Headless Body in Topless Bar -and- Who Shot JFK?

First, I’d like to wish a Happy Release Day to R.G. Belsky! THE MIDNIGHT HOUR released on February 3rd!

Now, it’s my pleasure to introduce our KaT readers to R.G. Belsky (aka Dick Belsky), New York City journalist and crime fiction author of THE MIDNIGHT HOUR and THE KENNEDY CONNECTION.

Dick was a managing editor at the Daily News and he writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and TV/digital news. He’s also been the metropolitan editor of the New York Post, news editor at Star magazine and managing editor at NBCNews.com – where he worked with Nightly News with Brian Williams, The Today Show, and oversaw all digital news content on the NBCNews website.


His most famous journalistic achievement – or infamous, depending on how you look at it – was being part of the writing of the legendary New York Post headline: “Headless Body in Topless Bar.” Despite having covered many major stories in his career, that is the moment he’s most often asked about. (You can see his write-up about it here.)

What does that have to do with John F. Kennedy you ask?

His suspense thriller, THE KENNEDY CONNECTION, was published in August and is the first in a series of books featuring Gil Malloy, a hard-driving newspaper reporter with a penchant for breaking big stories on the front page of the New York Daily News.


Amazon   B&N

The Kennedy Connection is about the most famous unsolved cold case of all time – the JFK assassination. More than a half century later, a man comes forward claiming to be Lee Harvey Oswald’s secret son with evidence that Oswald didn’t do it. At the same time, a series of present day murders in New York City are linked by Kennedy half dollars left at the scene to what happened that long ago day in Dallas.

The person trying to unravel all this is Gil Malloy – a newspaper reporter for the New York Daily News who was a rising star until he made a mistake that derailed his career. Now he’s on the verge of the scoop of a lifetime. All he has to do is get someone to believe him.

They say you’re supposed to write about things you know – and that’s what Dick does in this book. He tries to give you an inside look at what a New York City newsroom is really like – the anxiety, the fear, the mistakes people make – not just the sanitized version you read about or see on TV or movies in a lot of other places.

The next installment in his Gil Malloy series, THE MIDNIGHT HOUR, releases February 3rd. HAPPY RELEASE DAY!midnighthour

THE MIDNIGHT HOUR (Released Feb 3rd!)

Amazon  B&N

High-profile murder, corrupt city politicians, serial killers, the press, the police—it’s all here in this novella featuring New York newspaper reporter Gil Malloy. 

Thirty years ago, a professor at a small college in Ohio came home one night, took out a butcher knife and massacred his wife and two young children. The professor was convicted for the murders and eventually executed by lethal injection. Except years later DNA evidence and other new crime detection techniques proved he was innocent. The real killer was never found.

But now – when a woman reporter at Gil Malloy’s paper is mysteriously murdered – Malloy picks up a new lead on the case that may have led to her death. He eventually uncovers long buried secrets about the decades old mass murder and how powerful people have covered up the truth. For Malloy – still haunted by mistakes as a reporter he’s made in the past – this story is a new chance for redemption. If he can live through it.


* As a celebrity journalist, he’s been cursed out by stars like Sylvester Stallone, covered everything from the tragic death of Princess Diana to Julia Roberts’ wedding and once was mistaken by Mick Jagger for Keith Richards.

* He wrote a book about O.J. Simpson lavishing praise on O.J. as a role model long before that slow, white, Bronco chase. Oops.

* Parts of THE KENNEDY CONNECTION are based on real-life historical facts mixed up with fictional elements – like creating a Lee Harvey Oswald Jr. – to write it as a thriller.

* Dick is convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald did NOT act on his own.

* Dick has been in the Texas Schoolbook Depository Building and on the Grassy Knoll. He says the Grassy Knoll offers a much better vantage point and is the logical choice for an assassin.

* No, the Gil Malloy character is not based on Dick. But Gil is definitely a compilation of different journalists from different newsrooms where Dick has worked.

* Other crime novels by R.G. Belsky include SHOOTING FOR THE STARS (releases August 2015), PLAYING DEAD (available now), and LOVERBOY (available now).

 Comment on today’s post and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win an ebook copy of THE MIDNIGHT HOUR or THE KENNEDY CONNECTION. (Winner must choose between Kindle or Nook versions via the .com Amazon or B&N websites. Check back to see if you’re a winner in the next KaT post then follow instructions on our Contact page to claim your prize.)

R.G. Belsky website

R.G. on FACEBOOK: RGBelsky

R.G. on TWITTER: @DickBel

The winner of SCORCHED by Laura Griffin is Willa! Congrats! Please use the Contact Us link above to claim your prize. 🙂

Posted on February 3, 2015, in Author Interview, Author Spotlight, Lena Diaz and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Happy release day to R.G.! It sounds like an exciting series.

