The Trial of Lindy Chamberlain

This essay was written in the 1980’s, after Lindy Chamberlain had been jailed for the murder of her infant daughter, Azaria, who had been taken by a dingo at Uluru (Ayers Rock). It seeks to expose the ridiculous logic which conspired to put an innocent mother in jail.
“Wadda you guys reckon about this Chamberlain case?” asked Parklands Pete, wiping a grubby sleeve across his mouth and passing the bottle of cheap plonk on.“Guilty as hell!” roared Troppo, snatching the bottle, gulping greedily, and repeating, “Guilty as hell!”“Not guilty!” growled their other companion, Dynamite Dave, “Indisputedly innocent! Gissa drink!”“Tell yez wot,” said Pete, who’d always fancied himself high court judge material, “We’ll have us a trial right now – Troppo for the proshecushon, Dynamite Dave for the defense, and meself on the bench.” (He had already served for many years on the bench, but only for sleeping).

The trial began immediately, with Troppo lurching fiercely into the prosecution case.

“Yore ‘oner,” he began, “This leery loony Lindy has guilt written all all over the newspapers, and in a number of important public opinion polls to boot. If that aint democracy an the free press in action, then what the helliz?” He paused – rather dramatically he thought. “Let me trackback on the facts, as the tracker said to the Ranger. The aforesaid previously mentioned began her evil incursion into infanticide during the day preceding the crime, when she cleverly pretended to be nursing a doll, which she was pretending to be a substitute for the departed Azaria, who she had not actually killed yet. This diabolical diversion was later to police the force into changing their whole story.”

Troppo paused for refreshment, and marvelled at how smoothly and precisely the facts were dancing off his tongue.

“Later that night Mz Chamberlain left the camp fire, obstrepiously to open a can of baked beans, and moments later this archangel of armageddon stood alone in a dark hole of despair; her arms held a can of baked beans wrapped in a disposable matinee jacket – and the can opener was never seen again! 

“Frenzic scientists were later able to prove that the vomit on the missing can opener was compatible with not being vomit at all – but missing blood – and on the basis of probabilities, this missing blood could well be foetal, providing one got the right person to conduct the test.”

“In the ensuing confusion, her husband Michael was able to substitute fake dingo tracks for those of Lindy, who at the time was eating the beans, substituting the baby, and burying the matinee jacket in the camera bag.”

Troppo’s tidal wave of testimony crashed on to its final conclusion.

“I implore yore ‘oner, to consider the facts, to digest the facts, and to belch out incomprehensible justice in the manner to which we are accustomed!” 

Flushed with euphoria and plonk, Troppo raised his arms to the God of vengeance, and fell arse-over-head.

“Yore ‘oner,” began Dynamite Dave for the defense, “This preposterous prosecution pursues punctilliously, percillious profanities! The truth has been booted about like a leperous dingo with aids! We demand, we expect, and we are confident of an unequivical aquittal! The defence rests!” 

And in saying so, he collapsed on the grass and began snoring.

“That,” said Parklands Pete, shaking his head sadly, “is just what the Chamberlain’s defense said, nearly four years ago.” 


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