I was four years old when Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton uttered the words, “The dingo’s got my baby!,” and all throughout my childhood I heard the phrase as the butt of a (what I know now to be) cruel joke, thanks to the popularity of the Meryl Streep film, A Cry in the Dark. (Side note for movie buffs, IMDB notes, “Despite the popularity of the phrase ‘The dingo ate my baby!’ and its association with this film, that line is never actually spoken in the movie.”)
Finally, after 30 years, four inquests, a sensational trial that resulted in a murder conviction, four years of jail time and a major motion picture, an Australian coroner has ruled conclusively that a dingo really did eat Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton’s infant daughter, Azaria.
Elizabeth Morris, coroner for Australia’s Northern Territory, announced today, “The cause of her death was as the result of being attacked and taken by a dingo.” She added, “Dingos can and do cause harm to humans.” CNN reports, “Outside the court Tuesday, Chamberlain-Creighton said she and her family were ‘relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga.’” I can’t imagine what kind of burden a lifetime of dealing with this horrible tragedy must have been like for this woman and her family. CNN notes that other instances of dingos attacking children likely helped convince the coroner that Azaria’s death was not a homicide. Morris concluded, “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.”