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Michael Alig Released This Year?
Poster of Bloodfeast
If you haven't heard of Michael Alig, don't worry. (I usually don't use wikipedia as a source but, they have his info updated). It's probably best that you haven't heard of him. Still, I find his story is quite interesting.
Alig became known as a club promoter/club kid in NYC in the late 80's, after Andy Warhol died. He is said to be the ringleader of the wild club movement, that occurred for a little over 10 years. His parties were called, Disco 2000. Many were in clubs and, some were illegal parties held in random locations like Burger King or, in a Subway station. He started out strong, promoting in the club Tunnel and, the infamous Limelight. Both clubs were owned by a man named Peter Gatien. Michael and his friends were actually paid by Gatian to go to the club, dress in exotic costumes, and exhibit shocking behavior.
All of this fun turned into drug use, followed by drug addiction, and promotion of parties that became more and more obnoxious.One of these parties would prove to be a foreshadowing of events to come. The party was a Birthday party for Alig called, "Bloodfeast" in which a poster was made depicting Alig's brain exposed and being eaten by another club kid known as, Jenny Talia. A hammer and the words, "with legs cut off" can also be seen in this poster.
Eventually, Michael got so lost in his drugs that his world began to crumble around him. Gatien was under investigation for trafficking drugs by the Feds. Michael was no longer doing his Disco 2000 parties. At this point, Alig was simply a hard core drug addict, constantly looking for his next score.
It was March 17, 1996. Alig found himself in a fight with his drug dealer, Angel Melendez. The fight turned physical and, was interrupted by a blow to Angel's head with a hammer from a friend that was there, Robert Riggs, who was known as Freeze.
After Freeze had hit him 3 times with the hammer, Alig smothered him with a pillow and Melendez died. Now, of course, they both claim the details are sketchy at best, due to the fact that both of these men were on an assortment of heavy drugs. These drugs included ecstasy, Rohypnol, Ketemine (also known as Special K), cocaine, and heroin.
According to some stories, Alig either injected drano or, poured drano down Melendez's throat or, he did both, and taped Angel's mouth shut. Michael, stripped the body and, had Freeze help him put Angel's body in the bathtub. They placed ice in the tub, with the body. Some stories I've heard about have gone so far as to say they did sexual things with the dead body. It was reported that the gentiles were cut off and, never found. After the body had been there for several days, the stench was so bad that they decided to get rid of the body by having Michael dismember the legs off of Melendez. He put the legs in a bag and the rest of the body in a box.
The box and bag filled with the body were taken out of the apartment the two were living in, and right out the front entrance into a cab. The cab took the pair to the Hudson river where they threw the body in.
We find out that the police basically find this body right away but, it's left unidentified. Michael continues to party and go around telling people of his crime. Evidently, he also had a drug overdose during this time. He told just about anyone all of the gruesome details of this murder. Amazingly, no one said anything. Some just chalked it up to Michael being a prankster but, as time passed, no one saw Angel again.
You can actually watch the "Shockumentary Party Monster" on YouTube. I'm not sure why they don't have part 2 uploaded but, in the first section Michael is being filmed just before his arrest. Watch him as he confesses to the murder and then, play like he's joking. There's all sorts of stuff on YouTube from his interviews, to the movie that was made called, "Party Monster" featuring Macaulay Culkin, playing Alig.
Finally, the police get wind of these stories and rumors, partially because of Michael Musto, who did a story on the club scene and, talked about a murder that was being discussed in the inner circle. The details of this crime, more specifically - the dismemberment of the legs - prompted the police to look once again at the body they had found 9 months prior but, never officially identified. Musto appears in these video's as well.
Through dental records, they were finally able to say that the body they found was, indeed Melendez. Freeze and Alig were arrested. Freeze confessed almost immediately. (Scroll down a little bit on that page to see the written confession. That was the only page I finally found it on.)
While I was listening to interviews and reading stories about this case, I found that there was a fourth person that is not often mentioned in many of the accounts. He wasn't questioned for the documentary and, plays no role in the movie. According to Alig, Daniel Auster was a boyfriend of his at the time. At some point, Alig noticed that his friend was showing signs of overdosing. He asked Angel for some cocaine to revive his friend. After Angel denied the cocaine, Freeze and Alig scolded Angel. Alig ended up stealing the cocaine from Angel, and reviving Daniel with a dosage that he blew up Daniel's nose. This was all done while Freeze continued to chastise Angel.
