|Born||March 4, 1948
Whakatane, New Zealand
|Known for||Azaria Chamberlain disappearance|
Alice Lynne (Lindy) Chamberlain-Creighton (born 4 March 1948) was at the centre of one of Australia's most publicised murder trials, in which she was convicted of killing her baby daughter, Azaria. The conviction was later overturned.
Alice Lynne Murchison was born in Whakatane, New Zealand. She was known as Lindy from a young age. She moved to Australia with her family in 1949. She and her family were adherents to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and she married fellow Adventist and pastor Michael Chamberlain on November 18, 1969.
In the 1970s Michael and Lindy Chamberlain had two sons, Aidan (born October 2, 1973) and Reagan (born April 16, 1976). For the first five years after their marriage they lived in Tasmania, after which they moved to northern Queensland.
Michael and Lindy Chamberlain's first daughter, Azaria, was born on June 11, 1980. When Azaria was two months old, Michael and Lindy Chamberlain took their three children on a camping trip to Uluru, arriving on August 16, 1980. On the night of August 17, Chamberlain reported that the child had been taken from her tent by a dingo. A massive search was organised, but all that was found were remains of some of the bloody clothes, which confirmed the death of baby Azaria. Her body has never been discovered, and it is thought that the baby's body was consumed by the dingos.
Although the initial coronal inquiry supported the Chamberlains' account of Azaria's disappearance, Lindy Chamberlain was later prosecuted for the murder of her child on the basis of the finding of the baby's jumpsuit and of tests that appeared to indicate the presence of blood found in the Chamberlains' car. This incompetent forensic gathering convicted her of murder on October 29, 1982, and sentenced her to life imprisonment; the theory was that she slit the child's throat and hid the body. Michael Chamberlain was convicted as an accessory to murder.
Shortly after her conviction, Lindy Chamberlain gave birth to her fourth child, Kahlia, on November 17, 1982, in prison. An appeal against her conviction was rejected by the High Court in February, 1984.
New evidence emerged on February 2, 1986 when a remaining item of Azaria's clothing was found partially buried near Uluru in an isolated location, adjacent to a dingo lair. This was the matinee jacket which the police had maintained for years did not exist. Five days later, Chamberlain was released. The Northern Territory Government publicly said it was because "she had suffered enough." In view of inconsistencies in the earlier blood testing which gave rise to potential reasonable doubts about the propriety of her conviction and as DNA was not as advanced in the early 1980s it emerged that the 'baby blood' found in her car could have been any substance, Lindy Chamberlain's life sentence was remitted by the Northern Territory Government and a Royal Commission began to investigate the matter in 1987. Chamberlain's conviction was overturned in September, 1988 and another inquest in 1995 returned an open verdict.
In recent years there have been fatal dingo attacks on children, one famous instance being at the holiday resort at Fraser Island.
In 1990, Lindy Chamberlain published Through My Eyes: an autobiography (ISBN 0-85561-331-9). It has recently been reprinted. She and Michael Chamberlain divorced in 1991. On December 20, 1992, she married an American named John Creighton, nicknamed Rick, a publisher and fellow member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and she is now known as Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton. She and Creighton now live in Australia.
Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton recently came into the spotlight when she spoke publicly about the world famous May 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann and offered to comfort Madeleine's parents. She claimed that the world-famous case echoed hers and that she would speak to the McCanns if they wished but she added "words don't mean nothing, we all go through things in different ways". The interview on ACA News can be seen here.
In the 1983 Australian TV movie about the case, Who Killed Baby Azaria?, Lindy Chamberlain was played by Elaine Hudson. In the 1988 film A Cry in the Dark (also called Evil Angels), the role was played by Meryl Streep, while Miranda Otto played her in the 2004 Australian TV mini-series, Through My Eyes: The Lindy Chamberlain Story. Australian composer Moya Henderson wrote the opera Lindy to a libretto by Judith Rodriguez.
Harry M. Miller Group. Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton