Death of Azaria Chamberlain
Azaria Chamberlain (11 June 1980 – 17 August 1980) was an Australian baby who was born in Mount Isa, Queensland, and went missing in 1980 near Ayers Rock, Northern Territory, Australia. The family were camping in a tent at the base of the rock. Her mother, Lindy Chamberlain, said that she had been taken by a dingo and killed. Police said that Lindy Chamberlain had murdered the baby and had lied about the dingo. After a long trial which was reported around the world, Chamberlain was convicted of murder and sent to jail. Chamberlain kept arguing that she was innocent. When some of the baby's clothes were found three years later near a dingo's den, the case was reopened. After a long legal battle which involved three inquests, three appeals and a royal commission, she was released. In 2012, a fourth inquest found that Azaria had been taken by a dingo, and the death certificate has now been changed to show this. The inquest noted that there had been other dingo attacks in the region.
Lindy Chamberlain was released from jail on February 7 1986, but not cleared until September 15 1988, at which time Lindy and Michael (her husband) were declared innocent of all charges. She and Michael were divorced on June 27 1991. She met Rick Creighton on a speaking tour of the United States in February 1992 and married him on December 20 1992.
Azaria in popular culture[change | change source]
The disappearance of Azaria became one of the most argued about events in Australia. Many people thought that a dingo would be unable to kill a baby. This meant that the mother must have lied. People in Australia say "a dingo stole my baby" as a joke, when they think someone is lying. After a dingo killed a nine-year-old boy on Fraser Island in 2001, people have had to rethink their beliefs about dingos.
Author John Bryson wrote a book about the case, called Evil Angels. This was later made into a movie called Evil Angels and starred Meryl Streep and Sam Neill. The movie was released in other countries as A Cry in the Dark.
In 2005, a woman called Erin Horsburgh said that she was really Azaria Chamberlain and wanted police to do a DNA test to check. But police said that the woman was lying and they did not need to check. This created interest in the media, but there was no truth to the story.
References[change | change source]
- Linder, Douglas (2005). "The Lindy Chamberlain (Dingo) Trial of 1981-2". Famous Trials. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTrials/chamberlain/chamberlainhome.html. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
- Marks, Kathy (6 May 2001). "Fear of the dingo returns to Australia in wake of boy's death". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/fear-of-the-dingo-returns-to-australia-in-wake-of-boys-death-683861.html. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
- "Azaria Chamberlain death blamed on dingo: coroner". theage.com.au. 12 June 2012. http://www.theage.com.au/national/dingo-to-blame-for-azarias-death-coroner-20120612-206wo.html. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
- "A dingo ate their ethics". Mediawatch. ABC. 26 September 2005. http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s1468444.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-15.