Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Michael Alig: The Life and Death of the Party

Standing Up to the Bully

By the time Angel and Michael were on-again, off-again roommates, they were both immersed in the club culture. Angel, though, was wearying of it. He was tired of being treated poorly by the Club Kids who seemed to think he was tacky and a hanger-on. He was tired of being stepped on by drunk and wasted people, who got more and more obnoxious and more and more wasted as the years wore on. He was also tired of being ripped off.

Robert "Freeze" Riggs (right) embraces
artist Sun

He'd already been ripped off more than once by Michael Alig, who'd dipped into the stash while Angel was out. In an unprecedented move, Angel stood up to Alig and cornered him. No one ever did that. Alig managed to cruise past the altercation — shrugging it off, and pointing out that he owed half of lower Manhattan money.

The next time it happened, Angel decided he was done.

Furious, he headed over to the Riverbank West apartments near Hell's Kitchen where Michael lived. Though the building was a semi-luxury high-rise apartment building, complete with a courtyard, doorman, and elevator, Alig lived in squalor with Freeze in a continuous drug-induced haze.

By this time, Alig's star was fading, fast. He'd been relegated to a bathroom at the Tunnel, Club USA had closed, and Disco 2000 was finished. His high-profile activities had garnered his boss Peter Gatien the watchful eye of the Feds and his drug-induced behavior became too erratic. Gatien had cut Alig loose.