Fatal nightclub fire remembered

Fifteen people died in the firebomb attack on Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub on March 8, 1973, in one of the biggest mass murder in Australia at that time. Three days later John Andrew Stuart and James Richard Finch were arrested and later convicted for murder, after what is now believed to be manufactured evidence and a concocted confession by Finch.

Family, friends and those who wanted to pay tribute to those affected by the death of the fifteen killed at Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub gathered on the corner of Amelia St and St Paul’s Terrace in Fortitude Valley.

Rev Len Donaldson had sent out an invite for the memorial service where he warmly welcomed anyone who wanted to come pay tribute to everyone affected by this tragedy. He was joined by award-winning true crime author Tony Reeves and health care professional Danny Stuart, the authors of a book that will shed new light on the murder conviction of John Andrew Stuart and James Richard Finch.

Danny Stuart, who was thirteen at the time of the attack and is the nephew of John Andrew Stuart, told everyone at the service that his father, Daniel Stuart, was known by the police and because of that was an easy target to make him give an alleged false testimony to pin the firebombing of the nightclub on his brother. Danny, thanks to having a good memory for detail, has been able to assist Tony Reeves with the research for their book, seeking the truth of what really happened at the nightclub that day.

Tony Reeves talked about the evidence that he has come across regarding the event, which will be further discussed in their book. When the book is published it will hopefully re-open the case to allow the truth to come forth.

Tony Reeves understands that it might be painful for those involved, but hopes that the truth will have a healing effect on the family and friends of those fifteen whom died, finally knowing what truly happened.

Rev Len Donaldson gave a service where he read out the names of the fifteen people who died from this tragic event, releasing a white dove for each name read out.

The book by Tony Reeves and Danny Stuart is under consideration by a publisher, and it is hoped it will be released later this year.

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