Australia is one of the places on Earth that is very abundant in natural resources. Its climate, topography, and wildlife can’t be compared to anywhere else in the world. Although Australia can be described as a beautiful place, it can’t be said that it is safe. The presence of a wide array of dangerous, poisonous and aggressive creatures pose danger to its citizens and is said to cause thousands of deaths annually.
On July 11, 1980, Azaria Chamberlain was born. She died on August 17, 1980. Her death can be considered a tragedy especially for her parents and we can only imagine how they feel abut losing their two-month old baby……..
1. Family Camping Trip
Lindy and Michael Chamberlain, Baby Azaria parents, took her to a vacation near Uluru in the Australian Northern Territory. Also known as Ayers Rock, this immense sandstone formation is sacred to Australia’s aboriginal people and is among the most impressive rock formations on earth.
2. A Nice Drive
Lindy and Michael together with Azaria had driven out to Ayers Rock to experience nature at its finest and to enjoy their first trip as a family.
3. Stepping Away
The parents parked their car near the rock and set up their campsite. They were only away from Azaria for a few moments, but when they looked back, Azaria was no longer in their tent. Someone or something had tore their tent and took their precious child. They were convinced that a dingo, an Australian wild dog, had broken into the tent and snatched the baby.
4. Her Body
It was unfortunate that Lindy and Michael Chamberlain had no way of proving that the attack had occurred. The authorities were contacted and they began searching the area for any sign of the infant. Sadly, they never located it. The only story they had were the Chamberlain’s reports and the assumption that a dingo had snatched up the baby. But the authorities have not given up on the theory that there is also a chance that the baby was killed and buried somewhere in the desert by someone else…
5. Likely Cause
Because there is no concrete evidence to support the theory of the police, the initial coroner reported that the likely cause of death was a dingo attack. This, however, only worked if police believed the Chamberlain’s story. A dingo may have stolen the baby, but this did not prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the dingo was the actual cause of death.
6. A Cut Throat
The Northern Territory Police and prosecutors were dissatisfied with the findings of the local police that they urged the investigation to continue. Ultraviolet photos of the baby’s jumpsuit, as well as a small amount of blood within the tent and indeterminable wounds on her neck, are the evidences that led the investigators to a very different conclusion: Azaria Chamberlain might have died as a result of her throat being cut…
7. Court of Public Opinion
Because of the controversial and untimely death of Little Azaria and her parents’ seemingly outlandish story, the press turned against the grieving parents. Public and media attention on the situation polarized the entire nation and even brought up disquieting rumors about what really might have happened.
8. Throwing Shade
Not long after that, authorities began to build the case against the Chamberlains, the wild theories began to fly about. Fanciful rumors, sickening jokes, including cartoons, seemed to surround the tragedy. There was a great deal of antagonism directed against Lindy in particular, who many agreed did not behave as a grieving mother ought to have…
9. Cult Connections
The religion of the Chamberlains, (Seventh-day Adventist) has also been a hot issue on the daily papers. This religion is unusual in their area and only made them appear more like outsiders. Some people even say that the church was actually a cult that require a sacrifice such as infants as part of some bizarre religious practice. It also seemed odd that a family would take a newborn baby into the desert and leave the baby alone for a few moments.
10. Anonymous Tip
Stories about Lindy being a witch also surfaced in the duration of the controversial case and the police even got one anonymous tip that the name Azaria meant “sacrifice in the wilderness.” It really means “God helped” but that’s neither here nor there. In any case, the damage was done, the police had more than enough evidence to bring both the Chamberlains to court…
11. Lindy Did It
The police had come to the conclusion that it was Lindy Chamberlain who did such a terrible act. They say that she was the one who cut Azaria’s throat in the front seat of the family car before hiding the baby’s body in a large camera case. They even thoerized that the crime scene was alterred by Lindy so as to make it appear that a dingo had broken into the tent and snatched the baby.
12. Alleged Claims
The police alleged that once the people had gone to look for the baby, Lindy surreptitiously disposed of the body, knowing that a dingo would undoubtedly come and scavenge for it. The case was the most publicized trial in Australian history. What’s more, Lindy and Michael seem to be more and more guilty by the day…
13. Baby Clothes
When authorities questioned Lindy Chamberlain about Azaria’s clothes that day, she mentioned that the baby wore a small jacket over the jumpsuit. The jacket was not found with Azaria’s body, which led the jury to believe that she was not telling the truth. Not only that, but the baby’s singlet was also on backward. She swore that she had been rushed, hadn’t realized it was on wrong, but it was too late.
14. Tried for Murder
On October 29, 1982, Lindy Chamberlain was convicted for murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Her husband, Michael was also found guilty as an accessory to the crime and was given a much less severe 18-month suspended sentence. But, the story isn’t over yet…
15. The Break
In 1986, David Brett, an English tourist fell to his death while visiting Ayers Rock (the same location where Azaria disappeared). Eight days later, the police found his remains lying below where he had fallen amidst a whole host of dingo lairs. As they scooped up his remains, police discovered something peculiar: a torn infant’s jacket.
16. Rejected Claims
In order to support their claim, the clothing was the missing piece of evidence that the defense needed. The founding of the jacket rejected two key points of the prosecution’s case and of indicated biased and invalid assumptions made during the initial trial. The case was brought before a new judge, who deliberated for nearly two years on the validity of the initial findings and verdicts…
17. Freed by Evidence
Lindy and Michael Chamberlain’s convictions were appealed on September 15, 1988. A unanimous vote by the Northern Territory Court of Criminal Appeals had led to the conclusion that what they had been saying all along that they were not responsible for their daughter’s death is the truth.
18. Fair Recompense
For years, the Chamberlains had suffered not just in the court proceedings and prison, but also in public opinion. Many of their friends, neighbors, fellow Australians, even the world as a whole, still believed them to be murderers and liars. Two years after they were exonerated, the Chamberlains were awarded $1.3 million as compensation for wrongful imprisonment. However, it only covered a third of their legal expenses….19. Final Confirmation
32 years after Azaria’s death, the Chamberlains’ version of events was officially confirmed. A coroner re-examined the details of the case and compared it to the newfound information on the brazen behavior or modern dingos. Azaria’s death was in fact the result of a rare and unexpected dingo attack.
20. Tale Retold
Since the story broke in fall of 1980, numerous books have been written about the case. A TV movie, a feature film a miniseries, a play, an opera, and a concept album has been also made. It has also been referenced in pop culture many times over the years, most notably by the Elaine character on the Sitcom Seinfeld.