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The Australian tragedy that managed to turn into a running pop culture gag is back in the headlines yet again.
Lindy Chamberlain, who was convicted and eventually cleared of murdering her infant daughter Azaria, has prompted the unsolved case’s fourth reopening since the 9-week-old first disappeared from an Australian outback campsite in 1980. She says new testimony on the dangers of dingos will put the matter to a finish.
Chamberlain (now Chamberlain-Creighton) has maintained from the night night her daughter disappeared that she saw a dingo leave a tent with baby Azaria in its mouth. Her recounting was immortalized in 19888, when Meryl Streep played her in A Cry in the Dark, shouting in a heavy Australian accent, “The dingo’s got my baby!”
That phrase has since been parodied by The Family Guy, Seinfeld, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and umpteen other television series and films.
“I hope that this will give a final finding which closes the inquest into my daughter’s death, which so far has been standing open and unfinished,” Chamberlain said, reports The Australian Paper. “It gives me hope this time that Australians will finally be warned and realize that dingoes are a dangerous animal.”
Chamberlain was convicted of murdering Azaria in 1984, when prosecutors convinced a jury (and many members of a rapt public) that she had cut the baby’s throat, hidden the body and then returned to the tent to announce the dingo had taken Azaria.
She was sentenced to life in prison and hard labor, and her (now former) husband Michael received a 18-month suspended sentence for being an accessory. Both convictions were overruled in 1987, however, when the remains of Azaria’s jacket were found in a Dingo liar near the campsite.
Lindy Chamberlain has devoted much of her life since her to proving that dingos killed Azaria and close the unsolved case. A decision in the latest inquiry to come within days.
Streep, who earned her eighth Oscar nomination for her work in A Cry in the Dark, is up for number 17 this Sunday. Watch the trailer below:
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