Breaking news was Duffy Jennings’ bread and butter as a Chronicle reporter in the turbulent 1970s, when the Bay Area exploded with one major story after another. His assignments included political assassinations, serial murders, major fires, gangland crime, labor union strife, city government news and more.

Duffy’s front page coverage included the 1978 city hall killings, the shocking trial of Dan White, the Zebra murders, the Patty Hearst kidnap, taunting letters from the Zodiac killer, and life as an embedded reporter with fire fighters and homicide detectives.


Dan White Trial

Mayor Dianne Feinstein, whose testimony at the trial reduced the stone-faced White to tears, greeted the verdicts with “disbelief.”


Dan White Cover

The Chronicle’s front page from May 22, 1979, covers the verdict in the trial of Dan White, the former supervisor who shot dead two of the city’s top officials.


Beyond the deadline urgency of breaking news, Duffy Jennings also thrives on feature stories. He enjoys writing about celebrities, athletes and other compelling personalities, social trends, small town controversies and historical events.

People and topics he’s written about include Motown star Smokey Robinson, actor Adam Goldberg, NBC golf announcer Roger Maltbie, disco fever, singles bars, a gay wedding in 1971 and a retrospective on the fortunes and failures of his high school classmates.


Smokey Robinson

“Like I said, I’m for humanity first. I don’t care if a guy’s black, blue, white or orange.” He smiles. “Anybody who’s not a bigot is cool with me.”



Wolfe — a rookie cop who’d never even seen marijuana – slipped quietly into San Francisco’s seamy underworld as an undercover nar­cotics officer.


Draft Lottery

A crowd of students gathered around a posted list of the numbers. Occasionally a yelp of “Hey, I’m way down at the bottom!” could be heard above the chatter.


As a Major League Baseball team front office executive for a dozen years, Duffy Jennings looks back on a number of unique experiences, including major news events and behind-the-scenes experiences with players, managers, executives, Hall of Famers, broadcasters and others inside the game.

Among them are the earthquake-interrupted 1989 World Series, working with Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Dave Dravecky, the contentious sale of the Giants in 1992 and even hitting a home run out of Candlestick Park himself.