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Gay History Month- October 21, 1985: Dan White The Man Who Murdered Harvey Milk Commits Suicide – Read His Full Confession

Dan White and Harvey Milk

October 21, 1985Dan White, the man who murdered both Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, commits suicide.

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay individual to be elected to office in California. White a fellow San Francisco supervisor assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Milk, on Monday, November 27, 1978, at San Francisco’s City Hall.  In a controversial verdict that led to the coining of the legal slang the”Twinkie Defense,” White was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder. White served five years of an only seven-year prison sentence.

White’s release was carried out with great secrecy. The afternoon before his scheduled release, he was transferred 200 miles south to a facility in the Tehachapi mountains north of Los Angeles. The next morning, he was handed over to the Los Angeles Parole Department which had arranged for an apartment for him somewhere in LA. He was given $200 in cash, the standard amount given to released prisoners. The press was given no information other than that White had been secretly released and his parole was not to exceed one year. White remained in hiding for a period of nine months During that period, he contacted his old friend, San Francisco Detective Frank Falzon, whom he had not talked to since the trial. White invited Falzon to join him in L.A., saying that he wanted to explain the whole thing.

Falzon claimed that at that meeting, White confessed that not only was his killing of Moscone and Milk premeditated, but that he had actually planned to kill Carol Silver and Willie Brown as well. Falzon quoted White as having said, “I was on a mission. I wanted the four of them. Carol Ruth Silver, she was the biggest snake … and Willie Brown, he was masterminding the whole thing. (Meaning his not being to withdraw his resignation from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.)

Less than two years after his release, Dan White returned to San Francisco, methodically taped a garden hose to the tailpipe of his car , stuck the other end through a car window, turned on the ignition and died. In his hands, he clutched photographs of his three children and his wife.

Dan White did not kill himself out of guilt.  He did it because his killing Harvey Milk was going to follow him for the rest of his entire life.

Scott Smith, Milk’s lover and business partner, said he was “stunned” by White’s death but not upset. “He got away with murder,” Smith said. “I suppose what goes around comes around.”

Many refer to Dan White even today as ” The most hated man in San Francisco’s history.” 

And rightfully so.

Please take a few minutes to read Dan White’s confession to the murder of  Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk. Also watch the video below: Dan White News Footage Of Arrest, Trial & The White Night Riots.

Continue reading Gay History Month- October 21, 1985: Dan White The Man Who Murdered Harvey Milk Commits Suicide – Read His Full Confession