Colorado Technical University Online
This paper explores the life of the New York Club Kids, Michael Alig, Robert “Freeze” Riggs, and the death of Angel Melendez. The New York Club Kids were involved in many illegal activities. These activities included excessive drug use, parties in various public places, and murder. Their drug use included marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, and ketamine hydrochloride (animal tranquilizer known as Special K). The drugs and wild parties both led up to murder, but the Club Kids wouldn’t have become famous without Michael Alig or Angel’s murder that he and Freeze participated in. With little evidence, police eventually questioned and charged both Michael Alig and Robert “Freeze” Riggs with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Angel Melendez (Kocieniewski, 1996). Due to the horrendous nature of the crime, Michael Alig and Robert “Freeze” Riggs should have been charged with murder.
Keywords: Michael Alig, Robert “Freeze” Riggs, Angel Melendez, New York Club Kids
Justice for Angel
In 1996, the New York Club Kids were known for their wild costumes, outrageous drug induced parties, and the murder of club kid Angel Melendez. While Angel’s murder didn’t revolve around the Club Kids themselves, it did focus on their king, Michael Alig. Michael was known as a prominent party promoter, and had connections with Angel to supply the drugs for his parties. Somewhere, things went wrong and Michael and an associate Robert “Freeze” Riggs murdered Angel. For this crime, Michael and Robert received involuntary manslaughter. Murder is defined as the “unlawful killing of a person with malice” (Merriam Webster, 2012). Due to the horrendous crime they committed, Michael Alig and Robert “Freeze” Riggs should have been charged with murder in the death of Angel Melendez.
Raised by a single mother, Michael grew up in a small Indiana town. As a child, he was generally quiet, and tried hard to make friends with little success. He would sell candy to classmates in hopes this would bring them closer to him, or he would do personal favors to become accepted. After high school, Michael went to New York City for his college education. It was at this point he found his way to the night club scene, and over a short amount of time he became the King of the Club Kids (St. James, 1999). Michael’s popularity was fueled by his accessibility and friendship with Angel Melendez. Angel was known for being a local drug dealer, and Michael made sure Angel became the main drug supplier to the Club Kids and the parties. Michael was the ring leader when it came to the drug use, and the wild public parties; he was considered the largest club promoter in New York City, and Michael believed that his life was good and couldn’t get any better (Musto, 2002). As we all know, good things must come to an end. For Michael Alig and Robert “Freeze” Riggs, the end was their participation in Angel Melendez’s death.
Michael Alig and Robert “Freeze” Riggs should be charged with murder because they knowingly caused the death of Angel Melendez, and did all they could to hide the identity of Angel’s body. Regardless of Michael’s testimony of self-defense, he willingly knew that he and Freeze murdered Angel Melendez. When police discovered the torso of a man floating in the Hudson River, they knew this was a homicide case, and the murderer did all they could to hide the victim’s identity (Kocieniewski, 1996). The medical examiner concluded the victims head, arms, legs and genitals were removed with what they believed were kitchen and butcher knives. However, later examinations ruled that cause of death was asphyxiation (Romano, n.d.). In the weeks following Angel’s death, Michael was parading around his parties gloating that he and Freeze murdered Angel. Michael also gloated that he took Angel’s money, and the drugs he had on him at the time of his death (St. James, 1999). With the money,...