Animal Law, Crime, Deaths, Kids

‘Dingo Ate My Baby’ Defense Actually Works!

Is, is... is that a baby?

Now this is an Innocence Project.

An Australian coroner has ruled that a dingo really did eat Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton’s baby, over 30 years ago.

To put this in context, the line “a dingo ate my baby” comes from this case! This case was the basis for the movie A Cry in the Dark with Meryl Streep (though IMDB claims that the famous line was never actually spoken in this movie).

So Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, the “dingo ate my baby” lady, has been vindicated! What a world. Next thing you know, dogs will actually start eating homework, and O.J. will find his ex-wife’s real killers.

How did we come to this?

CNN reports that this case has been winding its way through Australia’s judicial system for 30 years:

The official finding that a dingo — a type of wild dog — killed Azaria [Chamberlain] ends a legal battle that has been fought over four inquests, a murder trial, through Federal and High Court appeals and a judicial inquiry. Until Tuesday, questions had remained over the cause of Azaria’s death, despite a 1988 ruling quashing [Lindy] Chamberlain-Creighton’s conviction and life sentence for her daughter’s murder.

Chamberlain-Creighton served three years before her sentence was overturned.

Now that we officially know it was a dingo, I want Australian authorities to find that dog. But I guess Australian justice doesn’t follow Fugitive rules. This decision is more of an acknowledgement by Australian authorities that dingos can, in fact, eat babies:

Thirty-two years after losing her daughter, Chamberlain-Creighton sat shaking in the Darwin court Tuesday as she waited to hear the results of the fourth and now final inquest into Azaria’s death.

“Shortly after Mrs Chamberlain placed Azaria in the tent, a dingo or dingoes entered the tent, took Azaria and carried and dragged her from the immediate area,” said coroner Elizabeth Morris.

“It it is clear that there is evidence that in particular circumstances a dingo is capable of attacking, taking and causing the death of young children,” she added.

We’re onto your game, dingos. And you can tell your nondescript African-American male friends of average height and weight the same message: your sick need to abduct and murder white babies will no longer be tolerated!

Dingos are no longer above the law.

UPDATE (6/16/2012): Journalist Julia Baird, a former writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, has an interesting New York Times op-ed about the case. She writes: “We assumed an innocent woman was guilty. We threw rocks at a grieving mother. And a nation founded by convicts somehow forgot the presumption of innocence.”

‘The truth is out,’ family says after Australian dingo ruling [CNN]
Coroner Blames Dingo for Baby’s Disappearance 32 Years Ago [ABA Journal]

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