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The Dingo Did Take The Baby

Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton holds her daughter Azaria's death certificate as ex-husband Michael Chamberlain (left) looks on after a coroner ruled today that a dingo snatched the baby from a tent in the Australian desert 32 years ago.
Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton holds her daughter Azaria's death certificate as ex-husband Michael Chamberlain (left) looks on after a coroner ruled today that a dingo snatched the baby from a tent in the Australian desert 32 years ago.

A coroner in Australia has agreed that the dingo did in fact take the baby — "settling a notorious 1980 case that split the nation and led to a mistaken murder conviction," as The Associated Press writes.

And Australia's ABC News says Michael Chamberlain and his ex-wife Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton on Tuesday (in Australia) heard words for which they've waited 32 years:

"I'm so sorry for your loss."

"The heart-felt condolences" came from coroner Elizabeth Morris, the news network says, who "fought back tears as she ruled today that baby Azaria Chamberlain was taken and killed by a dingo near Uluru" in 1980, when the family was on a camping trip.

The Sydney Morning Herald reminds readers today that:

"Court hearings in the 1980s resulted in Lindy Chamberlain being jailed for murder while her then husband, Michael Chamberlain, was given a suspended sentence for being an accessory after the fact. But after Azaria's matinee jacket was found in 1986, the case was reopened and a royal commission in 1987 exonerated both parents.

"In 1988, the Northern Territory Court of Criminal Appeal overturned all convictions against the [couple]. However, a coronial inquest in 1995 delivered an open verdict."

Today, coroner Morris said a "witch-hunt" had led to Chamberlain-Creighton's conviction. Then, authorities just wouldn't believe that a dingo was capable of snatching a baby. But the only logical explanation, according to the coroner, is that a dingo did in fact carry Azaria away. Azaria's body was never found. She would have turned 32 on Monday, The Australian says.

The 9-week-old baby's death certificate has now been changed to reflect the coroner's ruling that a dingo was responsible.

Meryl Streep famously portrayed Lindy Chamberlain in the 1988 movie A Cry in the Dark —"shouting in a heavy Australian accent, 'The dingo's got my baby!' " as The Hollywood Reporter says. You can find some clips from the movie on the actress' website, . The Chamberlains divorced during the long legal battle over Azaria's death, and both have since remarried.

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