Yes, a dingo really did eat Lindy Chamberlain’s baby

Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton in February 2012.

A 32-year legal mystery over the death of a baby in Australia’s outback came to an end on Tuesday when a coroner found a dingo was responsible for killing infant Azaria Chamberlain, a case that split national opinion and attracted global headlines.

The coroner’s finding ends a three-decade fight for justice by Azaria’s parents, Michael Chamberlain and Lindy Chamberlain, who was jailed for three years over her daughter’s death before she was later cleared.

“This has been a terrifying battle, bitter at times, but now some healing, and a chance to put our daughter’s spirit to rest,” Michael Chamberlain told reporters in the Northern Territory capital Darwin after the coroner’s ruling.

Azaria disappeared on August 17, 1980 from a tent in a camping ground near Uluru, a towering, haunting monolith formerly known as Ayers Rock, one of central Australia’s main tourist attractions.

Azaria’s body was never found. Her parents always maintained she was taken by a dingo, an Australian native wild dog.

“Obviously we are relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga,” Lindy Chamberlain, now known as Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, told reporters outside the court.

The dingo-baby case has been dramatized several times, and was turned into a Hollywood film “A Cry in the Dark”, starring Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep as Lindy Chamberlain.

TAKEN BY A DINGO

Northern Territory Coroner Elizabeth Morris found evidence from the case proved a dingo or dingoes were responsible for 9-week-old Azaria’s death and ruled that her death certificate should read “attacked and taken by a dingo”.

“What occurred on 17th August, 1980, was that shortly after Mrs Chamberlain placed Azaria in the tent, a dingo or dingoes entered the tent, took Azaria and carried and dragged her from the immediate area,” Morris said.

In an emotional finding, Morris then offered her condolences to the Chamberlains and one of their sons, who were in the Darwin court room.

“Please accept my sincere sympathy on the death of your special loved daughter and sister Azaria. I am so sorry for your loss,” she said to the family. “Time does not remove the pain and sadness of the death of a child.”

A first inquest in 1981 supported the parents’ account but, a second inquest in 1982 overturned that finding and recommended Lindy and Michael Chamberlain stand trial over Azaria’s death.

Lindy Chamberlain, then pregnant with her fourth child, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Michael Chamberlain was convicted of being an accessory and given a suspended sentence.

A judicial inquiry, known as a Royal Commission, overturned the convictions in 1987, leading to Lindy Chamberlain’s release. A third inquest in 1995 returned an open verdict.

The latest inquest, however, heard new evidence of several dingo attacks on humans, including details of how a nine-year old boy died in Queensland after being attacked in 2001.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

Gossip

Blake Lively's pregnancy cravings are too weird to…

Find out what Blake Lively is rumored to send husband Ryan Reynolds to the store for.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…