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50 years in 50 weeks: 1985, Dan White kills self

by BAR staff

Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive  

Seven years after he shot and killed gay San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone, the end came for Dan White when he died by suicide October 21, 1985 in the garage of his family's home in the Excelsior district. As our October 24 issue reports, White had only been paroled in January of that year, after serving five and a half years in prison and a year of parole. (The lenient sentence, after a jury convicted him of manslaughter instead of first-degree murder, led to riots in San Francisco in May 1979.) White's death left many with a feeling of "completion," as gay then-supervisor Harry Britt told the Bay Area Reporter. "The trial left such a sense of unfinished business with justice left hanging," Britt, who died last year, added. To view the issue, click here.

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