Michael Alig, a longstanding tabloid fixture of New York Metropolis and a infamous promoter of its nightlife, died on Friday at his residence in Washington Heights. He was 54.
The New York Police Division confirmed his dying on Saturday. The town health worker’s workplace mentioned the reason for dying was pending additional investigation.
Mr. Alig was recognized in New York Metropolis nightlife circles as a inventive, canny promoter and as a pioneer of visible spectacle lengthy earlier than he turned notorious.
He appeared on the quilt of New York journal in March 1988 below the headline “Membership Children.”
That article gave him and his followers each a reputation and a platform to open shock assaults upon American tradition, akin to during an appearance in 1993 on Phil Donahue’s daytime talk show.
The membership children have been one set of nightlife fixtures in Manhattan who reacted to the libertine disco era that came before them. Afraid of the AIDS epidemic they’d grown up with, the membership children went out “wanting very freaky in order that no person would have intercourse with you,” Mr. Alig mentioned 30 years after the magazine article appeared.
In “Occasion Monster,” a 2003 movie primarily based on a memoir by James St. James, one other well-known membership child, Mr. Alig was portrayed by Macaulay Culkin.
It was years after the article that Mr. Alig achieved true nationwide fame, when he went on trial for the homicide of Andre Melendez, who was 25 on the time of his dying in 1996, according to The New York Times.
Mr. Melendez, who was also referred to as Angel, was lacking for months earlier than his dismembered corpse washed up on Staten Island, which is when folks started to consider Mr. Alig’s frequent claims that he had killed Mr. Melendez.
He gauged the second as yet one more alternative to proceed feeding his fame.
With the assistance of mates, he was lively on social media even earlier than his launch from jail, and began using Twitter himself immediately upon his launch. He relished giving interviews and showing on digital camera — appearances that have been usually met with discomfort and anger by individuals who didn’t assume homicide needs to be the idea for gaining extra consideration.
In 2017, Mr. Alig faced drug possession charges, which have been later dropped.
In early 2020, Mr. Alig, or somebody engaged on his behalf, continued to record huge portions of ephemera from his previous on the market on eBay. However, uncharacteristically, he grew quieter and disappeared from the general public eye for a lot of the remainder of the yr.
Earlier than all of that, one reader of the New York journal article cautioned in a letter in 1988 to the editor, “New York mustn’t glamorize these children, who’re going nowhere quick.”
Christina Morales contributed reporting.