It should be noted that Daniel Auster is the son of writer, Paul Auster. Daniel originally told police that Alig and Freeze were discussing killing Angel, that all of this was premeditated. They had planned it to where they would lure Angel to the apartment, rob him, take his drugs, and kill him. In the end, Daniel couldn't prove his story and, actually ended up pleading guilty to stealing $3,000 of Angel's money.
Here again, is another part of the story that is odd but, sort of makes sense. Look at that picture that was made for Alig's Birthday party the year before. It's almost down to a science. There just so happened to be a hammer near by? Certainly, most folks have hammers but, just there to grab? Even if I believe that, according to Freeze's own story, Alig was right away, smothering Angel, pouring drano down his throat, taping his mouth, undressing him, and finally putting him in the bathroom tub with ice.
They supposedly had a party with Angel in the tub. There is video in the Shockumentary of Alig just after March 17, 1996, that shows Alig with a deep cut on the back of his neck and, his hair was red. Also, after the 7 days or so that Angel was in the bathroom, it was decided that Alig would cut the legs off of Angel. Why? This gruesome idea seems to come straight from the campy horror movie, Bloodfeast that Alig was so fond of.
Then, in my readings, I found the story changes again. This time stating that they didn't do all this stuff right away, that they didn't know Angel was dead yet. They simply let him lay there for awhile while they did Angel's drugs. The only reason they put him in the tub was to try to revive him and, later push him under to see if they could see some bubbles, to indicate he was alive.
According to Freeze, he was in his room and heard yelling and that's what prompted him to eventually attack Angel. If that's all true, then when did this other story about the friend Daniel overdosing occur? There is no consistent time line. All the parties involved have different versions of the story.
It's amazing the fans Alig still has. They are everywhere. I have read a lot about Michael and, on most of these stories that are reported on the internet, you can see people have the option of leaving their comments. I have read many of these comments and, am shocked by the amount of people who absolutely love Alig.
Sure, he was a great promoter and yes, he did have quite an effect on the NYC party scene. You could also say that Melendez was a drug dealer that probably should have been killed anyway but, that is no excuse for what Michael did. I watch these interviews and watch him and, read his words and, I do not hear an ounce of remorse. It's as if he's talking about something from another world, as if he wasn't actually a part of what happened.
It's very hard to find empathy or, sympathy in a character like Angel. He was a drug dealer. Lord knows how many overdoses happened because of his distribution of various drugs. I don't happen to look too fondly on people like him. Maybe in some odd way he got what he deserved but, that wasn't for Michael to decide and, it certainly isn't okay to take the law into your hands like that. If this was truly about self defense, they both would have called the police. Drugs or no drugs, they had to have come down at some point.Or, they could have gotten rid of the drugs, then called the police.
Who in the world gets done defending themselves and pours drano down their victims throat? Or, injects them with drano? Or, puts their body on ice in a tub for several days? Or, later goes and cuts off that person's legs? Furthermore, though it was never admitted, the New York Post reported that, the body was sexually mutilated. Doing that stuff comes from a very sick, disturbing place.
With all of the information that I've dug up, this doesn't sound like anything other then a premeditated murder. Again, I point to the Birthday flier. The image on the invitation is uncannily prescient: Alig lies dead, his skull shattered with a hammer blade beside him, as a Club Kid eats a forkful of his brains. The blurb around this picture promises: "Freeze, skinned alive, melting in a bloodbath," and "Legs Cut Off!".
The very idea that this was all a coincidence is almost impossible to believe. I also read other disturbing things about Michael. It is rumored that Alig and definitely Freeze were involved in occult practices. Freeze considered himself to be a part of the *Church of Satan, and was a part of the occult, while Alig may have gotten involved in occult activities as well. Did they also eat part of Angel's body, as the poster suggests? No one knows. The details were not released.
Ricardo Wiley, a close friend of Freeze's, and Gregory Kraemer, were both suspected of having knowledge of the murder. Both of these men died. Ricardo of heart failure, and Gregory of a suicide. It was very convenient that both of these men lost their lives at the time they did.They never had to answer any questions about what they may have known.
Alig and others, it is said, often referred to Angel as a cling-on, they said he was tacky, they made fun of his wings. They viewed him as a wannabe. Alig did like the drugs and he certainly needed money. Without a doubt, there was a motive to kill Angel. What better way to get all that he wanted from Angel, as well as fulfilling his gory fantasies of blood and dismemberment.