  2. Happy Release Day! And the Midnight Hour sounds absolutely fabulous! I’m going to add it my TBR list. Loved the article about headless body/topless bar headline. 🙂

  3. Happy release day, R.G.! Not sure if you’re answering questions today, but if so, what got you interested in tackling the Kennedy assassination as fiction?

    • Hi, Gwen. Well, I’m one of those people who’ve always been obsessed by all the unanswered questions about what really happened on November 22, 1963. I think it’s the greatest cold case – the most baffling unsolved murder – in history. So, as a mystery writer, I decided it would be a great idea to have my character Gil Malloy try to solve it – in order to also solve a series of seemingly related murders in present day New York City. Does he do it? Well, you have to read the book to find that out!

  4. Happy release day! Your new book sounds really good. I was in 10th grade when Kennedy was shot. I also never believed that Oswald acted alone. I saw on the television when Ruby shot Oswald, and felt at that time that he was being silenced.

    Great luck with your book!

    • Thanks for stopping in Patti!

    • I have the same memories of that day as you, Patti. Just a little older…I was a freshman in college. I tried in the book to mix both the facts we know about what happened in Dallas with some fictional answers. In my book, for instance, Gil Malloy discovers a secret son of Lee Harvey Oswald who provides shocking new evidence of his father’s innocence. If you read The Kennedy Connection, please let me know your thoughts….

  5. Happy Release day! I love all conspiracy stories and have just added yours to my TBR pile. It sounds great!

    • Thanks, Sharon. Both The Midnight Hour and The Kennedy Connection involve conspiracies (different kinds) and powerful people hiding long-buried secrets. But I think they’re also a lot of fun. I try to write the kind of books I like to read myself…hopefully you and other people will enjoy them too.

  6. Congratulations and wishing you a top spot on the NYT bestseller list! These novels are right up my alley and I’m thrilled that Lena pointed your works out to us.

    How much of your daily life in the media (I mean true stories with names changed to protect the innocent) are in your works?

    • Oh, I write what I know, Sarah. And I know a lot of crazy, wild and wonderful stuff that has gone on in newsrooms. I mean I worked at the New York Post and the Daily News! The people in my Gil Malloy series aren’t real. but I think I bring a sense of a real newsroom and the real competition for a big story to the books. I’ve met a lot of Gil Malloys along the way.

  7. So glad you’re here with us today, Dick.

    I’ve been on the grassy knoll and it’s absolutely chilling. Just a tiny patch of grass alongside a busy road in Dallas. The spot is usually bathed in sunlight, but the past makes it gloomy instead. In other words, the perfect place for a thriller.

    Wishing you much success on release day!

    • Diana, I was incredibly moved by my first visit to Dealey Plaza last year. The most amazing thing was how ordinary it all was. I mean this grassy knoll I’d heard about all my life was just a little patch of grass, as you say. It made me wonder even more how such a tragedy and history changing moment could have happened there. I’ve spent most of my life wondering about the unanswered questions to the JFK assassination. After all this time, we’ll probably never know for sure. Which is why I decided to write The Kennedy Connection, a mystery fiction book about it…and why I created an imaginary Lee Harvey Oswald Jr.

  8. I’ve emailed Dick to see if he can stop by and answer questions. Hopefully he can. Thank you all for reading the post today.

    • Thanks, Lena! It was great meeting all these people here and being on your site. Happy to keep the dialogue going with anyone who’s interested – especially after they’ve read the books.

  9. I’m just surprised no one asked me about Mick Jagger mistaking me for Keith Richards. My greatest celebrity moment ever!

    • Ha! I’ll take the bait. Were you undercover on a story? Give us the details!

      • I was hanging out at a music club in Manhattan many years ago (I used to do that when i was younger), and someone said Mick Jagger might show up there that night. I didn’t really believe it.

        Then at some point I went into the men’s room (yes, the men’s room!) and while I was there someone suddenly came up behind me and put their head on my shoulder. Not a cool thing to do in a men’s room. i whirled around angrily and found myself face to face with Mick Jagger. He was like inches from my face. Mick laughed and said to me, “And tonight’s mystery guest is…”

        Then he stared hard at me for a second (I think he’d been partying very hard) and said: “Oh, sorry, mate, I thought you were Keith,”

        I’ve never been sure whether being mistaken for Keith Richards by Mick Jagger was a compliment or not!

        • Well I can’t say that I expected it to be in the men’s room! LOL. Thanks for sharing. It’s been awesome having you here. I hope you’ve had a fantastic release day!

  10. Wow, fascinating post, Lena. Welcome and happy release day to RG!

  11. Thanks, Carey. It was great fun to be here.

  12. Congratulations to the February 3rd winners! To claim your prizes, please go to Contact Us and complete the form.

    The Kennedy Connection–Maureen

    The Midnight Hour–Patti Straight

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