The Twinkie Murder trial of Harvey Milk's killer


#1

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#2

Powerful story, thank you. It’s still easy to reflect 3 decades later and still see the same disturbing trends mirrored in today’s society.


#3

Damn right, any excuse to acquit those we like, if only the justice were equal.
Yet those we don’t like are sent though a bizarro legal process where unreasonable charges are brought and the choice must be made between risking state execution or hundreds of years in prison for an accused yet innocent person or accept a guilty plea deal and waiver of all rights.
The thin blue line protects the thin blue line, even if that means sometimes fighting crime.
(btw ‘we’ means general society)


#4

Well there is a sorta happy ending, He killed himself a few years after getting out of prison. If he had done things in reverse order it would have worked out better.


#5

Dan White is an curious outlier in history—he’s the only person I can think of who assassinated an iconic civil rights leader for reasons that (apparently) weren’t directly related to that civil rights issue. If the murders had been about homophobia he probably would have gunned down Milk before killing Moscone. I was impressed the 2008 film [Milk][1] got that right since Hollywood often tends to oversimplify that sort of thing.

Would White have gotten off with such a ridiculously light sentence if not for the homophobia in wider society? That’s another question. Certainly most of those assholes chanting “Free Dan White” probably would have let White fry if he’d stopped after killing Moscone.
[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_(film)


#6

To anyone planning a Murder/Suicide, I’d always advocate trying the Suicide first, and, if that goes okay, then move on to the murder.


#7

I half expect something similar to happen in New York City given the current political environment there.


#8

There’s an important factoid missing from most accounts of these murders. After his abrupt resignation from the Board of Supervisors, a lot of people pressured Dan White to get his job back. Police officials and other right-wingers, and Dianne Feinstein. It is reported someplace that she was on the phone to him over the weekend before that Monday morning. She was ready to quit politics and these murders catapulted her onto the national stage. Not that she could have known, but she was White’s biggest ally on a very contentious board, just after district elections had been instituted. I knew Harvey just well enough for him to always gently say, “I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten your name.” And I’ve hated DiFi ever since.


#9

I was born in SF in '75…lived here ever since. I’ve seen some things…but I can only imagine what the City must have been like in that turbulent decade. The cons are well documented: zebra, zodiac, Jim Jones, Dan White, SLA etc. On the other hand no AIDS, cheap rent and ample parking must have been nice.


#10

:’( That’s kind of beautiful.


#11

Read the book Season of the Witch by David Talbot. It’s exactly what you want and it’s brilliant.


#12

That book is like the worst greatest hits of the decade. I was living in the Castro and Duboce triangle going to college and all those things were little more than background noise. (Except the Milk/Moscone murders).

Season of the witch is tabloid writing at its worst.


#13

The things in the book were all issues that preoccupied the city government, front-page news not only in the city but nation wide. Going to school and buying food at the store and watching TV at home may be 95% of what goes on in every city, but the things in the book are what made San Francisco unique.

Where do you think the societal pressures that created Dan White came from? How can you explain him without hippies and drugs and gay liberation and development conflict and People’s Temple and the other things the book talks about? You can’t just go “doesn’t concern me, doesn’t concern me, doesn’t concern me, hey, the Mayor was killed! That came out of nowhere!”.


#14

I was just a couple of blocks away, taking a test for my commercial mover’s license at the P.U.C. I couldn’t stop taking the test to find out what was going on, but all Hell was breaking loose and every siren in The City was being used.


#15

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