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White Lie?

In 1979, a city employee named Dan White went on a rampage and killed San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in City Hall.

During the ensuing murder trial, White's attorney, Douglas Schmidt, presented a remarkable defense: His client's behavior had been caused by an overdose -- of Twinkies!

Psychiatrist Martin Blinder testified that White had eaten so many Twinkies that their high sugar content had resulted in sufficiently "diminished mental capacity" to account for the killings.

The verdict? To the dismay of the prosecution, the jury agreed and convicted White of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

[In legal circles, this outrageous argument is still referred to as the "Twinkie Defense."]

[While managing the Continental Bakeries' Chicago factory, James Dewar devised the "Twinkie" to employ thousands of shortcake pans which were otherwise needed only during the strawberry season. The five-cent snacks were called 'Little Shortcake Fingers' until Dewar noticed a sign in a shoe factory one day: "Home of Twinkle Toe Shoes" it read, and the snacks soon had a new name.]

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