Michael claims the DEA was looking to bust Gatien and weren't interested in Angel's disappearance. They wanted Gatien and, seemed to indicate that they would look the other way as long as Alig would testify against Gatien. Having Alig classified as a murderer would destroy their case.
Throughout his accounts of what happened afterward, there seems to be almost no feelings of guilt. He's very centered on himself and what is happening to him, how everything is effecting him. At his sentencing, he said this:
"I came here today not prepared to accept my sentence, I so I didn't come with a speech because I was told we were going to postpone for another week, two weeks, or something like that, I don't know. All I know is I've been told lots of different things by lots of different people in exchange for me doing other things, and none of it has come true. I feel like I have been just railroaded. I have been used by the feds. When they were through with me, they sent me over here I feel like I have been lied to here to get me to accept this plea."
It is clear he was not wanting to serve any time. He expresses in this statement how he almost feels entitled to get away with what he has done. There's a disconnect with him.
His good friend James St. James, another main character in Alig's life, who eventually wrote a book about this murderer, claims that Alig is a sociopath and, that prison will not help him. St. James has gone so far as to describe Alig as a mirror, someone that looks at you and figures out what you want and, proceeds to fulfill that want.
Someone recently posted the story that was done by American Justice. I enjoyed this one the best. They covered the more important parts of the story and didn't seem to glorify Alig, the way the movie and The Shockumentary seem to. The Shockumentary covers the story just fine but, is filled with Alig's mother being interviewed and, making her son out to be a "special boy." She not only did ecstasy with her son when he flew her out to NY but, her attitude is one of -yes he killed but, he has such great fashion sense. I think the interview with Alig that they have just before he was arrested, is the most disturbing.
Drugs did play a role. They enhanced something that was already inside of Michael Alig. This was a man that had already shown signs of bizarre ideas and, disgusting behaviors long before the murder occurred.
When you watch him on his interviews, he is flippant. He doesn't care that he killed anyone. He's just upset that he got caught, that he wasn't clever enough to do something that would have allowed him to get away with the murder.
There's something still intriguing about him. I watch these videos and don't want him to be evil. I don't want to see this nice looking, witty man as someone who is evil but, he is. I am not sure what will become of Alig in the years to come. He is 43 years old now. He will get out eventually. I'm thinking it will be a drug overdose that will eventually kill him. The whole story is sad and scary but, I am grateful that he is still behind bars, at least for now.
Alig was sentenced to 10-20 years for his crime. He was up for parole a few times and because of the movie that was made - viewed by parole officers, as well as a dirty urine test, showing he had used drugs, he was denied parole. He claims that he had a Percocet in his urine, so they had added 4 years. That doesn't sound likely at all. His release date was supposed to be this month, March, 2010. He will not be released. It is being said that Robert Riggs will be getting out of prison at the end of this month, although I can't officially confirm this.
I found a blog that appears to have some recent information. He is telling someone now, that he is going to receive drug treatment and, should be out in Sept of 2010 instead.***This has now changed to November 2011.
*I do want to note that I happen to know quite a bit about the Church of Satan founded by Anton LaVey. It should be noted that the beliefs have nothing to do with an actual Satan like the one described in the Bible. It's basically a belief that you create your own world, it doesn't mean you are evil. Occult practices are sometimes associated with members but, have no direct affiliation with being a member of the Church of Satan.
I have read the most interesting book that gives another side of this case - from the view of the law enforcement that worked specifically with Alig. The book is by, Lisa Sweetingham and is titled, "Chemical Cowboys - The DEA's Secret Mission to Hunt Down a Notorious Ecstasy Kingpin." What an incredible read this is. I recommend it especially for anyone that believes drugs are a victimless crime.
The book tells the story of the undercover agents, Gagne and Germanowski, that worked in the DEA, that worked to bring down Peter Gatien, as well as other characters that were involved in the ecstasy trade in it's height during the 90's. Back then, little was known about the drug, these cases were the first ever and, opened a door into drug trafficking not known prior.
One chilling detail that the book reveals is when agents, Gagne and Gemanowski, confronted Alig with a picture of an unrecognizable torso, Alig immediately laughed and said, "That's not Angel." With his cockiness and knowing look, it was at that point the agents knew Alig killed Melendez. If Alig had nothing to do with Angel’s death, how could he confidentially say a torso, was not Angel's?
