The Trial Transcript in
Crown v Lindy and Michael
("The Dingo Trial"):
September 13 to October 29, 1982
The Prosecution Case
Statement of Ian Barker, Queen's counsel
A baby was killed at Ayers
Rock on 17th of August 1980 during the evening between eight
and nine o’clock. It was a Sunday. The child was just under ten weeks old, having
been born on the eleventh of June. She was
called Azaria Chamberlain, and was the daughter of the accused Michael
Leigh Chamberlain and Alice Lynee Chamberlain. The
body of the child was never found but, having evidence concerning the
baby’s disappearance, you will have no difficulty determining that she
is dead, and that she died on the night she disappeared.
As to the manner and the cause of death, one cannot
be precise because the body was never found. However,
what will be proved, largely upon scientific evidence of the baby’s
clothes, is that the child lost a great deal of blood, in all
probability from injury to the major vessels of her neck.
She died very quickly because somebody had cut her
The Crown does not venture
to suggest any reason or motive for the killing. it is not part of our
case that Mrs. Chamberlain had previously shown any ill will towards
the child. Nor do we assert that the child
was other than a normal baby. The Crown
does not, therefore, attempt to prove motive, not does it invite
speculation as to motive. We simply say to
you that the evidence to be put before you will prove reasonable doubt
that, for whatever reason, the baby was murdered by her mother.
Shortly after the event, the
mother asserted, and thereafter continued to assert, that the dead
child had been taken from the tent by a dingo. The Crown says
that the dingo story was a fanciful lie, calculated to conceal the
truth, which is that the child Azaria died by her mother’s hand....
The Crown case against
Michael Leigh Chamberlain is that he actively and knowingly assisted
his wife to dispose of the child’s body, to mislead the police about
the circumstances of the child’s disappearance, to attempt to have the
police and the Coroner believe that the baby had been killed by a
dingo, and in other ways in attempting to conceal the fact that murder
had been committed. At the close of all
the evidence I will invite you to find, beyond reasonable doubt, that
Michael Leigh Camberlain is guilty of the crime of being an accessory
after the fact to murder, by his wife, of his child, Azaria....
The discovery of foetal
blood in the car is a critical part of the Crown case.
it would be preposterous to suggest that the dingo
took the child from the tent and into the car, and we will submit that
the discovery of Azaria’s blood in the car destroys the dingo attack
explanation give by Mr. Chamberlain, whatever else there may be to
support such explanation, and the Crown says there is almost nothing.
So, ladies and gentlemen,
this is a case of simple alternatives. Either
a dingo killed Azaria, or it was homicide, because the child could
hardly have inflicted injuries upon herself. If
she was killed in the car, one can at once forget the dingo....
Ladies and gentlemen, where
does this all lead? A ten-week old baby
girl is last seen alive when she is taken in the direction of her
parent’s tent and car by her mother. A
week later, her bloodstained clothing is discovered some found
kilometers away. It had been buried, with her body in it, dug up, and
cut by human hands, using scissors. In the
car is found the blood of a baby under the age of six months, and the
clearest evidence that an attempt has been to clean the blood up.
Apart form the container of
the chamois, foetal blood is found in a number places in the car, on a
towel, on a pair of scissors, on the black camera bag and in the camera
bag the tufts of thread, each of which were cut and must have come from
the jumpsuit or a similar garment.
Now the Crown says, and we
say again, that this is a case of simple alternatives.
Either a dingo or a dog killed that child or the
child was murdered. it is very difficult indeed to see room for any
intermediate state of affairs. We will be
putting to you that there is a no reasonable explanation for the
presence of the foetal blood and the tufts of fabric unless deposited
on the night the child was killed. What
was found in the car is connected with and very much part of the story
of the child’s disappearance. No dingo
could have taken the child into the car and killed her there; only a
human being could have done it. The baby
could hardly have inflicted injury upon herself. The
Crown says it must have been a case of homicide and the account of the
child’s disappearance given by Mrs. Chamberlain must therefore be false.
Sally Lowe, examined by Thomas
'I want to take you to Mrs. Chamberlain going back from the barbecue
to the tent, with the baby and Aidan...'
'Yes, that point in time. Right. Mrs. Chamberlain had
baby in her arms, and Aidan was close behind her. I recall them walking
the footpath area towards their tent. I don't recall anything much
after that. I
have forgotten most of it. And I was involved in conversation. The next
I recall is them coming back, along the same path. About
halfway along that path, I suppose, I recall seeing them again. And
back to the barbecue. Mrs. Chamberlain had a tin of something in her
I saw a can-opener, or perhaps something else, in her other hand. Aidan
behind her. And the next I recall, he was beside me, between myself and
barbecue, which Mr. Chamberlain had been using, and Lindy was just
railing, near the barbecue.'
'Are you able to tell us
how long Mrs. Chamberlain was away from the barbecue area?'
'Well, it's a fairly
short period of time. But I've stated before, six to ten minutes would
roughly correct. Five to ten minutes away....Well, she was just
standing there. I heard the baby cry.
Quite a serious cry, but not being my child, I didn't sort of say
Aidan said, "I think that's Bubby crying," or something similar. Mike
said to Lindy, "Yes, that was the baby, you better go and check."
Lindy went immediately to check. I saw her walk along the same footpath
'What happened next?'
'She was in the area on
that footpath closest to where the car and the tent were, only inside
railings, and yelled out the cry, "That dog's got my baby.'"
"'That dog's got my
baby." We froze for a minute. Mike and my husband Greg ran in the
direction she was looking to the south side of their car, out in that
area. Then, as they went off searching, one of them shouted about a
Greg said to get the torch from the car, which I did. I had my daughter
'After the police
arrived, a major search got underway?'
'That's right. People
came from all directions.'
'[Did you then enter the Chamberlain's tent?]'
'Yes. Aidan was close by
me after the men had started searching, and he was very upset, and said
the dog had got his baby in its tummy. And I cannot recall why, now,
but 1 took
him to the tent, and 1 had some thought in my mind of getting him to
sleep. He showed
me where he slept, his sleeping-bag, inside the tent. I had my
daughter. 1 was
holding her with me at the time. I knelt at the front of the tent and
a little way. 1 think Aidan got in when he showed me where he slept. 1
few spots of blood around the area at that time. After he showed me
slept, I think my eyes caught sight of the bigger pool of blood in the
'Where was it?'
'I was leaning in from
the middle of the tent, so it would have been a little off to the
right, and it
shocked me a bit, because it looked as if it had soaked into something
but was still wet on the surface. So, although the area itself wasn't
took it to be quite a lot of blood.'
'Can you describe it?'
'About six by four' -
here she was talking in inches - 'a squashed circle, I suppose. I
recall it as
a dark, red, wet pool of blood.'
Cross-examination by John Phillips
'I suppose it is clear
enough from your evidence, but the fact is that prior to meeting the
Chamberlains in the way you did, you had no contact with them, directly
'And no connection
whatsoever, for example, with their church?'
'And, in the
three-quarters of an hour, where had the acquaintanceship got to? First
'Yes, first names....'
'The Crown is saying that it is impossible you
heard the baby when Mrs. Chamberlain returned to the barbecue.'
disagree with that.'
'Not only do you
disagree with it, but you are absolutely certain that is the time you
baby? Are you?'
[The witness nods.]
'Would you say,
'Yes. All the Chamberlains, Aidan and Mrs. Chamberlain and Mr.
present. My husband, myself and child. And we heard the cry.'
'The cry came from the
direction of the tent?'
'It definitely came from
'Beyond any doubt?'
'You knew well, from
your own child, the sound of a baby crying?'
come from a big family and am used to babies. I can tell the difference
a baby and an older child. '
'Apart from your own
baby and rearing it through the same stages as Azaria Chamberlain, what
babies of that age had you had direct contact with, prior to August
'I come from a family of
nine, and they always seem to be having children. I'm just familiar
'You are quite satisfied
that the sound you heard was a baby crying out?'
