“A Dingo got my Baby.” : The Chamberlain Family Story

A Cry in the Dark (1988) based on a true story. Starring Meryl Streep and Sam Neill. This movie was had another title called “Evil Angels” only in New Zealand and Australia.

The Chamberlain family is from Australia and they decided to go on camping trip to a place called Uluru, Australia.

This place is also called Ayers Rock and has a massive sand formation in the middle of the southern part of Australia.

The wife is named Lindy Chamberlain and the husband is named Michael Chamberlain. They took their three children including two month old Azaria Chamberlain on the camping trip. On the late hours of August 17, 1980 Lindy made a report to the authorities that Azaria was taken while sleeping in their tent by a dingo.

A dingo is a kind of dog that is found in the wilds of Australia. During the timeframe when the baby was taken there was a huge search for her but they no luck in locating her. However they did find an article of clothing a couple of days later a couple of miles from the campsite. A dirty jumpsuit with dried blood was found around the neck of the suit.

When Lindy Chamberlain described Azaria to the authorities of what she was wearing. She claimed in addition to the jumpsuit she was also wearing an article of clothing called a matinee jacket. However that was not found with the jumpsuit.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage Manadatory Credit: Photo by c.Warner Br/Everett / Rex Features (849114d) ‘A Cry In The Dark’, Sam Neill, Meryl Streep ‘A Cry In The Dark’ Film – 1988

The Chamberlains maintained that a dingo did take Azaria but suspicion quickly drew to the couple that they killed the baby and made up a cover up story. Although a park ranger named Derek Roff did make claims to the Australia government that there was a high number of dingos in the park and he fear human danger. He wanted to remove the high amount of dingos to avoid any human tragedies. He noted the fact that the dingos in the area were being temperamental, following and biting campers.

The Australian people did not believe the Chamberlains claim at all due to Lindy demeanor during her interviews. The public used the the words such as “cold-hearted”, “too stoic, and had a quick whatever attitude about what happen to her baby.

After various inquests (some of them were even on TV) Lindy and Michael Chamberlain were charged for Azaria’s death. It was claimed that Lindy slit Azaria’s throat and hid her body in a small camera case that they had while camping. Started making dinner for her other children and then claiming that her daughter was taken by a dingo. Then preceded to hid Azaria’s body while the other campers were searching for the baby. The court grilled Lindy about Azaria’s clothing since the matinee jacket was never found so they believed she made the clothing she was actually wearing a lie. They also brought in some experts for the prosecutors side and claim that it was such an outrageous lie that the family made about the missing baby. Lindy was found guilty and sent to life in prison while her husband Michael was convicted of “being an accessory after the fact.” He was sentenced to 18-months but it was suspended since he was a sole proprietor of the family.

Lindy was convicted on October 29, 1982 and sentence while she was seven months pregnant with her fourth child. During a round of appeals Lindy was finally release on February 7, 1986 when new evidence was submitted to the case. During a search of a missing tourist around Ayers Rock they not only located the body of the missing tourist but authorities also found the matinee jacket that Lindy said Azaria was wearing at the time of her being taken by the dingo.

Proving once and for all Lindy’s statement was true after all. It granted Lindy to be able to go home and the case was reopened and the Chamberlains were acquitted in 1988. Finally in 2012 the Chamberlain family wanted to clear their name and in June of that year an Australian coroner made a final decision on that case. Confirming that Azaria was taken by a dingo during their family vacation to Ayers rock and was killed by the dingo.

Here is a video above about Lindy’s feelings about the coroner’s finding.

The movie “A Cry in the Dark” is available to watch in any platform. I watched the movie through the criterion collection channel.

A CRY IN THE DARK, Meryl Streep, 1988

Sources: IMDB.com, youtube.com and wikipedia.

Until next time!!

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