Dingo May Have Eaten the Baby After All

A Cry in the DarkMeryl Streep made Lindy Chamberlain famous when she adopted an Australian accent to play the sad mom in A Cry in the Dark. But even the Academy Award winning actress couldn't make the world believe that a dingo really did eat or take baby Azaria Chamberlain. Instead it seems more tragedy had to happen first.

Thirty-one years after 9-week-old Azaria disappeared, her parents have convinced Australian authorities to finally re-open the case in hopes of clearing Lindy (now Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton) of murdering her baby and (now ex-) husband Michael Chamberlain of acting as her accomplice. If the time that's passed leaving these parents to grieve with the weight of suspicion on their shoulders isn't sad enough, the reason they've reopened the case compounds the tragedy.


At the time the little girl disappeared from a campground in 1980 and her parents claimed a dingo was at fault, there was no credible evidence that the wild dogs that roam the Australian Outback would actually attack a human child. That helped propel the courts to convict the Chamberlains. But in 2001, a 9-year-old boy was fatally mauled by a dingo, and two more children -- girls ages 3 and 4 -- have faced serious attacks and lived.

That means the parents' story now holds water -- at least enough for officials to open the inquest. But what an untenable position for them to be in.

I understand why these people want this inquest. The biggest tragedy in their lives is an international punchline that's been parodied on the likes of Seinfeld and The Family Guy. It's not like time has simply healed the wound.

They've spent years hoping for something to help prove their story, but what seems to have done it is the exact thing that's tortured them for all this time. A child was killed by a dingo, just as the Chamberlains say their little Azaria was in 1980. All this time, they've maintained their innocence, and if you saw the movie (who hasn't at least seen YouTube clips to try to hone their Aussie accent?), you know Lindy made quite an impassioned plea for people to believe she would not hurt her child.

If they've been telling the truth this whole time, they were heartbroken parents, destroyed by the loss of their daughter. And now there is a family of a 9-year-old boy whose parents are similarly heartbroken, who represent the Chamberlains' hope for closure. I don't envy the Chamberlains as they go down this new road. Here's hoping this inquest finally gives them -- and the curious world -- the answers to a decades-old mystery.


Image via Amazon

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