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35 years since baby Azaria Chamberlain was taken by dingo

Lindy Chamberlain and baby Azaria

It's a story known around the world: 35 years ago on 17 August 1980, 10-month-old Azaria Chamberlain disappeared from her family's tent at Ayers Rock.

For the next 32 years the baby's mum Lindy Chamberlain would repeatedly try to convince the Australian justice system that a wild dingo, not she, had killed Azaria.

Made into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep, Lindy's struggle to prove that the dingo took her baby finally came to an end in 2012 when an Australian coroner ruled once and for all that a dingo was responsible for the child's disappearance and death. 

Decades after baby Azaria's death, we look back on the tragedy and the Chamberlain family's struggle to prove their innocence.

Lindy Chamberlain tells her story

Three people heard the cry of Azaria on the night she disappeared from the tent in the camping ground at Ayers Rock. Mum Lindy saw a dingo coming out of the tent and dingo tracks were seen around and inside the tent.

After 32 years of speculation, it's finally official: a dingo took Azaria

It is now official: Azaria Chamberlain not quite 10 weeks old, was snatched from a bassinet at Uluru (then known as Ayers Rock) on August 17, 1980, killed and probably devoured by a dingo.

Dingo baby ruling ends 32 years of torment for Lindy Chamberlain

When coroner Elizabeth Morris ruled that a dingo had taken baby Azaria Chamberlain from her cot in the Australian outback 32 years ago, there were smiles, tears of relief and loud applause from the packed gallery at Darwin magistrates court. But there were no surprises.

Michael Chamberlain and Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton (The Guardian)

Three other dingo attacks helped solve mystery of Azaria Chamberlain's death 

Lindy Chamberlain

‘Dingo’s Got My Baby’: Lindy Chamberlain's Trial by Media

To American ears, the word can seem odd, even comical: dingo. Sounds a lot like "dingbat." Wasn't that what Archie Bunker called his wife, Edith, on "All in the Family"? But there is nothing laughable about the dingo, Australia's native wild dog and a predator capable of inflicting considerable harm.

Lindy and Azaria Chamberlain at Ayers Rock (New York Times, Chamberlain Family)

Michael Chamberlain (1944 - 2017), pastor, academic and author who continually fought for justice

On the night of Friday, October 29, 1982, Michael Chamberlain in a frenzy of thought, tossed and turned all night in a bed in Darwin, after his wife Lindy was taken to Berrimah Jail to begin her life sentence for the murder of daughter Azaria. Over and over again, in that jumble of confused thoughts, came the questions: What sentence would he get? What would happen to sons Aidan and Reagan? What would happen to his unborn child? It was a night in hell.

Michael Chamberlain (Sydney Morning Herald)

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