ABOVE: Google Earth image of Laramba, a bush settlement north-west of Alice Springs. The killings happened in the vicinity. BELOW: One of the convicted, Travis Gibson. Having had his jaw broken was one of the triggers of the drunken payback raid.
Five out of six were drunk on the night.
One out of six is a reformed heavy drinker, sober on the night.
Two out of six are alcoholics.
Four out of six had parents who were alcoholics or heavy drinkers.
Two out of six are married to alcoholics and these couples have had children.
The two victims of the six were drunk at the time of their deaths.
In the evening of December 22, 2009 six men left Alice Springs in a red Ford Falcon, bound for Laramba, a small settlement of some 300 people, around 200 kilometres to the north-west. Four of the men were armed: one had a large military-style knife, another a tyre iron, and two had nulla nullas (clubs). They were also travelling with grog: on a trip that takes around two and a half hours, they drank one and a half cartons of VB beer and a cask of Moselle between them, all but the driver. This was on top of grog that at least some of them had consumed during the day.
There was a purpose to the trip: the six intended to confront men at Laramba over a long-running dispute between their family, the Gibsons, and the Dixon-Stafford family. In particular, they were going to look for brothers Adrian and Watson Dixon and another person, who were seen as responsible for the assault on one of the Gibsons some months before, breaking his jaw.
By midnight two men in Laramba, not the Dixon brothers, were dead, as a result of stabbings to the thigh. KIERAN FINNANE reports.