The Whiskey Au Go Go Massacre: Murder, Arson and the Crime of the Century

Publication Date: 
Monday, June 11, 2018

This is a work of non-fiction. The quoted conversations are taken verbatim from police eyewitness statements, court transcripts, coroners’ reports and other archival material. Unless otherwise stated, the narrative is based on the original police murder-investigation files.

The Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub massacre was a defining moment in 1970s Australia: the ‘horrific epicentre of all the crime and filth, the corruption and deaths that came before and followed that tragic night in March 1973, when 15 innocent people lost their lives’. Despite the quick arrest and subsequent conviction of John Stuart and his sidekick, James Finch, the ashes have never stopped smouldering. Rumours have swirled around that horror-filled night for decades: were Stuart and Finch framed? Were others involved? Were further atrocities committed to hide the truth behind the outrage? For decades it was impossible to uncover the truth behind the tragedy. That changed in 2012, when the author had the privilege of being the first person to view the files created by the original lead detectives. These files reveal what occurred prior to, during, and after the conflagration. They reveal unsettling facts. They reveal that the full story of that night has never been told – until now.

Author: 
Geoff Plunkett

Geoff is a researcher and historian at the Department of Defence, Australia.

He has been researching Australia's chemical warfare history for over twenty years and is the author of 'Chemical Warfare in Australia' and 'Chemical Warfare Agent Sea Dumping off Australia', both published by the Department of Defence.

The research has led to the unearthing of hundreds of lethal phosgene bombs at the old chemical warfare headquarters at Marrangaroo. It featured in the History Channel's 'Cities of the Underworld' and on the ABC news.

Geoff's second and third books were published in November 2014. 'Death by Mustard Gas' is a devastating expose of military deceit while 'Let the Bums Burn' relates Australia's deadliest building fire where 30 men were incinerated.

His latest is a devastating expose on the Whiskey Au Go Go mass murder massacre in 1973.