It’s Sunday morning, breakfast time in the Chamberlain household. I’m waiting for my toast and eggs and Michael Chamberlain hands the paper to his eldest son to see if they’ve made the news. Aiden starts the ritual of flicking through the pages. The paper’s full of Sydney Olympics stories.
It’s the year 2000. For a while it seems the Chamberlain family faded from view. This is, obviously, not your average family.
My cameraman colleague and I were in pre-production of a documentary about Michael Chamberlain and his long road to near-normality after being found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of his baby daughter Azaria at Ayers Rock in 1980.
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It is easy to understand why the parents of Azaria Chamberlain, Lindy and Michael, who have long since gone their separate ways, and who were long ago acquitted of involvement, wish the death certificate to be altered to reflect that a dingo took their daughter.
But is another inquiry needed?
In December, a Northern Territory coroner, Elizabeth Morris, said the family had provided her with “information” about dingo attacks on children. After appointing an investigator to review the material, Morris decided to reopen the inquest.
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Political correctness rules our lives and while I’m all for equal opportunity, why not extend it to some of the creatures that share our great country?
Why is it considered acceptable for one or two species to regularly claim human lives, while another is hunted down and killed in retribution? Or a whole colony culled, after what might be little more than a nip?
If you are unlucky enough to be eaten or bitten in the sea, you are intruding, you knowingly took the risk and the chances are very high that the protected predator responsible will be allowed to swim off in search of its next feed.
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In a tearful face-off with the media last month, the heavily tattooed and visibly distraught Kristi Abrahams denied her involvement in the disappearance of her six-year-old daughter Keisha, last seen by her mother when she tucked her into bed on the night of 31 July.
“It’s disgusting what they’re saying,” she said. “They (the public) need to stop judging me. They don’t know me.”
The latest in a long line of women who have been questioned in regard to the death of their own child Abrahams was clearly feeling the weight of public opinion. What she didn’t seem to realise, was that while her points may have been fair, raising them won’t make an ounce of difference.
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For anyone born before about 1978 the Azaria Chamberlain case will never lose its fascination - I could read about it all day.
But the thing that so clearly stands out in today’s News Ltd report about the “Chamberlain files” is that the women jurors in the 1982 murder trial of Lindy Chamberlain were so much harder on her than the men.
According to The Daily Telegraph: “The three women - a teacher and two housewives - all voted for conviction while at least four of the nine men had to be persuaded that she was guilty.”
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