The book tells another rendition of Angel’s killing but, first, I want to mention that the book reveals the whole ordeal with the DEA trying to work a deal with Alig. It was NEVER the states intention to let Michael walk. The state did not want Michael to give a confession because they needed him to be a reputable witness for the jury in the trial against Gatien. This is why they didn’t push him. They just asked him a few light questions, originally. They knew Riggs’s testimony could be disregarded because, an addict will say anything to get methadone and, he’d been detoxing before he finally wrote out his confession.
The DEA agents knew there would be problems but, Alig wanted to confess; they also felt that Angel’s family needed to be given some kind of justice, not for Alig to walk around like he got away with murder. They decided to allow Alig to confess, against the advisement of the state.
Now, what did Alig tell Germanowski and Gagne? I will try to summarize as best I can for you. A lot of what he said is consistent. It’s mostly the events that occurred afterwards that are quite shocking.
First, Alig and Freeze had come home after being drugged all night. A few hours later, Melendez had come over asking Alig for his money, the money that Gatien had promised to pay Angel for dealing drugs at his clubs. Apparently, he would get paid through Alig. Alig tries to explain to him that the more he bothers Gatien, the longer it will take to get his money. Angel takes a nap.
Alig and Freeze take some cocaine from Melendez while he’s sleeping. They were also cooking special K. Freeze goes in his room. Angel wakes up, Alig calls Gatien and Gatien’s wife tells Alig she will not put Peter on the phone. Melendez becomes enraged, pushes Michael through a glass cabinet and, Michael bites Angel in the chest, grabs a t-shirt and stuffs it in Angel’s mouth. Freeze comes out of his room and, grabs a hammer that was in the kitchen, smashes Angel’s head 3 times, then Alig chokes Angel with his hands.
Not knowing if he’s dead, they take a spoon and place it under Melendez’s nose, nothing, no breathing. Michael says that he poured Drano or airfreshner down Melendez’s throat, he can’t be sure but, he wanted to cover the smell of decay. They stripped Melendez down to his underwear and placed him in the bathroom tub and added ice.
So far, this is consistent with some of the other stories. After they lock the bathroom door, they go out and get high. Alig calls Gatein again and is met with the same resistance as before. Gatein’s wife tells him to “handle whatever problem” there is. Alig later went to see Gatien at Tunnel and, told him that he had a problem with Angel. Gatien acted weird, like he didn’t know who Angel was (this makes sense because, Gatein was paranoid and knew he was being watched so, it’s possible he thought Michael was bugging him). Gatien gave Alig 160 dollars and told him to take care of his problem. Alig bought drugs with the money.
Alig had been planning to have a party at the apartment for weeks. He had decided to just put more ice on the body, keep the door locked and, have his party.
On the 8th day after Melendez had died, Alig goes back to Gatein crying, and confesses his crime. According to Alig, he told Gatien he wanted to go to the police, to which Gatien advised him not to, telling him that it would be the worst thing he could to. Gatien siphoned $4000 to Michael over that week and, instructed him to leave town.
On the 10th day, Michael sent Freeze out to buy a tv and knives. Both of them went into the bathroom and cut off the legs from Melendez’s corpse. (It was not just Michael). They placed the legs in garbage bags and, walked down to the Hudson and threw the bags in. They then got high again and stayed out all night. The following day, they stuffed the torso in a bag, placed it in the television box and, walked out the front lobby to catch a cab. They threw the box with the rest of Melendez inside over the railing and into the Hudson. The box was so tightly sealed, it floated.
After this confession, Germanowski wanted to know what Alig did with Melendez’s testicles. It is confirmed in this book that the testicles were indeed cut off – surgically removed. Alig insisted that he didn’t know what they were talking about. They didn’t press him because; they felt that maybe whatever he did was too dark for Michael to discuss with them.
That’s just a highlight of what is in this book. It’s a quick page-turner and is filled with some amazing characters. There are a few parts that are actually funny but, it shows a dark side of drugs and, just how involved these DEA agents were with the people they were trying to help.
Gagne and Germanowski actually seemed to like Alig and felt bad that Gatien had let him down. Oh, and there’s much more with Gatien and his attorney. The book is explosive.
I have now heard that Gatein's daughter, Jen, recently interviewed Michael for a documentary she is filming about her father. Now that Michael is getting ready to come out into the world, he has been in demand for many interviews. I will keep you updated whenever I hear more.
*Michael has been released. He can be found on YouTube and he also has a video posted for a new song "What's In" with Greg Tanoose (feat. DJ Keoki).