V.A. Musetto, the man behind ‘NY Post’ ‘Headless Body’ headline, dies

Although Musetto was best known for this brilliant and shocking headline, he wrote hundreds of others that rivaled it.

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June 10, 2015 21:16
1 minute read.
V.A. Musetto

V.A. Musetto. (photo credit: NEW YORK POST)

 
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Legendary New York Post headline writer V.A. (Vinnie) Musetto – the man who wrote the infamous headline, “Headless Body in Topless Bar” – died in New York on Tuesday at the age of 74.

Although Musetto was best known for this brilliant and shocking headline, he wrote hundreds of others that rivaled it. His work made the New York Post a smarter, funnier paper, a must-read guilty pleasure that captured and reflected the essence of the Big Apple. His own favorite: Granny Executed in Her Pink Pajamas.

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Musetto, who was survived by his wife, daughter and brother, was also a passionate movie lover, who became a movie critic and eventually moved over to the entertainment side of the newspaper.

He was a generous colleague and was a friend and a mentor to me when I worked at the Post. He knew that I shared his love of movies and helped me to become a movie critic there.

Known in recent years for his gray ponytail (which he sometimes dyed green or blue), baseball caps and basketball sneakers, he was a fixture at New York’s art house movie theaters and served on the jury at several film festivals, including the Bangkok Film Festival.


He had hoped to attend the Haifa International Film Festival several times, but never made it due to scheduling problems.

Bemused by the success of the headline that came to him in a flash one day in 1983, he watched as those five words spawned a 1995 feature film of the same name and were used as the title of a collection of Post headlines.

He will always be known as the man who wrote that headline, but he was so much more.

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