'I think it has been
suggested to you in the past that it might have been the little boy
I think was then four, crying out in his sleep? Do you reject that
'Definitely. It was a
'What about this
suggestion that Mrs. Chamberlain stood up with the baby, took it over
car and sat in the front seat, and cut its throat? In the
three-quarters of an
hour you were with her was there anything, anything, that indicated to
such a thing was likely to happen?'
In fact the opposite. She sort of had a new-mum glow about her. It's
'A new-mum glow. Did she
appear a loving mother to you?'
'Yes. Definitely yes.'
'Was she in a sullen,
truculent, surly mood?'
'No. She was a little
tired, but she still managed to be quite cheerful and happy.'
'Was there anything in
her appearance and her demeanor, on her return, that indicated anything
abnormal had happened?'
'No. She seemed to be
solely concerned with feeding Aidan some more food.'
'Was she covered in
'Did she have any blood
on her at all that you saw?'
'Well, I didn't look all
over her. But just looking directly at her, I didn't see any blood, no.'
'She has told the police
that the reason why she returned with Aidan to the barbecue was that he
something extra to eat, and she selected a can of baked beans and
the barbecue to heat it up. You can at least confirm can you not, that
returned with a can in one hand?'
'And a can-opener in the
'Yes. I'm not sure, but
I believe it was a can-opener, yes.'
'Mrs. Lowe, I would like
to read you some more passages from the prosecutor's opening address.
Barker told the court that, as to blood in the tent, there were 'just
insignificant traces".' Phillips flipped through the transcript. 'And
again referred to "tiny traces of blood in the tent". Can I ask you
this: the floor of the tent was covered, was it not, effectively, with
of bedding, clothing?'
'Yes. You couldn't see
any part of the - '
'Of the fabric of the
'Was this area of blood,
that you have described, a tiny trace?'
'No. I wouldn't have
said that. That was what convinced me that the baby was dead. From the
of blood I saw.'
'Did you also see some
spots of blood?'
'Yes, that's correct.'
'Spots on a
'Yes. There were spots
on Reagan's sleeping-bag, to the right in the tent.'
'If forensic scientists
later found eleven spots on a sleeping-bag, that would be consistent
'It wouldn't surprise
Q: 'Several ladies comforted
Mrs. Chamberlain during the time you were there?'
'You can only recall one
occasion Mrs. Chamberlain was with her husband?'
'On that occasion they
were in a lighted area?'
'You could see them?'
'They were never out of
'They were quite
visible, because you could see them crying....'
Q: 'Limiting yourself to
the time you can speak about, did you ever see anything remotely like
either Mr. or Mrs. Chamberlain cleaning the inside of that car.'
'No, and the car was here. You could see inside the car
too, from the light...'
'Was there anything done
by the Chamberlains, during the time you were there, to suggest they
burying a body?'
'Did you ever see them
take any object out of the car and disappear into the scrub?'
'You can be quite
categorical, can you not, that nothing of the sort occurred during the
saw them away from the car?'
Muirhead: 'From the time you heard the baby cry, until you went
back to the motel that night, did you at any stage see anybody open the
'You yourself did not
'At any stage, did you
see the headlights, or any lights attached to the car, inside or out,
'No. The only light was
from the barbecue area, and then later from the police vehicle.'
'Am I right in saying
you never saw, after you heard the baby, anyone in the car?'
'No one,' she said,
shaking her head. 'No.'
'I do not think the
prosecution suggests otherwise, but
there is no doubt the baby was alive during the time the mother was
at the barbecue, is there?'
'Yes, the baby was
'Because you saw it
kicking, did you not?'
'Yes. Also the expression it made
on its face.'
'Mrs. Chamberlain has
spoken, in conversations with the police, about a dingo which was
you were all at the barbecue. '
'According to what she
has said, the dingo at one point came very close, and pounced on some
mouse that was hopping about. Was there a dingo close to you at the
'Yes. One followed me
back from the rubbish bins at one stage, just sort of fairly close
keeping in the background. Then, I believe, the same dog appeared
again, and it
did make a dive for something under the bush, and someone made a
comment about a
mouse, but I didn't see the mouse.'
'As to the duration of
the baby's cry, that cry, as you listened to it, appeared to
be cut off?'
'That's right. Going from experience with other babies. Yes.'
'It seemed to you to
'And that was something
|Testimony of Judy
West, examined by QC Thomas
Q: 'You say you heard a
outside your tent on the Sunday night.'
A: 'I did hear a dingo. I
heard it growl.'
Q: 'And you later heard Mrs.
Chamberlain call out.'
A: [I heard her cry] 'My
God, My God, the dingo's got my baby.'
Q: 'How long was that after
the dingo growled?'
A: 'I don't know, five to
ten minutes, perhaps...'
after you heard the cry did Michael ask for a torch?'
A: 'About fifteen minutes.'
Q: 'Did you stay long with
Mrs. Chamberlain while the
search went on?'
A: 'Until the bush-nurse
took them off to a motel.'
Q: 'You saw Mr. and Mrs.
Chamberlain walk away, together,
while you were there.'
A: 'Which time do you
Q: 'That happened more than
'Twice, for about ten minutes each time. No more.'
Q: 'So you had been inside
the tent. What did it look like
A: 'Everything was lying
about. There was a trail of
blankets strewn from the cot at the back to the flap at the front. I
some blood. I was kneeling on a little blanket, a baby-rug, and there
fine spray of blood on that.'
Q: 'When Mr. and Mrs.
Chamberlain walked away from the
tent, at either time, were they carrying something? A spade, a bag,
A: 'No. No, they had
Q: 'What was it [Michael]
A: 'I think he wanted a
torch, and it was in the car, and
he couldn't find the keys, but it was most unusual for him, because he
very organized person. I knew we had a torch in the tent. So Bill
offered it to
Michael, and he said, yes, he'd like it, so Bill went over to the tent
brought the torch back for him.'
Q: 'Can you give us any idea
how long after you had heard
Mrs. Chamberlain cry out that you had this conversation with Michael
Chamberlain about the torch?'
A: 'Ten to fifteen minutes.'
Q: 'Could you tell the jury
what time you arrived at Ayers
A: 'The Friday, in the
afternoon, about five o'clock.'
Q: 'On the Saturday, did you
see a dingo in close
proximity to your tent?'
A: 'It would be about
sundown. Catherine and I had climbed the Rock. She'd had a shower and
outside the tent.'
Q: 'Did your daughter call
out to you in a loud voice.'
Q: 'Did you see a dingo in
the immediate vicinity of where
your daughter was seated?'
Q: 'What did you do?'
A: 'I chased it away. It
wouldn't go. It just stood there,
and I was quite frightened. It moved, in the end, but it was just like
off a dog.'
Q: 'How long did
you have to exert yourself to shoo the
A: 'Not long, because I
did not want it there.'
Q: 'In which direction did
A: 'It went around behind
our tent. East.'
Q: 'Did you ever meet Mrs.
Chamberlain prior to arriving
at Ayers Rock?'
Q: 'Did you have a
conversation with Mrs. Chamberlain at
Q: 'Can you recall the
A: 'When we went over to
have a look at the baby, she told
me she'd called her Azaria because it meant Blessed of God.'
Q: 'It meant?'
A: 'Blessed of God. And that
she'd had trouble originally
when they'd rung her parents about the baby, because the parents
thought it was
a boy called Azaria, so she had to explain she'd had a girl called
Q: 'Was there any
conversation about the desire of the
Chamberlains to have a girl?'
A: 'They said they'd always
wanted a girl, and she was
very much the baby they wanted. Mrs. Chamberlain was wearing a parka
covered with travel badges, and she told me she had done the same
sewed travel badges on a parka of Michael's, and for the two little
Wherever they went, she bought badges and sewed them on, and she'd
parka for the baby that already had two badges on it.'
