Coroner Findings Blame Dingo For Death
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Coroner Findings Blame Dingo For Death

In 1981 a baby was taken and killed by a dingo in the far north of Australia, it is know as the red centre. There was panic at the time as the bulk of campers searched throughout the night with torches and car headlights. The police and Northern Territory Government played a role in the epic case which lasted 32 years. The mother, Lindy Chamberlain was initially blamed for murder. She was exonerated after serving 3 years in prison. The final reason for death was proven and accepted by the coroner and the dingo was officiated as reason for death on 12-6-2012

In 1981, a wild dingo through the night whilst a tent was unattended took a baby 9 weeks old. The mother Lindy Chamberlain was at a campfire with her older son preparing food. The tragedy of a baby being taken by a wild animal caused both panic and heart break amongst all of the campers. The site was at the red centre at the top end of Australia. Michael, lindy’s husband grabbed for a torch while others had car headlights facing areas they thought the animal headed for. The police were contacted soon after. They ( Police) wondered why they were not contacted earlier. The blame seemed to centre on the parents almost to the exclusion to any dingo scenario.

Lindy Chamberlain published a book herself and it was entitled, ‘Through My Eyes’

I have read and provided a book review on another website at the time. The Chamberlains were divorced at the end; the case was probably too much to keep them unified and just drove them apart. I could see that Michael was emotional and not as strong as his then wife Lindy was. One needed to be tough and thick skinned to survive this epic struggle for freedom and acceptance of the innocence that was theirs.

There were instances the court could not digest easily, such as why the baby and her young brother were left in a tent alone while the mother prepared food for her other son. It was reasonable to accept why they were not secured in the family car. Lindy had stated the camp management had not warned there were any such dangers to campers. In a later interview, it was revealed that the bus tours were warned but the campers with tents and cars were not.

The trip scheduled for the family was pleasure as well as following Michael in his studies and experiences, as he was a religious Pastor. He was also a keen hiker and photographer. Many of his photographs are published in the book. A film was made in honour of the case. Meryll Streep played the character of Lindy; the hardest part was to cast the children at the varied stages of the case. Lindy had spent three years in prison and met up with some hard cases in that time, but also found rewards in the long term. Using her intelligence, she was able to mentor and give encouragement to some of the Aboriginal girls in particular. At the beginning, prison officers would try to break her down with an overload of work; she simply took it in her stride.

The crown prosecution continually found blood traces in the car especially in the camera case. They would assume she murdered her own child with scissors cutting her neck and cutting the clothes. In fact, a dingo is quite cunning and has razor sharp teeth. It is able to carry prey back to the den to feed on it, as it would have been a quick death by all accounts. The accounts of specialists were flawed in that the findings were unfounded and the blood traces ended up being red dust rather than plasma. There were scientific specialists in their field offering to comment anything they wanted them to say just to get their name in the case to build their reputation.Lindy was exonerated and only yesterday 12-6-2012, a coroner found as a final judgement that a dingo attacked and took her baby as proof and evidence of death.

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Comments (3)

It has been so sad to think of what Lindy and ger family went through afer their tragic loss. I heard on TV that she is refusing compensation, asking where the money would come from?

Hi Val yes I saw the interview and to take the matter to court agaainst the Northern Territory government, the people would be taxed to pay for it. Sometimes you have to know when to stop and move on with your life.

Very sad. If only they had been warned that wild animals might be on the loose the child might still be alive today; however, anytime camping, isn't there that risk? I would keep an extra eye on children, and especially babies.