“HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR” AUTHOR DIES. The New York Post began its obituary (June 9) for its former managing editor this way: “Vincent A. Musetto, who wrote the greatest headline in New York newspaper history, died Tuesday at 74 from cancer.” That headline, of course, was: “HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR”. I posted on the headline and the killer’s reasoning here.
The headline was controversial. The obituary reveals that, because of initial opposition by the executive editor, the headline ran only on the second day after the event. It also quotes a literary analysis of the headline by Peter Shaw, which spoke of the obituary’s “trochaic rhythm” and pointed out that: “the juxtaposition of two apparently unrelated kinds of toplessness conjoined sex and death even as they are conjoined in reality.”
The Post must have enjoyed pointing out in the obituary that the New York Times headline on the story was: “Owner of a Bar Shot to Death; Suspect is Held.”