Cry in the Dark case revived by claim man shot dingo with baby in its jaws


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gunsmith
July 7, 2004, 09:35 PM
http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=773422004
MIKE CORDER
IN SYDNEY


A DISTRAUGHT mother’s scream 24 years ago that a dingo had snatched her baby from a camp-site near Ayers Rock in the Australian Outback ignited one of the country’s most enduring mysteries.

Now an elderly man’s claim that he retrieved the infant’s bloodied body from the jaws of the wild dog has revived the case and - if true - could finally lead to the discovery of Azaria Chamberlain’s body.

Two-month-old Azaria disappeared from a camp-site near Ayers Rock in 1980.

Her mother, Lindy Chamberlain, was convicted of murdering the infant, but later released from prison and cleared of the crime after fresh evidence supported her claim that a dingo took the child.

Now the mystery has taken a new turn after a newspaper in the southern city of Melbourne published claims by Frank Cole, 87, that he shot the dog with Azaria’s body still in its jaws while on a camping trip with three friends in August 1980.

Mr Cole said he did not tell police what he did, fearing he would be fined for shooting the dog, which he thought was a rabbit he could use for pet food.

He said one of his friends took Azaria’s body and never said what he did with it. All three of Mr Cole’s friends from the camping trip have since died, he said. But he believed one of the men could have buried the baby’s body in his Melbourne garden.

Police said yesterday they would investigate the claims, which Mr Cole said he made to clear his conscience.

"I think that we now need to make some inquiries to determine whether or not it’s a valid statement or whatever it might be," said Christine Nixon, the police commissioner in Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital.

Ms Chamberlain, who served four years in prison after being convicted of murder in 1982 before being cleared of the killing, said through a spokeswoman that she was aware of Mr Cole’s claims and believed they were a matter for the police.

Australians avidly followed her trial and were split over her story. "The Dingo Did It" and "The Dingo Is Innocent" were common bumper stickers during the 1980s while she was on trial.

Azaria was the first recorded fatality attributed to a dingo attack in Australia and there has been only one fatal dingo attack since.

The story of Azaria’s disappearance was made into a 1988 Hollywood film, A Cry in the Dark, starring Meryl Streep and Sam Neill. An Australian television company is currently making another film about the baby’s disappearance.

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Kharn
July 7, 2004, 10:17 PM
How do dingos compare with coyotes and coy-dogs? Some antis never want to listen to me when I try to explain that wild dogs are a threat to small children.

Kharn

Radagast
July 8, 2004, 09:37 AM
Larger than a coyote, smaller than a wolf. they are a medium sized animal, maybe 3/4 the size of an Alsation.

Dingo attacks on cattle and sheep led to a bounty on them at one stage, feral dogs and cross breeds are now more of a problem here in OZ, the Dingo dosn't usually work in packs, ferals will.

Ken

mete
July 8, 2004, 09:48 AM
So he confused a dingo with a baby in it's mouth with a rabbit ?? Maybe he needed a pair of glasses. And with the tremendous amount of publicity in the case he didn't come forward ?? Not very credible to me .

gunsmith
July 8, 2004, 02:07 PM
Australia provides for strict punishment for shooting without a license.
The baby was allready dead and he figured the old, shoot -shovel-shut up ...I could see it happening.

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