They were rightly jailed for life, although Finch eventually conned his way out of jail.
Stuart knew that the fire was planned for some time close to 2.08 am
on 8 January 1973, but no later than 2.15 am.
He held the knowledge that the Torino would be firebombed first,
followed by the Whiskey. Stuart even told Bolton on 13 January that
the first bombing would occur in about five weeks, which is within a
week of when the Torino went up in smoke.
He had the knowledge that there was only ever one target; the Whiskey, with Stuart later tossing in the name of Chequers (also bankrupt) to camouflage the fact it was all about a single club.
John Stuart set up his alibi thus. He walked in to the Flamingo nightclub. He asks bouncer Quick for the time. Quick had to phone the Postmaster-General’s Department as he did not have a watch available. It was 2.15 am. Looking for a second witness Stuart then asks the owner for the time and Yasse also responds it is 2.15 am.
There was no good reason why Finch returned to Australia (paid for by Stuart) just prior to the fire. To work on an oil rig was ludicrous. If he was innocent, why had Finch gone into hiding after the fire? Why had he hidden his passport in a children’s toy? Why was he using a false name? He had a solid track record of lighting fires. There were no innocent answers.
Finch has recently said, ‘I’m willing to still take a lie-detector test to say I never made that confession in the room.’ He speaks the truth as he was ‘verballed’.
Note how careful his wording is. He would take a lie detector test regarding the false confession but not of his involvement in the crime. That is because he did murder 15 innocents.