September 13 to October 29, 1982
The Prosecution Case
The Defence Case
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 throat.
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.
Q. 'I want to take you to Mrs. Chamberlain going back from the barbecue to the tent, with the baby and Aidan...'
A. 'Yes, that point in time. Right. Mrs. Chamberlain had the baby in her arms, and Aidan was close behind her. I recall them walking along 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 they walked back to the barbecue. Mrs. Chamberlain had a tin of something in her hand, and I saw a can-opener, or perhaps something else, in her other hand. Aidan was behind her. And the next I recall, he was beside me, between myself and the second barbecue, which Mr. Chamberlain had been using, and Lindy was just inside the railing, near the barbecue.'
Q: 'Are you able to tell us how long Mrs. Chamberlain was away from the barbecue area?'
A: 'Well, it's a fairly short period of time. But I've stated before, six to ten minutes would be 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 anything. 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 that they'd been on.'
Q: 'What happened next?'
A: 'She was in the area on that footpath closest to where the car and the tent were, only inside the railings, and yelled out the cry, "That dog's got my baby.'"
A: "'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 general area. Then, as they went off searching, one of them shouted about a torch, and Greg said to get the torch from the car, which I did. I had my daughter on my hip.'
Q: 'After the police arrived, a major search got underway?'
A: 'That's right. People came from all directions.'
Q: '[Did you then enter the Chamberlain's tent?]'
A: 'Yes. Aidan was close by me after the men had started searching, and he was very upset, and said that 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 leaned in a little way. 1 think Aidan got in when he showed me where he slept. 1 saw a few spots of blood around the area at that time. After he showed me where he slept, I think my eyes caught sight of the bigger pool of blood in the tent.'
Q: 'Where was it?'
A: '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 padded, but was still wet on the surface. So, although the area itself wasn't large, 1 took it to be quite a lot of blood.'
Q: 'Can you describe it?'
A: '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
Q: '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 or indirectly?'
A: 'No, no.'
Q: 'And no connection whatsoever, for example, with their church?'
Q: 'And, in the three-quarters of an hour, where had the acquaintanceship got to? First names, was it?'
A: 'Yes, first names....'
Q. 'The Crown is saying that it is impossible you heard the baby when Mrs. Chamberlain returned to the barbecue.'
A: 'I disagree with that.'
Q: 'Not only do you disagree with it, but you are absolutely certain that is the time you heard the baby? Are you?'
A. [The witness nods.]
Q: 'Would you say, "Yes," please.'
A: 'Yes. All the Chamberlains, Aidan and Mrs. Chamberlain and Mr. Chamberlain were present. My husband, myself and child. And we heard the cry.'
Q: 'The cry came from the direction of the tent?'
A: 'It definitely came from the tent.'
Q: 'Beyond any doubt?'
A: 'I'm positive.'
Q: 'You knew well, from your own child, the sound of a baby crying?'
A: 'Well, I come from a big family and am used to babies. I can tell the difference between a baby and an older child. '
Q: 'Apart from your own baby and rearing it through the same stages as Azaria Chamberlain, what other babies of that age had you had direct contact with, prior to August 1980?'
A: 'I come from a family of nine, and they always seem to be having children. I'm just familiar with babies and children.'
Q: 'You are quite satisfied that the sound you heard was a baby crying out?'
A: 'Yes. Positive.'
Q: 'I think it has been suggested to you in the past that it might have been the little boy Reagan, who I think was then four, crying out in his sleep? Do you reject that suggestion completely?'
A: 'Definitely. It was a small baby.'
Q: 'What about this suggestion that Mrs. Chamberlain stood up with the baby, took it over to the 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 you that such a thing was likely to happen?'
A: 'No. In fact the opposite. She sort of had a new-mum glow about her. It's hard to describe.'
Q: 'A new-mum glow. Did she appear a loving mother to you?'
A: 'Yes. Definitely yes.'
Q: 'Was she in a sullen, truculent, surly mood?'
A: 'No. She was a little tired, but she still managed to be quite cheerful and happy.'
Q: 'Was there anything in her appearance and her demeanor, on her return, that indicated anything abnormal had happened?'
A: 'No. She seemed to be solely concerned with feeding Aidan some more food.'
Q: 'Was she covered in blood?'
Q: 'Did she have any blood on her at all that you saw?'
A: 'Well, I didn't look all over her. But just looking directly at her, I didn't see any blood, no.'
Q: 'She has told the police that the reason why she returned with Aidan to the barbecue was that he wanted something extra to eat, and she selected a can of baked beans and returned to the barbecue to heat it up. You can at least confirm can you not, that she returned with a can in one hand?'
Q: 'And a can-opener in the other?'
A: 'Yes. I'm not sure, but I believe it was a can-opener, yes.'
Q: 'Mrs. Lowe, I would like to read you some more passages from the prosecutor's opening address. Mr. Barker told the court that, as to blood in the tent, there were 'just insignificant traces".' Phillips flipped through the transcript. 'And he 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 articles of bedding, clothing?'
A: 'Yes. You couldn't see any part of the - '
Q: 'Of the fabric of the tent itself?'
A: 'That's right.'
Q: 'Was this area of blood, that you have described, a tiny trace?'
A: 'No. I wouldn't have said that. That was what convinced me that the baby was dead. From the amount of blood I saw.'
Q: 'Did you also see some spots of blood?'
A: 'Yes, that's correct.'
Q: 'Spots on a sleeping-bag?'