Justice Muirhead: 'Mr.
Kirkham. We will take our afternoon break
now.' He rose from the bench, but they still hadn't got it. I think
Chamberlain is not well.'
Q: 'Were you able to make
any observation of the manner in
which she was caring for her child, Azaria?'
A: 'The baby was wrapped, in
the cot, and she offered to
pick it up for me to have a look. I said, no, not if she's asleep, but
it was time for the baby to be picked up. She had a great care for the
Q: 'Did you see that
attitude change in any way?'
A: 'No, I never did.'
Q: 'The next occasion I
think you saw Mrs. Chamberlain was
again at the barbecue, in the evening of the Sunday. Was the child
A: 'Yes. She was sitting.
Mrs. Chamberlain was dandling
her on her knee.'
Q: 'Did Mrs. Chamberlain
appear in any way grouchy or
A: 'No. She was a bit tired,
I thought, but she wasn't grouchy or unhappy.'
Q: 'Were you in the
concluding processes of washing-up
when you heard the growl you have told us about?'
A: 'No, I had given coffee
to Catherine, and I had sat outside, myself,
drinking coffee. Then I moved into the tent and was just sitting inside
door when I heard the dog growl.'
Q: 'I do not want to put
words into your mouth, and if I am wrong please tell me
immediately, but did the sound appear to come from the general area to
of the Chamberlains' tent?'
A: 'About half way.'
Q: 'Half way what?'
A: 'Between our tent and the
Q: 'Would you be able to
describe the growl?'
A: 'It was a low, deep
growl. It was the sort of growl our
dogs give when Bill is killing on the farm and he gives them - '
Q: 'You may have a little
difficulty making the jury hear you.
It is a growl like your dogs give on the farm, when Bill is killing,
A: 'Yes. Bill will give them
a bit of offal while he is
killing, and one dog will be sort of scared that another dog will get a
more, so it growls to keep it off.'
Justice Muirhead: 'A
type of threatening growl is that it?'
Q: 'You told the coroner at
the first inquest, that Mrs.
Chamberlain's cry seemed to
come fairly quickly after the growl of the dog, although you could not
the precise time. Was that true?'
Q: 'You were, apart from occasions I will ask you about in
a moment, in Mrs. Chamberlain's company from the time the alarm was
until the time she and her husband departed for the Uluru Motel?'
There were times when I went away. I
went to the barbecue at one stage, to make sole Milo.... And I went to our tent
a couple of times for blankets. It was very cold.’
Q: 'They were visits of
short duration? Minutes?'
Q: 'Are you able to say
whether either Mr. or Mrs.
Chamberlain removed anything from the car in your presence?'
A: 'No, not to my knowledge.'
Q: 'Indeed, you were
standing at times against the car.
Leaning against the car, I suggest to you. And so were other people.'
Q: 'And the light was
sufficient so the people leaning on
the car from the outside could see the interior.'
Q: 'When you first saw Mrs.
Chamberlain, after the alarm
had been raised, can you recall what she was wearing?'
A: 'She was wearing the same
clothes she was wearing when
she was at the barbecue in the morning.'
Q: 'Which was?'
A: 'Sneakers, and socks,
with a short dress or a skirt.'
Q: 'I would just like you to
describe the light, for the
members of the jury, if you would not mind.'
A: 'It was a gas light on a
long stainless steel pole.'
Q: 'Was Mrs. Chamberlain
standing in that light?'
Q: 'Did you see anything on
her clothes or her face, or
her person, which would suggest to you that she had a child's blood on
'Your assumption from that, I suppose,
'was that the car was locked?'
Q: 'Did you see it unlocked
A: 'Not until they'd packed
Q: 'And set off for the
A: 'They were setting off
for the motel.'
Q: 'To the best of your
knowledge, it remained shut during
the entire period?'
Kirkham: 'Did any
of the police, or the rangers, say anything in your presence to Mr. or
Chamberlain that night to indicate that there was little hope of the
A: 'No. The
bush-nurse, when she arrived, asked Mrs. Chamberlain if she was feeding
baby. And when Mrs. Chamberlain said that she was, she indicated that
give her some tablets to dry up the milk.'
Q: 'Did you urge the
Chamberlains to leave the area and go
to a motel?'
Q: 'And did other people?'
A: I know Mrs. Whittacker
urged her to go. And the
Testimony of Amy
Whittacker. Whittacker was questioned by Crown Counsel Thomas
[Michael Chamberlain said when he entered my tent], "You have a Christian
record playing. What does that mean?" After a few seconds I said,
"We are Christian
people." Michael said, "If you are Christian people, can you be
praying? A dingo has taken our baby, and she is probably dead by now."
husband addressed a remark to him which I didn't hear, in response to
Michael turned and indicated outside the tent. My husband and daughter
immediately grabbed torches, clothing, and ran out. Because Max and
already gone, he raised his voice to follow them out, and I heard him
"I am a minister of the gospel." He turned to me and again made some
request for prayer. I assured him I would pray, and he left the tent.'
Q: 'Did you remain in the
tent for some minutes?'
A: Five or six
Q: 'Did you then approach
some women in that area [the row of tents]?'
A: 'Yes, I saw a group of
women, standing. Three, as I
recall. I simply put my
arms around [Lindy] and I said, "God is good.'"
Q: 'Did Mrs. Chamberlain say
A: 'She said, "Whatever
happens, it is God's
will" And then she pulled her body back from me, and looked at me
directly, and said, "It says, doesn't it, that at the Second Coming,
babies will be restored to their mothers' arms?" 'I took her by the
and I led her over to the low fence. I sat her down and sat beside her,
there was another woman who sat on the other side, the right side of
Q: 'During the balance of
the evening, you spent some time
with Mrs. Chamberlain?'
A: 'A considerable amount.'
Q: 'Did she indicate
anything about the area in which she
believed the search should take place?'
A: ‘There was one period in the night when she was quite agitated
believed the searchers were not looking in the right place. 'She said,
"They're not looking in the right place." These are phrases I recall,
but they may not be in the right sequence: "The baby is just out there,
must be out there, under the bushes somewhere, and they're not
they should be looking in that area." 'I recall something else she
"I will have to live with this the rest of my life, and I don't want to
think that the baby could've been out there and simply because we
in the right place it would die.'"
Q: 'Did you make a
suggestion to Mr. Chamberlain,
following on the conversation?'
A: 'I said to him, "Look,
take Lindy out there and
let her see for herself that the baby is not there.”
Q: 'How long were they away?'
A: 'Fifteen to twenty
Q: 'What was the lighting
like where they went?'
A: 'I think there were a few
car headlights, but the area
into which they went would've been pitch black. It was out in the bush.'
Q: 'When you
were comforting Mrs. Chamberlain, did she say anything to you about the
A: 'I recall her telling me
that as she was coming across
from the barbecue towards the tent, she saw a dingo outside the tent
think she said she then entered the tent, looked for the baby, and it
the bassinet. The big clothing was disheveled, and she thought first of
maybe the baby had fallen out, and she searched around but couldn't
Q: 'After Mr. and Mr.
Chamberlain had been away for the
fifteen to twenty minutes you describe, did Mrs. Chamberlain say
to her husband, in your hearing, about how the baby could have
A: 'She did look up at him
hopefully at one stage, and she
said, "Is it possible someone could have entered the tent and taken the
baby away?" He looked down at her and said, in a gentle tone of voice,
"but what about the blood?'"
Q: 'You suggested they go to
a motel for the night?'
A: ‘I had several times
asked what their plans for the
night were, and perhaps suggested they go, but they said no. It was
nursing-sister came, and she renewed attempts, that they agreed to go.'
Q: 'Did you assist packing
up things in the tent?'
A: 'I didn't enter the tent,
but Lindy was giving me articles
to take to Michael, to pack in the car. This would be something like
twelve-thirty to one o'clock, packing the car. I ferried articles,
Q: 'Did anyone switch on the
lights of the car?'
