Azaria Chamberlain case: dingo dog took the baby and caused her death
A dingo dog took baby Azaria Chamberlain from a campsite in 1980 and caused her death, an Australian coroner finally rules after 32 years.
The decision was made after Azaria Chamberlain’s parents presented new evidence to try to clear their names.
After the eight week-old baby went missing, they were charged with her disappearance. Her mother was convicted of her murder.
She was released when evidence matched the dingo story but doubts lingered.
They have long argued that the open verdict recorded after an earlier review of the case left room for doubt about Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton’s innocence.
”Obviously we are relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga,” Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton told reporters outside the courthouse.
”No longer will Australia be able to say that dingoes are not dangerous,” she added.
“We live in a beautiful country but it is dangerous.”
Speaking after her, Michael Chamberlain, the baby’s father, said ”the truth is out”.
He was with his ex-wife at the Darwin courthouse for the verdict.
”Now, some healing and a chance to put our daughter’s spirit to rest.”
The Northern Territory coroner Elizabeth Morris delivered an emotional verdict, asking baby Azaria Chamberlain’s parents to accept her ”sincere sympathy” for the loss.
”Time does not remove the pain and sadness of the death of a child,” Elizabeth Morris said.
She added that a death certificate was now available for the parents and the final findings could be found on the coroners office website.
Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton has campaigned tirelessly to have dingoes officially blamed for the death of her child.
Earlier this year, the Chamberlains gave evidence to a coroner in Darwin recording a series of other attacks by dingoes on humans.
Virtually ever since Azaria Chamberlain vanished from her tent near Uluru (Ayers Rock) in 1980, Australia has been engrossed by the question of whether she was taken by a dingo.
In 1982, Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton was found guilty of her baby’s murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, while Michael Chamberlain was found guilty of being an accessory.
Both were later exonerated on all charges, after the chance discovery of a fragment of Azaria Chamberlain’s clothing in an area dotted with dingo lairs.
It was a case that divided Australians and was even turned into the film A Cry In The Dark, starring Meryl Streep.
Three previous coroner’s inquests proved inconclusive.
Azaria Chamberlain case
• August 17, 1980: Baby Azaria Chamberlain disappears from a campsite near Uluru (Ayers Rock) – her parents say she was taken by a dingo
• 1982: Mother Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton convicted of murder; father Michael Chamberlain found guilty of being an accessory
• 1986: Police find a piece of the baby’s clothing in area of dingo lairs – case reopened
• September 15, 1988: Both Lindy and Michael Chamberlain cleared of charges
• 1995: Open verdict recorded following another inquest
• February 24, 2012: Fourth inquest opened
Short URL: http://www.bellenews.com/?p=20352