Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The dingo wasn’t innocent

Dingo killed Azaria, coroner finds
A dingo was responsible for the death of Azaria Chamberlain in 1980, a Northern Territory coroner has found.

It’s taken virtually thirty years to confirm that Michael and Lindy Chamberlain, as was, didn’t kill their baby. A dingo did.

The last time the issue was canvassed was in 1995 when a coronial inquest returned an open verdict—about which feelings were running hot. How hot? Well, let me tell you. A couple of years after that verdict I was in Darwin playing footy with a New Zealand team.

We headed into town one day, all wearing our team shirts to encounter a rally demanding Justice For Lindy Chamberlain. Thinking it would be funny, one of our number yelled out “The Dingo Was Innocent!”  As you do. (Did I tell you we were all wearing the same shirt as this idiot?) Well, it was funny back home, and might have been funny at any other time and place.  But I can tell you, you’ve never seen 22 blokes move so quickly. This crowd were pretty much the opposite of amused, and only our own agility avoided a few of them not being guilty of something more serious than purveying a bad dingo joke.

This case has been a running sore for Australian justice for thirty years. Thank goodness it can finally and conclusively be put to bed.

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