Andre Melendez (c. May 1, 1971 – March 17, 1996), better known as Angel Melendez, was a member of the Club Kids and drug dealer who lived and worked in New York City. Melendez and his family arrived in New York from Colombia when Melendez was eight years old. Melendez became a drug dealer during the early 1990s after he met Peter Gatien, owner of the Limelight Club in New York, and became a regular dealer in Gatien's clubs. He was frequently seen at Manhattan clubs wearing his signature feathered wings.
Melendez met Michael Alig, a socialite and drug customer. Alig became an important customer, leading Melendez to the world of the Club Kids, including James St. James and DJ Keoki. Melendez was murdered by Alig and Robert "Freez" Riggs after going to Alig's apartment to collect on a delinquent drug debt. He was hit on the head with a hammer, restrained with duct tape and either injected with or forced to drink Drano. Later his body was dismembered and dumped in the Hudson River. At first, Alig claimed it was self-defense, but later admitted to the murder.
It is said in Party Monster: The Shockumentary that Alig and Riggs poured Drano down Melendez's mouth (nor did they ever inject Drano in Melendez's body.) and that he was hit in the head with the steel part of the hammer (he was hit with the wooden part of the hammer.) and that Alig suffocated Melendez with a pillow. (He smothered him with a t-shirt.) When in fact Alig confirmed that none of this actually happened and the story was fabricated to make it more interesting, dramatic and shocking.
On October 1, 1997 Michael Alig and Robert Riggs were sentenced to ten to twenty years in prison for Melendez's murder after each pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter.
Alig's murder of Angel Melendez is documented in the memoir Disco Bloodbath, written by James St. James. The book chronicled the life of Michael Alig and the Club Kids. A 1998 documentary film titled Party Monster: The Shockumentary was based on the events leading up to and surrounding the murder. A feature film titled Party Monster was later released, starring Wilson Cruz in the role of Melendez. His murder was also covered in an episode of Investigation Discovery's Deadly Devotion.
Robert Riggs was released from prison in 2010. Michael Alig was released from prison on May 5, 2014.
- Sullivan, John (September 11, 1997). "2 Men Plead Guilty in Killing of Club Denizen". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2008.
Mr. Alig, who pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court in Manhattan to one count of first degree manslaughter, admitted that he and a friend smothered Andre Melendez, known as Angel, chopped up his body and threw it into the Hudson River.