Topless-bar killer asks for early release

Jan. 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A New York City killer who inspired the headline "Headless Body in Topless Bar" will petition for early release, officials say.

Charles Dingle, 53, is known for his violent spree of April 13, 1983.

Prosecutors described it like this:

High on cocaine, Dingle went into a Jamaica, N.Y., topless bar and shot owner Herbert Cummings, 51, in the head.

He then took four women hostage, one of whom he raped.

While going through their belongings, he found that one of them was a mortician. He forced her to remove the bullet from Cummings' head so police would not be able to connect his gun to the murder. After she removed the bullet, he then ordered her to carve off Cummings' head with a steak knife.

After releasing two hostages hours later, Dingle stole a cab and drove around with Cummings' head in a box. When he finally parked the car and fell asleep behind the wheel, his two other hostages fled and notified the authorities.

Dingle was convicted of murder, kidnapping, rape and robbery, and is serving 25 years to life at the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo.

He will ask a three-member parole panel this week to set him free. The parole board has turned down Dingle twice before -- in 2008 and 2010.

His behavior in prison will complicate his case for early release because he has assaulted members of the staff and tried to conceal deadly weapons, the New York Post reported.

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