There was no body, no evidence of motive and no incriminating eyewitness evidence—yet Lindy Chamberlain was convicted and sentenced to life for the murder of her child, Azaria, and her husband found guilty of being an accessory after the fact.
In August 1980, while on a family holiday at Uluru, Chamberlain alleged that a dingo took baby Azaria.
Between 1980 and its completion in 1995, the case produced three inquests, a murder trial, appeals to the Federal and High Courts, a Royal Commission of Inquiry, a pardon and a quashing of all convictions. It polarised public opinion and inspired several books and movies.
It also raised significant issues, such as allegations of investigator bias, reliability of scientific evidence, weighting of witness statements, media power, and religious discrimination against the Chamberlains (Seventh Day Adventists).
In 2004, a 78-year-old Melbourne man claimed that in August 1980 he shot a dingo at Uluru and found the body of a baby in its mouth.
Chamberlain’s extensive, carefully filed collection of papers encompasses the inquests, trial and inquiry and includes family correspondence, litigation material, and more than 20 000 original letters from the Australian public.