Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Dingo Case

In 1980 Michael and Lindy were camping at Ayers Rock (Australia) with their young family in Australia. Their youngest child, a nine-week old daughter named Azaria, was sleeping in the tent on the night of August 17th. Lindy claimed to see a dingo leaving the tent. She went to check on her daughter. The bed was warm, Azaria was nowhere to be seen.

What she cried in the minutes following has been immortalized in the media:

"A dingo took my baby."

Witnesses claimed that the wild dogs had been seen in the area that night. They also claimed that they heard a baby crying before the hysterical Lindy announced that her baby had been taken.

Lindy and Azaria
Forensics - keeping in mind that it was the early 80's and science was nowhere near as developed as it is presently - pointed it's damning finger at Lindy.

Blood was found in the car. Azaria's clothes were found with a slit in the throat area. A bloody hand print was found on her dress.

Azaria was never found. The coat that she was supposedly wearing was also never found. Lindy didn't portray the grieving mother well to the public. The family was Seventh Day Adventist - a religious branch that wasn't as well known in Australia during that time.

Lindy Chamberlain was sentenced to a life of hard labor in prison. Michael was found guilty of being an accomplice.

Some years later in 1986 a coat that proved to be Azaria's was found by dingo lairs. Her parents were immediately exonerated of all charges and released from prison.

As well as forensics not being in the best of shape, cases of dingos attacking humans weren't well documented at the time.

The case is being revisited again this year for what is now the fourth inquest

A decade ago dingo's attacked a series of human, and mauled to death a nine-year-old boy.

More modern forensic tests have torn through the evidence and proven it to be inaccurate.

In what some call "trial by fury", Lindy Chamberlain was convicted because, simply, she was the most hated woman in Australia. She dressed her baby girl in black, belonged to a wierd religion, and was accused of being a witch and sacrificing her daughter in some satanic ritual. The forensic work has been proven to be highly unreliable. Defense testimony was ignored...

This case is still a black eye on Australia's judicial system, and you can bet that the inquest will be followed closely. Azaria needs justice, even 30 years later. Let's hope she finally gets it.

See:
A Nation's Guilt

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