A: 'The interior of the car
A: 'Well, I assume because
the door was open.'
Q: 'The first time you
noticed the door open was when you
were packing up, is that so?'
A: 'Yes. I don't recall
seeing the door open at any other
Cross-examination by Andrew Kirkham:
Q: 'Firstly, did
you observe a dingo in the vicinity of your tent shortly before Mr.
A: 'Yes. I was washing up
with my daughter, facing towards
the sand-dunes, and I saw the dingo enter under the fence, directly
me, and it passed, to my left in the outer periphery of the light.'
Q: 'In relation to the
Chamberlain tent and car, can you
tell us in which direction it was traveling? Was it towards them?'
A: 'It was traveling towards
them in the time it was in the circle of light,
but once it went beyond the light I don't know where it went.'
Q: 'When Mr. Chamberlain
arrived at your tent, what was
A: 'You want my impression?'
Kirkham nodded. 'My immediate impression
he looked strange. He appeared
a man rigidly controlling some emotion that he thought may have been in
of overcoming him.'
Q: 'When you went down to
speak with Mrs. Chamberlain, it
was with the intention of giving her what support and comfort you
A: 'I guess I was wondering
if there was anything, in a
professional way that I could give.'
Q: 'Are you able to
recognize signs of shock in a person?'
A: 'I am certainly well qualified to do that.'
Q: 'When you saw Mrs.
Chamberlain, did she, to your mind,
exhibit signs of shock?'
A: 'Well, she was certainly
numb. And she certainly appeared to be rigid,
motionless, and oblivious, to some extent, of her surroundings. Those
would be consistent with a person in shock. '
Q: 'When you spoke with Mrs.
Chamberlain in the course of
the evening, did she describe to you the clothing the child was wearing.
A: 'Yes, yes. Because she
was concerned about the
exposure, and saying that the baby only had on a singlet and cotton
and an old cardigan.'
Q: 'An old cardigan?'
A: 'An old cardigan. I
recall the cardigan, because it
offered to me some comfort that at least the baby had one warm garment
Q: 'People did come along,
on and off, most of the night
whilst you were there?'
A: 'Yes. Every time they
came, there was always the hope that, maybe, this time
there would be something, something certain.'
Q: 'Mr. Chamberlain, on a
number of occasions, approached
vehicles coming up, and asked for news, is that so?'
A: 'I saw Michael several
times go towards a car. As it came down the
stopped, he would go off to the car.'
Testimony of Murray
Haby, examined by Thomas Pauling
Q: 'Were you sitting with your family in the Combivan,
with the door open, at about eight
o'clock, after you had finished your dinner?'
A: 'We were still in the
middle of the meal. While we were having the meal, a dingo
came up to the van. We
had the sliding door open. It came up, and I took a couple of
it. It was dark, so I used a flash.'
Q: 'At around eight-twenty
p.m. did a woman approach your
A: 'Yes. It was Mrs.
Q: 'Tell the jury, please,
how she approached the van.'
A: 'She was walking fast.
She said, "A dingo" -
or "a dog" - "has taken my baby, have you got a torch?" She
repeated something similar again because I sort of looked at her in
I suppose. I asked how did she know. She replied that she saw a
a dingo, coming out of the tent when she was walking to the tent, and
looked in and found the baby was missing. I then said, "did you see the
dingo, the dog, carry the baby out?'"
Q: 'Did Mrs. Chamberlain
A: 'She replied, "No, it
anything." I asked, "Which way did the dingo go?" The one she
saw. I'm not sure of the
exact words, but she said, "up there," or "In that
direction," and she pointed up the sand dune.....' '
Q: 'Now, Mr. Haby, 'you had been asked for a torch, and
pointed in the direction of the sand-hill.
What did you do?'
A: 'I went back to my
vehicle and got a torch, and then proceeded up
sand-dune. There were two other torch-lights flashing around on the
looked around on the lower part, and we called to each other a couple
- had we found anything? - And the answers were no. Then I thought,
there was a dog carrying something, it would have to cross the ridge of
sand dune, so I'll go up the dune. And I went to the top of the
walked along it until I came across some tracks.'
'There were a lot of tracks down lower,' he said, 'but
this track stood out because it was a little bigger than the others,
easy to follow, and came along to an area where obviously it had put
down, this dog or this dingo, and had left an imprint in the sand
which, to me,
looked like a knitted jumper, or a woven fabric. And then, it obviously
it up, because it dragged a bit of sand away from the front, and kept
And I followed it around past the Anzac memorial, to where a car-park
that road to the south of the sand-dune, and lost it in the car-park.'
Q: How [large was the
in the sand]?
A: 'To use the imperial,
about seven inches by five or
Q: 'The shape?'
A: 'A rough oval shape. It
had defined edges. There wasn't
a mark as if somebody had put down this, and left a straight edge.'
Q: 'Was there the impression
of anything attached to it,
A: 'No, it was just the one
oval shape. And there was a
drop of something there. Something moist, like saliva had spilt there
Q: 'Did you go and tell
A: 'Yes. I spoke to a ranger
and a policeman, and told
them what I'd found and I took them back up to the crest.'
Testimony of Ranger Derek
Roff, cross-examined by John Phillips
Q: 'You likened the impression you saw in the sand, to a crepe bandage?'
A: 'Yes, Sir.'
Q: 'Is a knitted garment
equally valid, Mr. Roff?'
A: 'I think it could very
well be. Yes.'
Q: 'Whatever the object was,
it had some weight to it?'
A: 'Yes, Sir.'
Q: 'The dog or dingo
pad-marks associated with this
drag-mark; did they run on either side of it?'
A: 'Yes, I ascertained that
the following day, really, more than that night. '
Q: 'Mr. Roff, the clear
inference you drew was that the
object causing the drag-mark was being carried by the animal in its
A: 'That was the clear
inference, yes. But of course, you know, it could have
been an object carried by anything.'
Q: 'Did you find more than
one area where the object had
apparently been put down?' The answer was a surprise.
A: 'Yes, Sir, three
Q.'Because you knew that
dingoes bury their prey, you took
pains, did you not, to indicate to the searchers that they should look
signs of anything having been buried?'
A: 'Right, Sir.'
Q: 'Nothing of the sort was
found in the searches you were
A: 'No. It was very
difficult because the country, you
know, was obviously torn up from tourist activities, before and during.'
Q: 'But the fact is?'
A.'We found nothing.
Joy Kuhl, cross-examined by John
'Now, Mrs. Kuhl, that is a
demonstration electrophoresis plate?'
'That is a demonstration
photograph of a gradient gel?'
'And that is a demonstration photograph of
an Ouchterlony plate?'
'What about the real
thing? What about the actual electrophoresis
plates that you ended up with at the end of your tests? Do you produce
'What about the actual
Ouchterlony plates that you ended up with at the end of your tests? Do
'What about the actual
gradient gel that you used in your tests? Do you produce that?'
'What about the plate
that you used for attempt at a haptoglobin grouping? Do you produce
'They are in Sydney, are
'Where are they?'
'They have been destroyed.'
'The plates are
'All of them?'
'All of them.'
'Whose decision was
that? Who is to take responsibility for this?'
'I don't see it as
anyone's responsibility. It is standard procedure in our
'Did you take any
photographs of them? Or did you direct that any photographs be taken of
evidence, before you destroyed it?’
'No. We have not the
facilities for that....'
Q: 'Now, at the inquest,
did you swear this? "Human fetal hemoglobin is different from adult
hemoglobin. While a baby, or a fetus, is in uterus it does not have any
'Yes, I did.'
'That was demonstrably
'I used that statement
for the - for purposes of making things clear and simple. It was not a
'I say false in the
sense of incorrect?'
