- Category : 1946-births
- Type : PE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Migration 2
American homicide, a disgruntled former City of San Francisco employee who shot Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk on 11/27/1978, 10:45 AM PST. A married man with three kids, he had been refused when he asked for a raise and piqued, quit his job. Milk, an openly gay civil servant, was hired in his place. White's crime left shockwaves that caused riot and reform, made and broke political careers in a city with a huge gay population and strong feelings about sexual lifestyles.
The son of an Irish-American fireman, White was a square-jawed Army vet, an ex-cop and fireman who had been awarded two commendations for heroism. He represented the blue-collar conservative with his seat on San Francisco's Board of Supervisors and in his campaign for office had promised that he would not be forced out of office by "splinter groups of radicals, social deviates and incorrigibles."
When White found that his financial picture was tight, supporting a family on a supervisor's $9,600-a-year salary, he had resigned. When he changed his mind, Mayor Moscone would not re-admit him. Convinced that Moscone had unjustly prevented his reinstatement, White slipped into City Hall through a basement window and calmly put five hollow-point .38 slugs into Moscone. He then reloaded, walked across the hall and killed his fellow supervisor, Milk.
The case was argued by the now-famous "twinkie defense." White's attorney told the jury that his depressed client was possessed of "diminished capacity" at the time of the crime due to imbalance brought on by junk food and sugar excess. The jury apparently agreed as they convicted White on the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. A mob of 5,000 San Franciscans, mostly gay, stormed City Hall in protest, causing a million-dollars of damage.
White served five years in prison and was released on 1/06/1984. About a year and a half later, haunted by death-threats, unable to get a job and severely depressed, White committed suicide by sitting in a running car that was parked in a garage; he died of carbon monoxide poisoning on 10/21/1985, San Francisco, CA.