AUDIO: Never Before Heard Confession of Dan White, Murderer of Harvey Milk and George Moscone (1978)

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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2 Responses

  1. That was one of the most painful and sad 25 minutes that I think I have ever spent. After almost 35 years and so many horrendous mass murders in this country we still have not learned anything about gun violence. I am disturbed that I almost feel sorry for White after listening to that. I wonder if this tragedy, along with Stonewall and HIV, wasn’t a seminal moment in the gay rights movement. Would we be where we are today without these three incidents? White was a tragic evil man. He does not deserve sympathy. But I do feel we have not learned anything in the years that have passed. Thank you NRA and thank you to the Twinkie defense. Oh, and the outcome of the court case led to the elimination of California’s “diminished capacity” law.

    Now I need to look for something fun to lift my spirits. Thank you for sharing Will.

  2. Will, Weiss is full of shit. First, the tape was available and broadcast decades ago. Portions of it were aired on KSFO Radio, where I was a reporter and news anchor, when it was first made available. (At the time, KSFO was the very definition of mainstream media, not the knuckle-dragging dogma yodeler is is today. I was also one of the first four members of the production team working on the documentary that would later become The Times of Harvey Milk.) Second, White was too stupid to have a longer-range agenda. He killed George Moscone because Moscone changed his mind about reappointing him to the Board of Supervisors. White’s primary income was from his Hot Potato stand at Pier 39. Boss Warren Simmons yanked the lease when White resigned from the board. Without that board seat, White was destitute. White killed Milk because he said Harvey smirked. Of that, I have no doubt. The police interrogation of White (“Tell us about the pressures you’re under, Dan,” or words to that effect) was scandalous to most San Franciscans at the time, gay and straight. The jury let White off with precisely the verdict his attorney had requested, not because they thought he didn’t do it (as they later commented), but because they believed the inept prosecution had failed to show a motive. Warren Simmons remained in the shadows. Greil Marcus wrote that the City Hall murders, coming soon after Jonestown, “hung like a hologram over San Francisco.” That image in that hologram was Pier 39.

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