'It was incorrect,
scientifically. It was used as an indication of the relative
'You are perfectly
entitled to give any explanation which you have, but the fact is,
scientifically that statement is
'Scientifically, it is not correct. Yes...'
you suggesting that
we should, as it were, shut the door [on the possibility that the blood
stains she examined could have been present in the Chamberlain car in]
'That would have been
consistent with my opinion, yes.'
'These stains could not
date from August 1979? Do you swear that?'
'It is an opinion. Based
purely on experience. I can't swear that.'
'Do you swear they
cannot date from July 1979?'
'Once again, no, I can't
'Do you swear they
cannot date from June 1979?'
'Here are two bands [of reaction],
'A band and a smudge.'
is a band, and a
faint impression of a second band?'
'No, I can
see only one band.'
Q: 'That is a band, is it not?'
'It is not a band. It is
an artifact in the staining procedure.'
James Cameron, examined by Ian
'I saw no evidence on any of these garments to
suggest that any member of the canine family was involved. I cannot say
anything about dingoes. I speak about the canine family in general.'
'In your opinion, is there evidence suggesting to you that the child
was not killed by a
member of the canine family?'
'There is evidence to
suggest it was killed in another method. It suggests there was an
around the neck. In other words, a cut throat.'
'A cutting instrument
across the neck, or around the neck.'
'Held by a human
'What do you say about
the possibility of a dog or a dingo having savaged the child in the
'I do not think there is
enough evidence on the jump-suit, alone, to support that theory.'
'What happens if a dog
bites a child's head?'
'A lot depends on where,
on the head, it bites. It would be very difficult for me to imagine a
grasping the head from above. That would be the only way in which I
think a dog
could possibly grasp a child without damaging the collar. But, in so
would have expected extensive bleeding, but not around the collar of
'Because when you get a
head injury, you get rivulets of blood draining down, and missing the
It goes down the front and down the back. Depending on which way the
bending, certainly, you'll get bleeding around the back of the collar,
on how the child lay afterwards, where there's pooling
of blood. I would have anticipated that it could only be described by a
cut-throat type of injury.'
'Had the child been
lifted and moved by a dog, what do you say about saliva?'
'I would have
anticipated saliva from any member of the canine family lifting a
Cross-examination by John Phillips
'Professor Cameron, I
would like to ask you some questions about a famous English case,
Con fait case, in which you were involved.'
'Because I want to
suggest to you it illustrates some of the difficulties in giving
opinions in court. Professor, let us go through the history of the
case, so the jury will follow it, please. In April 1972 the body of a
called Maxwell Confait was found at a house that had been set on fire,
had apparently been murdered.'
'That is so.'
'You attended, in the
early hours of the morning and examined his body.'
'Three young men were
charged with his murder.'
'Yes, if you could go back. On
that occasion, I refrained from taking a rectal temperature.'
'I will come back to
that later. I will give you an opportunity to say what you want to,
you did,' Phillips said, almost pleasantly. 'Three young men were
'Tried at the Old Bailey
in November 1972?'
'That is correct.'
'You gave evidence for
'One of them was
convicted of murder, another of manslaughter, the third of arson?'
'They were all sent to
'The case of these three
lads was referred to the Court of Appeal?'
'A Professor Teare gave
evidence on behalf of the boys?'
'The report of a
Professor Simpson was produced?'
'That is correct, yes.'
'You, indeed, gave
Q: 'At the
end of the
evidence, the Court of Appeal--'
'I object to that. What the Court of Appeal did has nothing to do with
'I am just going to say
what the result of the appeal was.'
'That is what I object to.'
'Very well, I note the
objection, but I will allow the question....'
Q. ‘I suggest, the attorney general announced
in parliament [after the convictions were overturned on appeal] that he
satisfied the boys were innocent, did he not?’
‘And the boys were awarded
some sixty thousand pounds compensation, because of their imprisonment?’
‘The problem illustrated by
the Confait case is that when you gave evidence at the trial, you did
a completely correct understanding of all the attendant circumstances,
‘I think that would be an
unfair criticism, of the police.’
Q. ‘But that is the fact: you did not?...’
Q: 'Now, I want to suggest
to you, Professor Cameron, that you have done the same thing in this
case. You formed the view that
you have expressed here, that a dog or a dingo did not have anything to
the disappearance of this child. Really, you first formed that view at
you wrote your report, did you not?'
'That is correct.'
'And your report was
introduced into evidence at the inquest?'
'And indeed it largely,
but not entirely, forms the basis of your evidence today, does it not?'
'You believed, at the
inquest, that the proposition that a dog or a dingo could take a child
out of a
jump-suit like that, leaving only two press-studs open, was quite
did you not?'
'That is correct, yes.'
'And you voiced that at
'I did, indeed.'
'You believed that when
the clothing was found only the top two studs were undone, Professor?'
'That is so, yes.'
'Will you now agree you were acting, even up to the second inquest,
a completely false impression as to the state of the studs that were
that clothing, when it was found?'
'Putting it that way, yes.'
‘The fact that you
believed only two studs were undone was an important factor in causing
conclude a dingo or a dog had nothing to do with it - because you
regard it as
incredible that a dog or a dingo could get a child out of a jump-suit,
only two buttons. '
'Have you given evidence
under any other false impressions of this case, Professor Cameron.'
A: 'Not that I know of.'
'You were not aware that
you were wrong until this morning, were you?'
understanding was wrong.'
A: 'My understanding was wrong, depending on the variability of the
'You can vary them as much as you like, but neither of them ever
said only the two top buttons were undone.'
'I accept that.'
'I would like to show
Professor Cameron photograph 10 B...Do you seriously suggest that this
shows the clothing in
a "neat bundle"?'
'I was told the clothing
was found in a neat bundle.'
'I know you were.... But you were told the clothing was found in a neat
'You said, in your
report: "Suffice to say I have never known a member of the canine
leaving clothes in a neat bundle.'"
'That is correct.'
Q: 'Did you put this in your
report: "On reading all the evidence, it would suggest the last time
child was seen, by an independent observer, was 1530 hours on the day
alleged disappearance of the child, although there is evidence given
that the child
moved, or was seen to be held by the mother. Nobody actually saw the
apart from an alleged kicking motion seen at the barbecue site." Did
put that in your report?'
'I put that in my
'Your beliefs expressed
there were part of the process of forming your opinions, were they not?'
'And 1530 hours, if I
can remember back to my army days, is three-thirty in the afternoon?'
'Did you read the
deposition of Mrs. West properly?'
'I'm afraid I don't
attach names to a thing.'
'It is clear, from Mrs.
West's depositions, that an independent person saw the child as the sun
A: 'Yes, it would appear.
But no exact time was given.'
'The sun would not be setting at half past three, would it?'
'No. I don't know when it was.'
'Do you agree that your
conclusion, having regard to Mrs. West's deposition, is a false
'It is a false
assumption if, if one negates, as I have apparently negated, Mrs.
'Have you made any other
false assumptions, before you gave evidence, Professor Cameron?'
'Again, not to my
'Not to your knowledge. Did you swear this at the inquest: "I rely
entirely on Dr
Scott's negative evidence, in that there was no saliva present. "?'
'Did you read Dr Scott's
[After reading from Scott's testimony a passage which included these
words: 'Of course, there is no
guarantee that there is no saliva elsewhere'] That, is a
completely different thing from swearing that there was no saliva
present, is it not?'
'There was no saliva
present on the samples taken.'
'That is what he said:
"Of course, there is no guarantee that there was no saliva
'I would accept that.'
'A nappy was one of the
articles found by Mr. Goodwin?'
'I suggest a Constable
Noble referred to "bits of scattered nappy"?'
'I remember that.'
'He referred to
"larger pieces of torn nappy", do you remember that?'
‘Mr. Goodwin, the finder
of the clothes, referred to "a nappy lying next to it", that is the
suit, "with a few tear-marks in it, and the plastic liner, with the
looking at one of the photographs, said, "Of the bits of nappy on the
ground, 1 think they would be pretty much where they were found." Did
read all that?'
