VETERAN newspaperman Vincent Musetto, who wrote one of the industry’s most famous headlines, has died at the age of 74.
His family said he died three weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the New York Post reported.
“I just wrote [the headline], and everyone said, ‘Ha ha,’ but I didn’t think it would live in infamy”Vincent Musetto
Musetto was a longtime news editor and film critic for the Post.
He wrote the headline “Headless Body in Topless Bar,” which appeared on the newspaper’s front page on April 15, 1983, for a story about the killing of a bar owner who was shot and beheaded.
Musetto said in a 1987 interview with People magazine the killing and decapitation were known early in the reporting process but staffers had to confirm the topless dancing occurred at the bar.
“Someone said it might be a topless bar, but we weren’t sure, and then the idea of the headline came around, so we were really questioning to make sure it was a topless bar,” Musetto recalled in the interview.
“We sent the reporter, this girl, and she so determined that it was a topless bar. I just wrote it, and everyone said, ‘Ha ha,’ but I didn’t think it would live in infamy.”
The Post’s editor-in-chief, Col Allan, said he will remember Musetto for his humour, warmth with colleagues and a “sharp, critical eye.”