The disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain from the campsite at Uluru or Ayer’s Rock has been one of the most controversial mysteries in Australian history. It is only recently that yet another coronial inquiry was held, reversing the erroneous 2nd Coronial Inquiry, and giving to Lindy and Michael Chamberlain a death certificate for their daughter that reflected the realities of that fateful night. This last inquest repeated the findings of the first inquest under Coroner Dennis Barritt – those findings should never have been reversed.
From the beginning there were some people who believed that it was not possible that a dingo could have dragged the baby away from the camp site. These are the same people who disregarded the eye witnesses who were with the Chamberlains that fateful night. Not only were there people who had raised dingoes who refused to accept the reality that these wild dogs could in fact be killers, but there were police who were more than willing to blame Lindy Chamberlain for the murder of her infant. Then there were the rumours because the Chamberlains were members of the Seventh Day Adventists.
This is the case that split Australia in two, and to this day there are people who will not accept that the dingo really took Azaria Chamberlain. The fact of the matter is that a lot of the so called evidence was tarnished from the beginning. The work of the forensic pathologist, Joyce Kuhl was an absolute joke – and her reward was the offer of a job in the Northern Territory, despite the fact that she totally blundered with her findings. Sound deadener found in the car was supposed to be fetal blood, and the so called blood on the baby outfit was, wait for it, red desert sand. Big fail Joyce!!
Lindy Chamberlain faced a murder trial in the Northern Territory, and based upon the defense evidence, she should have been found not guilty. The findings of the forensic pathologist had been discredited, yet the jury was determined that Lindy Chamberlain did in fact murder her infant. They believed the hokey that was the evidence placed before them, claiming that Lindy murdered her baby. The problem seemed to be that they did not bother to understand what those other experts pointed out to them – and I know if I had been a member of that jury then I would have been fighting tooth and nail to have Lindy found not guilty. The trial was nothing more than a kangaroo court – a trial by media long before the actual trial. There was no possibility that Lindy and Michael Chamberlain would have a fair trial. That is what happened in Darwin and the outcome was a total disgrace. They were innocent. There was no murder. The prosecution lied!!
Over the years Lindy Chamberlain fought to clear her name, and gradually she had small wins, including information that came to light regarding other dingo attacks, not just at Uluru but in other locations. It was the gathering of this information that finally led to the new Coronial Inquiry with the conclusion that the dingo took the baby, and that at some point there was human intervention with regard to the remains of the infant.
Today there has been another dingo incident, this time involving a 13 year old girl who was asleep at a campsite when the dingo came calling. You can read about that story here. The girl survived, but she tells of the dingo dragging at her sleeping bag. It is worth noting that according to the locals where the incident happened, it is the 4th such incident this year.