'Headless body in topless bar' convict denied parole

The inmate whose gruesome crime led to the famous 1983 tabloid headline "Headless body in topless bar" lost his bid for freedom Tuesday when a parole board concluded that he still was a danger to society.

Charles Dingle, who is 53, was convicted in the murder of a Queens bar owner and the rape of one of the bar employees, a topless dancer. During his drug-crazed rampage, Dingle also forced another woman whom he had taken hostage to cut off the slain bar owner's head, which was found in a box with Dingle when he was arrested.

This was Dingle's third attempt at parole, but the three-person parole board said Dingle had exhibited "continued poor behavior" behind bars as well as a "disturbing criminal history" that made him unsuitable for parole.

In 2010, Dingle told the New York Post -- which ran the famous headline -- that he was innocent. He is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence.

"Everything is not as it appears," Dingle said in the 2010 interview, saying the parole board in the state capital, Albany, wanted him to take responsibility for the crime. "I can't do it because I didn't do it," he said, vowing to keep fighting for his freedom.

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-- Tina Susman in New York

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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