The Trial of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain:
|August 17, 1980
||While Lindy and Michael
Chamberlain are vacationing near Ayers Rock in Australia's Northern
Territory, 10-week-old Azaria Chamberlain disappears from the family
|August 24, 1980
||The bloody jumpsuit and singlet
of Azaria is found near a boulder at the base of Ayers Rock by a
|December 15, 1980
||The first coroner's inquest into
the death of Azaria opens before Denis Barritt.
|February 20, 1981
||Coroner Barritt finds that
Azaria was taken and presumably killed by a dingo (a wild dog).
|September 19, 1981
||Northern Territory police search
the home of the Chamberlains in Cooranbong, New South Wales.
|November 18, 1981
||The Supreme Court of the
Northern Territory quashes the findings of the first inquest, and
orders that a second inquest into Azaria's death be held.
|December 14, 1981
||A second coroner's inquest opens
before Gerry P. Galvin.
|February 2, 1982
||Coroner Galvin commits Lindy
Chamberlain for trial in relation to the murder of Azaria, and Michael
Chamberlain on a charge of being an accessory after the fact.
|September 13, 1982
||The Chamberlain trial opens in a
Darwin courthouse before Justice James Muirhead.
|October 13, 1982
||The defence opens its case in
the Chamberlain trial.
|October 29, 1982
||The Chamberlain case goes to the
jury. The jury finds Lindy guilty of murder and Michael guilty of
being an accessory after the fact. Lindy is sentenced to life at
hard labor, while Michael's sentence is deferred.
|November 19, 1982
||Lindy Chamberlain, two days
after giving birth to a baby girl, is released on bail pending an
|February 7, 1983
||The Full Bench of the Federal
Court hears the appeal of the Chamberlains.
|April 29, 1983
||The Federal Court, in a
unanimous vote, rejects the Chamberlains' appeal and Lindy is returned
|November 28, 1983
||The Chamberlains seek leave to
appeal their convictions to Australia's High Court.
|February 22, 1984
||Australia's High Court, voting 3
to 2, upholds the conviction of the Chamberlains.
|May 3, 1984
||A petition with 131,000
signatures calling for Lindy's release and a judicial inquiry into the
case is presented to the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen.
||"Evil Angels," a book by
Melbourne barrister John Bryson, provides an in-depth look at the
Chamberlain case, and suggests that they might have been wrongfully
|November 12, 1985
||The Northern Territory rejects
the application of the Chamberlain Innocence Committee for a full
judicial inquiry into the case.
|November, 25, 1985
||The Northern Territory turns
down Lindy Chamberlain's application for early release from prison.
|February 2, 1986
||A matinee jacket matching the
description of the jacket Azaria wore on the day of her disappearance
in discovered at Ayers Rock.
|February 7, 1986
||Lindy Chamberlain is released
from prison. The Northern Territory Government announces that
there will be a new inquiry into Azaria's death.
||The American television show
"Sixty Minutes" runs interviews with the Chamberlains as part of a
story strongly suggesting their innocence.
|May 8, 1986
||A judicial inquiry into the
Chamberlain case opens in Darwin before Justice Trevor Morling.
|May 22, 1987
||Justice Moorling issues a
379-page report analyzing the evidence in the Chamberlain case.
The report finds the evidence against the Chamberlains to be
|October 21, 1987
||The Northern Territory
Government enacts special legislation authorizing the Chamberlains to
apply to the Court of Appeal to have their convictions quashed.
|September 15, 1988
||The Northern Territory Court of
Criminal Appeals unanimously quashes all convictions against Lindy and
||A movie about the Chamberlain
case, "A Cry in the Dark" (or "Evil Angels") starring Meryl Streep as
Lindy Chamberlain, is released.
||Lindy Chamberlain receives $1.3
million compensation from the government for wrongful imprisonment.
|December 20, 1992
||Lindy Chamberlain marries Rick
Creighton, an American publisher and fellow Seventh Day Adventist.
|November 29, 1995
||A third coroner's inquest--this
one a "paper inquest"--into Azaria's death is held before Coroner John
|December 13, 1995
||Coroner Lowndes concludes that
the cause of Azaria's death "cannot be determined."
|August 6, 2004
||Melbourne pensioner Frank Cole,
now 78, takes a lie detector test to prove his story that in August
1980 he shot the dingo that killed Azaria, then showed the baby's body
to his companions. He passes the test, but Lindy
Chamberlain-Creighton expresses doubts about his story.
||After a series of dingo attacks
on humans, a fourth coroner's inquest into the death of Azaria is
opened. Lindy Chamberlain expresses the hope that the inquest
will both clear her name and alert the public to the fact that "dingoes
are a dangerous animal."