Vincent Musetto, 74, Author of ‘Headless’ Headline of Ageless Fame, Is Dead
Filed under: Authors, Crime, Interlitq, Journalism, New York, New York Bulletins, Obituaries, The International Literary Quarterly, USA, Writing | Tags: Authors, Crime, Interlitq, Journalism, New York, New York Bulletins, Obituaries, The International Literary Quarterly, USA, Writing |
by Margalit Fox
“Vincent Musetto, a retired editor at The New York Post who wrote the most anatomically evocative headline in the history of American journalism — HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR — died on Tuesday in the Bronx. He was 74.
A former colleague, Myron Rushetzky, confirmed the death, at Calvary Hospital, where Mr. Musetto had been in hospice care.
The writers of newspaper headlines generally toil in anonymity, and over time a few others have been posited as the creator of this one. But among the salty, ink-stained, intemperate cadre of New York journalists who wistfully recall the days when men wore hats and newspapers were made only of paper, Mr. Musetto was widely credited as the creator of this headline, spread across The Post’s front page on April 15, 1983.
The crime behind the headline was lurid even by tabloid standards. On April 13, 1983, Charles Dingle, drinking in a tavern in the Jamaica section of Queens, argued with the owner, Herbert Cummings, and shot him to death. He then took several women hostage, raping one and forcing another, in an apparent bid to confound the police, to cut off Mr. Cummings’s head…”