'Did you say this, in
your report, and I will just read the material part now: "Suffice to
have never known a member of the canine family pulling off a nappy
intact." That is what you reported, was it not?'
'That is correct, yes.'
'You reported that
without seeing the photographs?'
'What? On the basis of
what Dr Brown told you?'
'No, the appearance of the nappy when I examined it....'
Q: 'You indicated an area,
which was on an ultra-violet photograph of the back of the suit, and
"a possible, more diffuse area there which gives the impression to me
the heel of the hand, with extended fingers". Right?'
'Yes. I corrected it, and said it wasn't the heel. It was that part of
'And referring to other
marks you suggest "they could be the fingers of the right hand", but
you couldn't be dogmatic about it.'
'So we are talking of
impressions of impressions, and suggestions based thereon, are we not,
Professor? Or, to be more to the point, that is what you are talking
'That is a play on
'Well, they are your
'And they are my
Testimony of Lindy Chamberlain, cross-examined by Ian
should we take it from what you said about Mrs. Ransome that you accept
told her to see that stains were cleaned from the pants?'
'I accept there must
have been some conversation, about something with the trousers. I don't
any of it.'
'I understand you do not
recall it. But do you accept what she said about having stains cleaned
'Yes. I just said: if
she says that's what I said, I accept it.'
'Do you accept there was
blood on the pants?'
'You do not?'
'Do you deny there was
blood on the pants?'
'I have never seen blood
on the pants at all.'
'Do you remember[Mrs. Hansell, the drycleaner, in her testimony]
indicated with her hand a sort of splashing motion?'
'She said they ranged in
size from about her fingernail.‘Sort of tapering
off with little drips, sort of, and went down to very small points,
blobs, just splattery. Between one to
three dozen, all told, and they were tapering off, and running down
bottom.' Do you remember her saying that?'
'Do you accept that is
what she saw?'
'Do you deny it was
'I have never seen any
blood on them myself. There could have been blood on them because they
the front of the tent.'
'Is that the way you
would account for it, if it were blood?'
'Well, that's the only
explanation I have.'
'Is that how you account
for the blood on the tracksuit pants, if that be the case?'
'Notwithstanding that it
was seen to be only below the knees, and only on one side?'
'I don't know how they
were folded or placed in the tent. It's the only explanation I have.'
'You would discount the
possibility that it came from you?'
'That is not my blood, Mr. Barker.'
'Did you have any blood
on your shoes at any stage?'
'My own opinion is that
there was blood on my shoes. It hasn't been confirmed by any tests,
'When did you become
aware of the blood on your shoes?'
'It was the first time I
went to wear them after I got home. It would have been a week later.'
'When was that? That you
became aware of blood on your shoes?'
'I said: about a week
'How do you say the
blood got on your shoes?'
'I think it would be
from crawling over things that were in the doorway, and things in the
'I take it from what you
said about the possible application of blood on the tracksuit pants,
other blood you saw, that you accept that the baby was bleeding in the
recall this animal going around the car? That is, on the southern side
'No. As I said, I only
watched it with my eyes for a couple of feet or so, and after that it
guesswork as to where it went.'
'Did it just disappear?'
'I didn't watch where it
went at that stage. I went into the tent.'
'Do we take it that it
had progressed at least to some part of the car?'
'Well, it had gone
somewhere.' I don't know where it had gone, Mr.
'Did you see it again at
'I saw a dingo standing
by the car on the southern side. The trackers told me that it was a
animal. It was the one I chased, though.'
'There was two dingoes there, and was there?'
'According to the
trackers, there were two.'
'when it was shaking its
head, was it
somewhere on top of the two parkas, is that right?'
'Somewhere in that
Apparently, if it be
blood, shaking blood onto your slacks?'
'Onto Aidan's parka? Do
'In my opinion, Aidan's parka had blood on the inside of it, but I
there have been any scientific results on that.'
'You know that none has
been detected, do you not.'
'I said scientifically.
I don't think they've picked it up.'
'You know, do you not,
that Dr Scott closely examined the tent for blood?'
'Yes. I believe it was
'You know he found a
small spray, on the southern side of the tent.'
'No, I understand there was a couple of small sprays. Along the
southern side of the tent.'
'But then you know he
said it is most unlikely that it was human blood?'
'I know he said he
couldn't detect what it was, apart from the fact it was blood.'
'If this dog, carrying
the baby, ran to the south of the car, the spray or sprays on the side
tent could have very little to do with this case.'
'If it had gone around
the car. But if it had gone in between, that would be a different
'You suggest that as a
think it's a possibility. Yes.'
'That it went between
the tent and the car?'
'When did you first
consider it as a possibility?'
'When I heard about the
sprays on the side of the tent. During the
'Before that, your view
was that it had gone around the car?'
'I had thought that's
where it had probably gone, yes.'
'Because you saw it
'I saw a dingo there....'
'You have heard quite a
lot of evidence, have you not, about the presence of blood in the car?'
'You have heard quite a
lot of evidence about the orthotolidine test?'
'And you heard Mrs. Kuhl
say that she received positive reactions for blood from the carpet from
'And the driver's seat?'
'If it were the case, do
you know why there would be blood on the driver's side carpet?'
'No. It could have come
from a number of places, I suppose. I don't know.'
'What places would you
around the car, or people moving. Or from people Michael had fixed
up, with injuries. I don't know.'
'Who did he fix up with
'Oh, we often used to
stop for road-accident victims.'
'How many road-accident
victims has he carried in that car, beside Mr. Lenehan?'
'I don't mean he carried
them in the car. I mean he stopped to assist at the accident site, and
A: 'He had to get back in
the car to drive.'
'And you think he might
have carried the blood with him.'
'He could easily have
done that. It is quite possible to have some on your hands when you get
heard about the positive reaction to the cross-bar under the
'I can remember a
cross-bar. I'm not sure which seat it came from.'
'You heard about the
reaction to the stain on the ten-cent coin?'
'And the floor? And the
bracket? And the hinge?'
'What do you say about
'I don't know that I've
got any opinion on it, particularly.'
Muirhead: 'You are not being asked, Mrs. Chamberlain,
whether you accept the validity of the findings. It is merely that, if
there were positive reactions,
what have you to say about it?'
don't know that I've really formed any opinion, Your Honor.'
'Can you account for the presence of blood on that side of the car?'
'I know Mr. Lenehan's
blood was on that side of the car. And a number of other
I have related here in court, but other than that. I don't know
anything about it.'
'The blood around the
console? Can you account for that, if indeed it was blood?'
'It could have got there
when Reagan hit the dashboard. I don't know.'
'When was that?'
'A couple of months
after we bought the car, in I979. Reagan was about twenty months old.'
'What about the window
‘Well that could've
easily got there when I got back into the car after attending to Mr.
'That's been used on a
number of occasions to clean up the, car.'
'What about the spray under the dash.'
'I'm not convinced in my
mind how that got there.'
'Can you offer us any
'It would only be pure speculation.'
'You prefer not to
speculate. You just have no idea how it got there.'
going to speculate on how it got there.'
'You would not suggest
it came from Mr. Lenehan, would you?'
'A nose bleed?'
'Not under there.'
'What about the towel in
the wheel-well at the back?'
'That had been used to
clean up the car, and wipe down the car, on various occasions. One of
towels had been on my knee when I was nursing Mr. Lenehan.'
'I don't really know
whether there's any blood on the scissors or not.'
'There could've, quite
possibly, been some blood on Michael's hands that night, from
collecting the gear
out of the tent. Zip up his camera-bag, it could easily get on the
'What gear did he put in
it that night? Do you know?'
'In the car? All the
stuff out of the tent.'
'In the camera-bag.'
