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A Dingo Really Did Take Australian Woman Lindy Chamberlain’s Baby

The Dingo Ate Her Baby
Daniel Hartley-Allen, Getty Images

Lindy Chamberlain, the Australian mother who spent three years in jail for the murder of her two-month-old daughter Azaria, has been officially cleared of the crime 32-years after Azaria disappeared.

At the time Australian authorities concluded a dingo — a wild dog indigenous to the island nation — took Azaria away. But inconsistency in Lindy’s alibi and skepticism that a dingo was strong enough to snatch a baby led to Lindy being convicted of the murder. Public opinion in Australia was heavily against Lindy and her husband Michael Chamberlain, who was charged with being an accessory after the fact, and during the trial the Chamberlains were spit on and mocked with dingo barks.

However, Lindy’s conviction was overturned in 1985. Now, after a fourth inquiry into the incident, the initial dingo theory has been officially accepted, and Lindy has been completely cleared of any wrongdoings.

In 1988, the strange case became internationally famous when Meryl Street played Lindy Chamberlain in the movie ‘A Cry in The Dark.’ Although Streep never actually says “A dingo ate my baby” in the film, that phrase became a bit of a pop cultural touchstone. Fans of ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ will remember the fictional band on the show was named ‘Dingoes Ate My Baby,’ and Elaine used the phrase in a mocking manner during an episode of ‘Seinfeld.’

“We’re relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga,” a tearful but smiling Lindy — who has since been divorced and remarried — said outside of the courtroom in Darwin, Australia Tuesday.

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