Jennings, Duffy: Day of assassination and White's trial


Duffy Jennings


Jennings: The day of the assassination was a very traumatic day for a lot of people and we can go through this but just tell you quickly if you want to do this. I was back in there main office as a general site reporter when the when the word came in and I was sent up there with a photographer to cover the story see what was going on. So all this chaos ensued and now this police and there's reporters and there's people everywhere and you know that the day's events are unfolding, but for a long time nobody really knew what had happened for sure. There were rumors that there'd been shots in the mayor's office and there’d been shots in the supervisors’ offices, but there was no confirmation of any of this until the moment that Dianne Feinstein comes out to make this announcement. You've seen that footage. Even two years ago, when I had lunch with Diane two years ago, and she did some press around the thirtieth anniversary, three years ago now I guess, the thirtieth anniversary that was first time she'd ever talked about it. But she had said on several occasions and she said, “when I stood up there and made that announcement, the only thing I can remember is looking straight into Duffy Jennings’ eyes and focusing on him. He's tall, he has blue eyes and I needed to find a place to just focus.” [She said], “I'll never forget this as long as I live,” and she's told the story many times. Because there's twenty, twenty five reporters standing around and she comes out with Chief Gein(?) on her side, on one side, and the other side is Peter Nardoza(?) who just passed away recently. And she makes that statement and turns around and walks back. But we sort of had this moment in time connection there that both of us just knew there was something there. That’s not relevant to George necessarily but that's the only other kind of vivid memory that I often have and share with people about covering the Moscone tragedy. Now I should also tell you that when Dan White went to trial, there were two reporters allowed inside the bullet proof glass at the court house. It was myself and Jim Wood. I don’t know if you remember Jim Wood, he was an Examiner reporter who was married to a writer named Carol Poegash(?) and he later became the Examiners food editor. But Jim and I were the only ones allowed inside that glass so it kind of leaves me like the only living guy who, you know, who'd been really close in on all of these events over a period of time. So I figure I gotta hang around a lot longer


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The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives, University of the Pacific Library

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