'He wouldn't have put
any gear in the camera-bag, but he may have zipped it up before he
'There were large areas
in both the front two compartments which reacted to the positive
tests for blood, the orthotolidine tests. Now, if indeed that reaction
blood, can you account for it?'
'Your Honor, I do not want to intervene, but did
not Mrs. Kuhl specifically say that after four days she could not prove
presence of blood in the bag?'
Muirhead: 'I think Mr. Barker may be
restricting it to the orthotolidine test.'
'That last little piece
that slipped in, got it into the area of actual blood.'
'Could you restrict it?'
'I said 'if it were
blood', Your Honor.'
'If it were blood, and if
the orthotolidine test did give a positive reaction. Put the question
'She said screening-tests
of the vinyl surfaces gave consistently positive results in both the
and centre compartment. You cannot account for that?'
'If it was nasal secretion
or something like that, I could understand it.'
'Well, it had held used
handkerchiefs, and I carried used children’s' clothes in it, and things
'On the night of I7
‘I wouldn't expect so, on
the night of I7 August, but it had been used for some four months, by
before that, and it was about five years old when we got it.'
'You see, you heard it put that other substances can cause a positive
reaction, did you
'And that one of those
substances could be vomit, provided the vomit contained blood?'
'The baby had vomited in
the car on about five occasions, is that right?'
'Did it ever vomit
Muirhead: 'To your knowledge.'
'She had projectile
vomiting. I've never analyzed it to see what's in it but it's - rather
'On each occasion you
were holding her?'
at least one occasion Reagan was. Reagan was burping her.'
'Do you suggest that the vomit could account for the presence of blood?
For the positive reaction in the camera-case?'
'Well, this is - There are things
that had been at different times in the camera-bag.'
'You say vomit?'
'The face washers, were used to wipe up vomit at some stage. But
whether they had blood in
them, I don't know. I'm just saying it's possible.'
'You know there was no
blood on the fly screen.'
'I presume there wasn't,
because it hasn't been mentioned.'
'Do you say this dog had
its head halfway through the fly screen, shaking a bleeding baby?'
'I said it was emerging
through the fly screen.'
'Shaking its head
'I couldn't tell you,
now, whether it was shaking its head as it was going through, or before
through. Its obvious movement was shaking the fly screen at some stage.
all in a matter of a few seconds, from the time I first saw it to the
was in the back of the tent, very very fast and moving.'
'Your evidence is that
you saw it shaking its head vigorously, and it was moving the fly
screen in the
'I don't know whether
its head was shaking the fly screen, or whether what it had in its
hitting against the fly screen.'
'And what it had in its
mouth, we know now, according to you, was
a bleeding baby.'
'That's my opinion.'
'That is my opinion.'
'Well, is there any
doubt about it?'
'Not in my mind.'
'Is it merely your
"opinion" or is it something you know as a fact?'
'It is something my
heart tells me is a fact. Other people
don't think so.'
'Does it surprise you
there was no blood on the fly screen?'
'No. There was blood on
the pole. It doesn't really surprise me there was none there. It would
which angle the animal was, or which angle the wounds
'Mrs. Chamberlain, you
say this child was in the mouth of a dingo which was vigorously shaking
head at the entrance to the tent. That is what you firmly believe, is
'The dog having taken
Azaria from the bassinet?'
Muirhead:'Take it steady, Mrs. Chamberlain.'
'You saw blood on the
Muirhead: 'Would you
like a spell, Mrs. Chamberlain?'
rather get it over with, Your Honor.'
'I do not want you to have
to answer questions when you are feeling distressed.'
'No, I'd prefer to go
on. This has been going on for two years. I want to get it over
'You say the blood on
the parka must have come from the baby?'
'When it was in the
'Somewhere around that
'What other time could
it have come from the baby?'
'Look, Mr. Barker, I wasn't there. I can only go on the evidence of my
own eyes. We are talking about my baby daughter, not some object.'
Muirhead: 'We will adjourn for ten
'I would like to remind
you of some evidence given by Constable Morris. He told us this:
"Mrs. Chamberlain said that originally she was at the barbecue-site and
she'd seen a dingo near the tent. It had what seemed to be something in
mouth. She hadn't taken a great deal of notice of it, because she'd
and dingoes earlier in the day around the campsite, around the rubbish
and tourists feeding them to try to get photographs etcetera, and
undue notice until she returned to the tent-site a short while later,
suddenly realized that the dingo or dog must have taken her baby." Did
you hear him say that?'
'I - I don't recall his
evidence greatly. That is not, to my knowledge, what I told him. It may
been the impression he got.'
'Did you tell him you
had seen a dingo near the tent, and it had what appeared to be
something in its
'I told - I told him I
had seen a dingo in the tent with – appearing to have something in its
'Is this the case: when
you first saw the dingo you did not take much notice because you had
around the camp earlier in the day?'
'Yes, that's probably
it. For the first half second or something like that, I thought it had
a shoe. I
didn't really take much notice. That's why I just yelled at it to get
Muirhead: 'When you say "much
notice", you mean that you did not feel alarm?'
tell him that you did not take undue notice until you "returned to the
tent site a short while later", and then "suddenly realized a dingo
or dog must have taken the baby’?'
'Not to my knowledge.'
'Do you deny telling him
'I said I don't remember
telling him that.'
'Do you deny telling
'I just don't remember telling
him anything about it. I don't know whether I did or I didn't.'
'You might have told
'It's possible, but I don't see why I would have, because it doesn't
any of my memories of what happened.'
'Which is totally
inconsistent with your evidence, is it not?'
'You know Constable
Morris, do you not?'
'I do now, very well.'
'I suggest to you that
he came back to try and find out what the baby was wearing.'
'I can remember him
running across, at one stage, and saying, "What was the baby dressed
in?" and me saying, "White" and him tearing off again. There
just wasn't an opportunity to give him a full description. He had to
searchers know basically what they were looking for.'
'Did you tell him,
again, that you saw the dingo near the entrance to the tent?'
'I could have, quite
'Did you tell him the
dingo had "nothing in its mouth "?'
'I think we've been over this a
number of times before. I told him I saw nothing in its mouth.'
'Did you correct him?'
'To - to my remembrance
I, yes, I know we had several discussions on his impression, and my
'You do now remember the
conversation, do you?'
'I know that when he
came to see us just before we left he was still confused.'
'He was confused? By the way, did you tell him the baby was wearing a
'I did mention it. But I
don't know if he was close enough to have heard. He was on the move.'
'You heard him say here
that you did not say anything about a matinee-jacket at the time.'
'It was quite possible
he was too far away to hear.'
'Your Honor, I object to selected
passages being put. My recollection is, when he was cross-examined, the
constable clearly said that he may be mistaken.'
Muirhead: 'He said that it was not
verbatim. He made no notes.'
'More than that, with respect Your Honor. He said he may be
mistaken about that.'
'I was not trying to argue
with you, Mr. Phillips. I was kind of basically
'I would like to remind
you of what you told Inspector Gilroy the day after all this happened.
Now, what you say
there, do you not, is that you found the the baby was missing when you
the tent, not when you were running towards it?'
'I think it's just a
matter of how it's put.'
'Is it? What you say
there is, do you not, you called to your husband that the dingo had the
when you emerged from the tent? Not before you went into it?'
'Well, I did
'You did both. Did you
see, as you approached the tent, that the baby had gone?'
'Why did you not tell
that to Gilroy?'
thought I had.'
'Why did you say to him:
"I dived straight in the tent first to see if there was anything I
do. I never thought of him taking her’?'
'To know that something's
true, and to accept it, are two different things...'
'You dived into the
tent, did you not, and saw that she was gone? Is this what you told
'Mr. Barker, that interview was a short interview, to give them some
facts to work on. He
told me they were coming back to take a statement with all details in
don't pretend that everything in there is exactly one after the other
happened. I was totally confused, and still in shock, when that was
'Is it the case that
what you say here,' he waved the document, 'cannot be relied upon?'
