Staten Island Web logo



NEWS FLASH Robert Sheridan bobsheridan bobsheridan@earthlink.net I doubt Twinkies would be as famous as they are without the boost they got outa San Francisco, where I happens to reside, direct from FawCawnahs, StatNisland.

Here's da story.

Along about 1978 we had a mayor George Moscone and a supervisor, Harvey Milk. George was a jock, Harvey was gay.
We also had as a supervisor a hot-head of ex-cop, Dan White, who if he'd come from StatNisland, woulda come from Oakville or some other place where the train only stopped so often.

Dan quit the Board of Supes job, to which he'd been duly elected over some point of principle, no one remembers what.

That gave George the Mayor the chance to appoint someone else, which was a plum appointment, worth a lot of votes come the next election. So he was thinkin' who to appoint when whaddya think happens.

Dan White, after causing this big stir, decides resignin' was a big mistake. All his constituents are calling and saying what have you done, now we don't have anyone to vote our way. So Dan goes to see Moscone hoping to get reappointed. Only George isn't in a reappointing mood and tells Dan to get...lost.

Dan figures Harvey tunneled his chances, as Dan is a big anti-Gay.

So he ruminates, which is a bad thing for an ex-cop jock to do. He gets depressed. He figures the world is out to screw him. Especially that mayor, George Moscone, and that fag-supervisor Harvey Milk. I'm using White's thought-words.

So White doesn't sleep and he doesn't eat and his wife and kid don't know what's going on because who knows what goes on in the mind and heart of someone else.

Dan eats a lot of high sugar foods, including Twinkies, no real food, and then pockets his former service revolver, a .38 special, if I remember right.

He goes to City Hall, which has a metal detector, and climbs in a side window. He goes up to George's office, where he may or may not have demanded his old job back and doesn't get it, and empties his revolver into our duly elected mayor, murdering him.

He then reloads and walks down the corridor of the really magnificent City Hall we have here and seeks out Harvey Milk, the supervisor. Murders him next.

White then flees and then surrenders to an old buddy of his on the Homicide Detail. White confesses to what he did and why he did it.

The president of the Board of Supes, Diane Feinstein, announces in a shaking voice, to the public, that the mayor has been murdered and a supervisor, Dan White, done it and has been arrested. She later gets elected Mayor, then Senator, and you watch.

White gets tried for murder of two people. He's got a motive and he's emptied his gun into one guy and reloaded and murdered the other because he's gay and thwarted, White believes, his chance to get reappointed to a post he'd resigned.

Doug Schmidt, my co-counsel on the recent Foxglove case, was hired to represent Dan White, on the strength of his representation in the not-so-long-before-concluded Golden Dragon Massacre case, in which I represented the lead defendant, who had yet to come to trial. (I hung the jury on the alleged mastermind of five murders and eleven woundings after two, count 'em, changes of venue.)

Doug puts on a shrink who testifies that Dan White had a genuine case of clinical depression as shown by a lot of strange behavior including eating Twinkies instead of real food.

The press picked up on the word Twinkies and called it the Twinkies defense.

When the jury walked White on two murders, finding him guilty of a couple of manslaughters instead, on the basis of something called "diminished capacity," since outlawed, as a result of this case, the press had a field day. "The Twinkies Defense" was ridiculed up and down the land. Doug got death threats and the law was changed. No more Twinkies defenses.

Dan White went to the joint for about three years, was released, and committed suicide.

His kid went to school with my kid, who says that when they played ball at the Moscone Playground, named after the murdered mayor, the other kids would make jokes. Not very funny jokes, kids being kids.

So that's my Twinkies contribution. I've had a ring-side seat to some interesting doins, which is pretty good for a kid from FawCawnahs, StatNisland.

-rs



Staten Island WebŪ Forums Index.