock on your door, open the window and ask — if you’re alive — ‘Well, what’s the problem?’” While the years were painful and difficult, perhaps the journey of adjusting to a new world of technology that lies ahead may prove to be the most challenging. Never knowing Google or YouTube, every day conveniences such as mobile phones and the Internet become fodder for fairy tales when one is locked away in prison. The world has become a very different place since 1993, and with an endless onslaught of information available at one’s fingertips, the gaze of the public eye is fixated on Alig now more than ever.
Michael Alig’s full interview with Rolling Stone both on newsstands and online, view it in its entirety here.