GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – An Australian coroner has ruled that nine-week-old Azaria Chamberlain was dragged from her family’s tent near Ayer’s Rock by a dingo and was killed by the Australian wild dog in 1980, ending more than three decades of legal wrangling. the baby ‘s mother, Lindy Chamberlain, was convicted of murder in 1982 and given a life sentence when a first court refused to accept her story that a dingo was responsible, and the child’s father was convicted as an accessory after the murder and given a suspended sentence. The rulings were overturned in 1988 after a piece of the infant’s clothing was found near a dingo lair in 1986.
Lindy Chamberlain was released after serving three years in prison and the couple, who had two other children at the time of the death, were compensated, but they were unable to obtain a clear death certificate for their baby, leaving open the possibility they could be implicated.
Northern Territory Deputy Coroner Elizabeth Morris 12 June closed the case with a clear ruling that a dingo or dingoes were responsible for the child’s death and said that a death certificate to that effect had been prepared by the family. She said she took into account the deaths of three other children by dingoes or dingo crossed dogs and the knowledge that more than 20 dingoes were known to have frequented the camp. The coroner appeared choked with emotion as she told the family “Mr and Mrs Chamberlain, Aidan and your extended families, please accept my sincere sympathy over the death of your dear and loved daughter Azaria.”
The court cases gained notoriety for two other reasons: it was the first televised court case in Australia and, according to Wikipedia, “The Chamberlain trial was the most publicized in Australian history. Given that most of the evidence presented in the case against Lindy Chamberlain was later rejected, the case is now used as an example of how media and bias can adversely affect a trial.“