Gayslayer! The Story of How Dan White Killed Harvey Milk and George Moscone & Got Away With Murder
Virginia City, NV: Silver Dollar Books, 1985. First edition. Signed and inscribed by Hinckle on the half-title. Perfect-bound in printed wraps; 8 x 8.75 in., 100pp. Illustrated throughout in black-and-white, with twelve pages of full-color images. In very near fine condition, with a small soft crease to the top front corner.
Additionally, laid-in is a xeroxed flyer (8.5 x 11 in., folded once horizontally) announcing a speaking engagement at Valencia Books in San Francisco, part of Hinckle's unsuccessful mayoral campaign of 1987. Hinckle has signed the flyer next to the drawing of himself and his beloved hound dog, Bentley.
Hinckle (1938-2016) was a political journalist who first came to prominence as editor of Ramparts in the late 1960s, steering the traditionally Catholic magazine towards an increasingly progressive antiwar stance. Hinckle left Ramparts in 1969 to co-found the short-lived Scanlan's Monthy, where he championed an early career Hunter S. Thompson, pairing him with illustrator Ralph Steadman to produce what is acknowledged as the first work of Gonzo journalism, a debauched take-down of the Kentucky Derby.
Hinckle's subsequent career saw him work as an influential columnist for various San Francisco newspapers, while pursuing an equally iconic career as one of the city's most inveterate barflies. With his larger-than-life personality, often outlandish personal style, and characteristic eyepatch (he lost his left eye in a childhood archery accident), he earned a place as one of San Francisco's most recognizable local celebrities.
Gayslayer! is Hinckle's outraged account of the 1978 assassination of city supervisor Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone by Dan White. A jury notoriously failed to convict White of murder, instead finding him guilty of manslaughter charges for which he served only five years in jail. White committed suicide in 1985, two years after his release, and the same year as the publication of Gayslayer!