The Twinkie Defense Myth: How Dan White, Harvey Milk's Murderer, Got Off Easy

By Cyn Felthousen-Post
Dan White and Twinkies. Sources: Bettmann / Contributor / Getty Images; Wikimedia Commons

Can a diet of Twinkies lead to murder? If you buy the "Twinkie defense" that Dan White's murder trial made famous, then the answer is a firm maybe. On November 27, 1978, White killed the progressive San Francisco mayor George Moscone and the gay San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk. His guilt was not in question, but this was a capital case, which put the defense in a bit of a bind in determining how to defend White, inevitably using a "diminished capacity" defense.