Posts Tagged ‘Headless Body in Topless Bar’

The crime behind the best tabloid headline ever

March 29, 2010

“Headless Body in Topless Bar,” the New York Post‘s April 15, 1983 front page headline, is regarded as a work of headline-writing art.

But the story that inspired it is truly gruesome. And the guy convicted of the murder still denies any involvement.

After drinking heavily at a club called Herbie’s Bar in Jamaica, Charles Dingle, 23, shot the owner in the head.

Drunk and high on coke, he took four women hostage, raping one and robbing the bar manager.

In her purse he found a card indicating that she was a mortician.

Hoping to avoid being tied to the murder, he forced her to dig the bullet out of the owner’s head. That didn’t work. So he made her decapitate him with a steak knife.

Dingle later hijacked a gypsy cab, took two hostages with him plus the severed head, and drove to Broadway and 168th Street, where he passed out and was arrested.

Convicted of murder, rape, and robbery, Dingle got 25 years to life. His next parole hearing: 2011.

The punchiest Daily News headline ever

November 2, 2009

Okay, so it lacks the cadence of The Post‘s 1983 masterpiece “Headless Body in Topless Bar.” But this Daily News gem, from the October 30, 1975 edition of the paper, more than makes up for it in punch and bluntness.

FordtocityheadlineOf course, Ford didn’t actually tell the city to drop dead. New York City in the 1970s was broke, and city lawmakers were desperate for Federal funds to keep services going. On October 29, Ford gave a speech denying the city a bailout.

It was more of a tough-love move to get the city to stop its out-of-control spending than an outright no. And a few months later, Ford did sign off on loans to keep New York from going bankrupt. 

But the immortal headline cast Ford as a villian. In an interview years later, he said that he felt it cost him the presidency in 1976.