The coroner’s ruling ends a three-decade battle for justice by Azaria’s parents, Michael Chamberlain and Lindy Chamberlain, who was jailed for three years over her the death of her daughter before finally being 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 said after the coroner’s ruling.
Azaria vanished on August 17, 1980 from a tent in a camping ground near Uluru, a towering monolith formerly known as Ayers Rock, one of central Australia’s big tourist attractions.
Azaria’s body was never found. Her parents had always maintained that she had been taken away by a dingo, a 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, said 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 Meryl Streep as Lindy Chamberlain.
Northern Territory Coroner Elizabeth Morris found that the evidence in the case proved that a dingo, or possibly a group of 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.
More in the video below.
- Coroner rules dingo killed Azaria Chamberlain (abc.net.au)
- Dingo took baby in famous Australian case (cbc.ca)
- Coroner rules Azaria Chamberlain killed by dingo (radionz.co.nz)
- Australian coroner finds dingo took baby Azaria in 1980 (guardian.co.uk)