ON THE RUN IN JAIL : WILLIAM STOKES (1974)
This week the people of Queensland have been amazed with the arrest of two men in relation to the disappearance of Barbara McCulkin and her two daughters in 1974. This 40 year old cold case suddenly appears close to having a solution. One line of inquiry pursued by Police to explain why Mrs McCulkin and her children were murdered, was that she had valuable knowledge relating to the Whiskey Au Go Go night club bombing. Another person who claimed to have inside knowledge was Billy Stokes.
37 years ago the Sunday Sun Newspaper published a story titled “ON THE RUN IN JAIL”. Prison officials were forced to transfer an inmate from Boggo Road to Wacol Prison following a confrontation with the Whiskey Au Go Go killer John Andrew Stuart.
In an incredible twist William Stokes, a staunch supporter of Stuart’s innocence turned on Stuart and labelled him as a killer. In February 1975 Billy Stokes published an account of the firebombing of the Whiskey Au Go Go Nightclub in Port News – which he claimed the crime was carried out by a group of criminals known as the “Clock Work Orange Gang”. As editor of this Brisbane publication Stokes used the magazine to publish strongly worded articles supporting the innocence of John Andrew Stuart and James Finch – the two men convicted of the firebombing in which 15 people died.
Hear what Stokes had to say on Australia’s longest running true crime show “True Crimes” – presented by Jack Sim on 4BC Nights with Walter Williams. Thursday evenings 9.35pm on Radio 4BC.