Not everyone knows that "The dingo took my baby!" isn't just a funny catchphrase used to familiarize oneself ignorantly with Australia. How many of you have heard that phrase played out along the same level as "put another shrimp on the barbie!" and "G'day, mate!"? Even the hit 90s series Seinfeld made reference to the phrase, further making it a piece of dark pop culture humor that further masked the reality of what story hid behind it.
In Australia, on the other hand, the story is known all too well. Azaria Chamberlain was an infant baby girl who went missing in the year 1980. The child's disappearance became instantly high-profile. Why? Because the mother blamed a dingo. Lindy Chamberlain became a celebrity "Down Under" the way tot mom Casey Anthony became notorious here in the United States when she is quoted as shouting:
"The dingo's got my baby!"
The history of this case is really long and twisted with plenty of room for speculation. Originally, Lindy Chamberlain was convicted and sentenced to prison with hard labor. Eventually, some of that earlier evidence was discredited and she was released. Currently, she is free along with her husband.
As of now, there is a new inquest being opened in this case, and emotions are still running high. Opinions on whether or not Lindy is guilty of murdering her infant daughter are still mixed. It's generally believed that the woman used a pair of nail scissors to cut her baby's throat because blood was found in their vehicle among other places. A dingo wouldn't be in their car with the baby would it? The story is that the wild dog (which is known to not attack) took their child from a tent and disappeared into the night forever.
Like Casey Anthony, Lindy Chamberlain was guilty in the court of public opinion while some decried injustice. When she was released her support grew, but still there are many who think she is guilty. She could be returned to prison for the murder of her child if this inquest uncovers anything new.
Next time you hear someone crack a joke using this famous phrase, maybe you'll laugh, but maybe you won't.
Chelsea Hoffman is a prolific crime writer and fiction author with several works published. Her writing has been recognized by such entities as NBC Dateline and several others. Contact her directly by visiting ChelseaHoffman.Com.