Publishers Note: One crime and the ensuing cover-up that the Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption did nothing about was the mass murder by firebombing of the Whiskey Au Go Go and related murders. Police involvement in these crimes made such investigation impossible.
It just goes to show what a dangerous place Queensland was in the 1970s! WBT does not post crime stories. However firebombing of the Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub in Fortitude Valley demonstrates the cross-over between the criminal and political is blurred in Queensland of the 1970s.
“Two petty crims, Stuart and Finch, were charged with firebombing the Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub in Fortitude Valley in 1973. They claimed to have been verballed by police and the firebombing was an attempt at extortion with police involved. Fifteen patrons and workers at the club were killed in the fire. Two musicians from a band called Trinity were also lost. Many people escaped by jumping from broken windows onto an awning and dropping 15 feet to the ground” – from Trifecta at 608 Brunswick Street, Ian Curr.
One of the police who arrested and verballed petty crims, Stuart and Finch, that led to their conviction was Det. Patrick Glancy. This was the same police officer who later arrested Senator George Georges at a democratic rights rally on the 30 October 1978 described in the SMH article below.
Corrupt police like Glancy were often the ones most involved in political arrests. Det. Glancy also arrested me on 31st March 1978 in a street march for democratic rights, but that is another story.
The front page photo shows Qld senator George Georges arrested by Det Pat Glancy on 30 October 1978. Federal MP Tom Uren is is held by Qld police behind Senator Georges. Det Pat Glancy is on Georges right.
Tony Reeves account is supported by a signed statement by William Stokes (former editor of Port News) which I have posted in the comments section below.
But to provide an introduction, I found this reference in Crime and Mayhem … published in that beacon of light and liberty, the Courier Mail:
“Billy Stokes, editor of the Port News, christened them this, after the name of the novel by Anthony Burgess; they wore bowler hats, carried canes and rode Harley-Davidsons. They had evolved from the Mongrel Mob, some of whose early members were convicted in 1966 of the bashing and sexual assault of a young man and his girlfriend. They had shoved a bottle into his anus and beaten her very badly. They were given lenient sentences, in part due to the fact that the corrupt Queensland detective Tony Murphy had spoken up for them. When they got out of jail, he took some of them under his wing.”
The cross-over of criminal and political is blurred in most accounts I have read in the mainstream media.
Remembering the ‘Whiskey Au Go Go’ Massacre
Today my brother Sean & I joined survivors & others in gathering at Whiskey Au Go Go site in Brisbane on the 42nd. anniversary of the massacre of 15 people. That it has taken 42 years for a memorial stone to be laid is reflective on the depth of cover up of these killings. The largest massacre (non indigenous) in Australia at that time was quickly covered up by the corrupt Queensland Police Force.
We were surprised to discover one of the Whiskey Au Go Go survivors is Donna Phillips, the daughter of Joyce who accompanied us on many protests in Brisbane over the last 40 years. This is a recent interview with Donna, well worth reading. Donna has never been formally interviewed by the police
http://tinyurl.com/qg3w6nc [PN: Excellent story by Tony Moore with a video interview of one of the workers at the Whiskey on the night of the firebombing.
The Whiskey Au Go Go massacre was an expression of the police corruption & authoritarian Queensland state we grew up in is encapsulated in the iconic song Pig City :
“The poor tell us who we are, The prophets tell us who we could be, So we hide the poor, And kill the prophets.” – Phil Berrigan