'I am saying that it may
not specifically be lined up, one thing after the other. It may be
not saying it's incorrect. I'm saying it may be in the wrong order.'
'I suggest to you that
it is not merely a matter of jumbling. It is simply incapable of being
reconciled with what you say here. Do you understand that?'
'It isn't, in my mind, Mr. Barker....'
'Mrs. Chamberlain, may I
respectfully suggest to you that the whole story is mere fantasy.'
'You have suggested that
'Mrs. Chamberlain, is it
not the case that your husband declined to search actively on that
because he knew that the baby was dead, and he knew that you had killed
'No, definitely not.'
'And is it not the case
that this is why you declined to actively search?'
'I suggest to you that
the reason that you and your husband stayed near the car whilst people
searching was that, for some portion of that night at least, the
was in the car.'
'You invented the story
of the dingo removing the child from the tent.'
'I definitely did not
invent that story. It's the truth, Mr. Barker.'
Barry Boettcher, examined by
Q: 'Professor, had you received prior to this
trial a copy of Mrs. Kuhl's
'Had you been supplied,
too, with a copy of her deposition, her sworn evidence, made at the
'During the course of
this trial, I think everyone is aware, you were present during Mrs.
'Professor Boettcher, in your
opinion, should it be concluded, on the results of any of the tests
by Mrs. Kuhl, that fetal hemoglobin was present in any of the samples
'No. It is my opinion that such a conclusion should not be reached from
results presented by Mrs. Kuhl. The anti-serum known as
anti-hemoglobin has in it antibodies that react with both the alpha and
beta molecular chains which are found in hemoglobin’s. The alpha chains
in all hemoglobin’s, adult and fetal. The beta globin chain is found
adult hemoglobin. Fetal hemoglobin contains both alpha and gamma
chains, and if one is testing a blood sample that has some fetal and
material in it, one expects that, if you obtain a reaction with
hemoglobin anti-serum, that should be directed only at the gamma chain,
found only in fetal hemoglobin. If you perform a test on the same
an anti-hemoglobin serum which is specific for the alpha chain which is
in both adult hemoglobin and fetal hemoglobin, you would also expect to
Testimony of Les
Harris,examined by Andrew Kirkham
'I am more concerned, to explore the situation in relation to
stationary, or slow-moving,
prey....Stationary or slow-moving prey is usually taken head-on,
is the way the dingo has constructed the situation and, if we are
small mammals, it will take the entire head. It will seize the entire
its jaws, and in one motion it simply closes its jaws, and it will
skull. Usually they will accompany this with a sharp shake, which is
to break the neck of the animal at the same time....'
'With your knowledge of
dingo behavior and capacity, are you able to offer an opinion as to
dingo would be capable of grasping and carrying the child?'
'Yes, it would. There is enough showing that the dingo would make
the assessment that it was a mammal, and therefore viable prey. I would
envisage that a dingo would, immediately after the instant of
make seizure, which would be of the entire head, and it would close its
sufficiently to render that mammal immobile. As a continuous operation,
would then continue by making off with the acquired prey. It would have
the seizure by head, and it would be unlikely that it would change its
any way. That would have been enough to immobilize the prey.'
Would the dingo [have spent much time in the tent, given what we know
was happening around the Chamberlain's tent]?
'No, particularly not in
those circumstances....A dingo, a pair of dingoes, will have a
territory, and they
take their life-time's food supply from that territory. What makes the
Rock area unique is that there has been an artificial food supply
provided by tourists,
and a number of dingoes forage in one area, and that is very rare. To
knowledge it doesn't happen normally in dingo society.'
'With your knowledge of
dingo attacks, would you expect to see a large amount of blood?'
Muirhead: [What is the basis for your objection]?
'Your Honor, the man is not a
pathologist dealing with the body of a baby....We have already been
told that the dingo grabs the head, crushes, and shakes....'
Have you [observed much blood from dingo killings in the field?]
'No, there's been very
little, and it's characteristic of a kill in the field that little
'We've heard evidence
that a dingo in the Chamberlain tent was seen to shake its head, in the
vicinity of the entrance. [Is that inconsistent with what you'd
expect from your observations of dingo behavior?]
'No, that's quite
consistent, because they are observed to also shake it after they have
seizure, and the shake is obviously intended to break the neck.'
Professor Vernon Plueckhahn
Plueckhahn: 'Depending on the vessels
punctured at the time; If It's a vein punctured as such, a tooth could
well form a plug. It depends on how tight he gripped.'
Barker: 'You don't agree with
Professor Cameron that there is evidence of the impression of a human
'As I've said before, 'with
due respect to his eminence-I'm sorry, that's the wrong word-to his
prominence, with due respect to that, his opinion, I cannot postulate,
even with proper-with full examination, having viewed it also under
ultraviolet light without his photographs, and all that sort of thing,
and seen it, I cannot in the wildest imagination from this, see the
imprint of a hand. And as I've said, I've tried to convince myself
there could be.'
Judge Muirhead: 'With
imprints, you include impression, do you?'
yes. There is nothing in this, looking at it, which would even
remotely suggest to me that it is any part of the human hand.' He added
that he could find no evidence of a handprint on the highly contrasted
ultraviolet fluorescent photograph, either. If I really want to I could
say it was an emu's foot, or something or rather like that, which is
more like it, but I wouldn't conceive that-that doesn't conceive
anything to me.'
Testimony of Michael Chamberlain, cross-examined by
your wife tell you had happened to the child?'
'That a dingo had taken
'When did she tell you
in detail, Mr. Chamberlain, precisely what she had seen?'
'We talked about it, on
and off, during the evening.'
'What did she tell you?'
'I don't recall exactly
the conversations we had.'
'There is no doubt, is
there, that your wife was the last person to see the child alive?'
'And do you tell us that
you are unable to say just what she told you about the child's
'In no detail can I tell
you. We prayed.'
'Did you think then that
the child had died?'
'I knew she was in great
'What did you think was
going to cause her death?'
'Either exposure or
'You didn't know from
where she was bleeding?'
'You didn't inquire
whether your wife could help you find out?'
'It didn't occur to me.
The fact was she was bleeding, and she was in danger of death.'
'Could it be because you
knew that the dingo did not take her, and that she was dead at the
'Did you say to
Constable Morris something like this, on the occasion he came back to
inquiries: 'It was the will of God; there was nothing that you or I or
anybody else could do about it'?'
'I don't recall saying
'Do you deny it?'
'I'm not going to deny
'It's something you
'I believe in God's
'Did you believe it was
the will of God when you told Morris?'
'God's will is over
'I suggest you couldn't
see then, and you can't see now, why your wife would not have seen a
dressed in white being carried in the mouth of a dingo out of the tent,
past the front of it.'
'I believe my wife's
account, Mr. Barker.'
'I suggest the whole
story is nonsense, and you know it.'
'No, Mr. Barker.'
'How do you account for
the damage to the collar of the jumpsuit?'
'I can't account for
'Did your wife cut the
'I don't think she did.'
'Did she cut the
'I don't think so.'
'Did you bury the
jump-suit with the child in it?'
'Did your wife?'
'I don't think she did....'
'Mr. Chamberlain, your wife, I suggest, told you that the story of the
false, very soon after the child was killed.'
'Did she not?'
'She did not.'
'She told you she was
going to suggest that the dingo at the tent was the same as the dingo
she saw at
'Could you repeat that
'She told you that she
was going to suggest that the dingo at the tent was the same as the
saw at the Rock.'
'I don't remember that.'
'Did she say, 'Why
don't we go to the algas so the boys will stop playing up?' Or
'No. No, that wasn't
'Look, didn't it occur to you that there might have been a remote
however remote, that the child was still alive on Monday morning?'
'You believe in miracles, don't you? There are plenty of precedents for
them, aren't there?'
'I'm also a realist.'