A: 'Yes. There were spots on Reagan's sleeping-bag, to the right in the tent.'
Q: 'If forensic scientists later found eleven spots on a sleeping-bag, that would be consistent with what you saw?'
A: 'It wouldn't surprise me.'
Q: 'Several ladies comforted Mrs. Chamberlain during the time you were there?'
Q: 'You can only recall one occasion Mrs. Chamberlain was with her husband?'
Q: 'On that occasion they were in a lighted area?'
Q: 'You could see them?'
Q: 'They were never out of your sight?'
A: '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 that, either Mr. or Mrs. Chamberlain cleaning the inside of that car.'
A: 'No, and the car was here. You could see inside the car too, from the light...'
Q: 'Was there anything done by the Chamberlains, during the time you were there, to suggest they were burying a body?'
A: 'No, no.'
Q: 'Did you ever see them take any object out of the car and disappear into the scrub?'
A: 'No, no.'
Q: 'You can be quite categorical, can you not, that nothing of the sort occurred during the time you saw them away from the car?'
Justice 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 car doors?'
Q: 'You yourself did not open them?'
Q: 'At any stage, did you see the headlights, or any lights attached to the car, inside or out, illuminated?'
A: 'No. The only light was from the barbecue area, and then later from the police vehicle.'
Q: 'Am I right in saying you never saw, after you heard the baby, anyone in the car?'
A: 'No one,' she said, shaking her head. 'No.'
Phillips: 'I do not think the prosecution suggests otherwise, but there is no doubt the baby was alive during the time the mother was nursing it at the barbecue, is there?'
A: 'Yes, the baby was definitely alive.'
Q: 'Because you saw it kicking, did you not?'
A: 'Yes. Also the expression it made on its face.'
Q: 'Mrs. Chamberlain has spoken, in conversations with the police, about a dingo which was present when you were all at the barbecue. '
A: 'That's correct.'
Q: 'According to what she has said, the dingo at one point came very close, and pounced on some little mouse that was hopping about. Was there a dingo close to you at the barbecue?'
A: 'Yes. One followed me back from the rubbish bins at one stage, just sort of fairly close behind, but 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.'
Q: 'As to the duration of the baby's cry, that cry, as you listened to it, appeared to be cut off?'
A: 'That's right. Going from experience with other babies. Yes.'
Q: 'It seemed to you to stop suddenly?'
Q: 'And that was something you noted?'
Q: 'You say you heard a dingo 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...'
Q: 'How long 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 mean?'
Q: 'That happened more than once?'
A: 'Twice, for about ten minutes each time. No more.'
Q: 'So you had been inside the tent. What did it look like in there?'
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 remember some blood. I was kneeling on a little blanket, a baby-rug, and there was a 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, anything?'
A: 'No. No, they had nothing.'
Q: 'What was it [Michael] was saying?'
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 was a 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 and 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.'
Cross-examination by Andrew Kirkham:
Q: 'Could you tell the jury what time you arrived at Ayers Rock.'
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 was sitting 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 shooing off a dog.'
Q: 'How long did you have to exert yourself to shoo the dingo away?'
A: 'Not long, because I did not want it there.'
Q: 'In which direction did it proceed?'
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 the barbecue?'
Q: 'Can you recall the details?'
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 Azaria.'
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 that was covered with travel badges, and she told me she had done the same thing: she'd sewed travel badges on a parka of Michael's, and for the two little boys. Wherever they went, she bought badges and sewed them on, and she'd started a 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 Mrs. 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 she said it was time for the baby to be picked up. She had a great care for the baby.'
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 awake?'
A: 'Yes. She was sitting. Mrs. Chamberlain was dandling her on her knee.'
Q: 'Did Mrs. Chamberlain appear in any way grouchy or unhappy?'
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 the 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 the rear of the Chamberlains' tent?'
A: 'About half way.'
Q: 'Half way what?'
A: 'Between our tent and the Chamberlains'.'
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, you say.'
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 bit 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 estimate 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 raised until the time she and her husband departed for the Uluru Motel?'
A: 'Yes. 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 her?'
Justice Muirhead: 'Your assumption from that, I suppose, 'was that the car was locked?'
Q: 'Did you see it unlocked that evening?'
A: 'Not until they'd packed up.'
Q: 'And set off for the hotel?'
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 Mrs. Chamberlain that night to indicate that there was little hope of the child remaining alive?'
A: 'No. The bush-nurse, when she arrived, asked Mrs. Chamberlain if she was feeding the baby. And when Mrs. Chamberlain said that she was, she indicated that she'd 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 bush-nurse.'
A: [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." My husband addressed a remark to him which I didn't hear, in response to which Michael turned and indicated outside the tent. My husband and daughter immediately grabbed torches, clothing, and ran out. Because Max and Rosalie had already gone, he raised his voice to follow them out, and I heard him saying, "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 minutes.'
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 anything?'
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 arm, and I led her over to the low fence. I sat her down and sat beside her, and there was another woman who sat on the other side, the right side of Lindy, Judith West.'
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 because she 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, it must be out there, under the bushes somewhere, and they're not searching, and they should be looking in that area." 'I recall something else she said: "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 didn't look 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 minutes.'
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 dingo?'
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 flap. I think she said she then entered the tent, looked for the baby, and it wasn't in the bassinet. The big clothing was disheveled, and she thought first of all maybe the baby had fallen out, and she searched around but couldn't find it.'
Q: 'After Mr. and Mr. Chamberlain had been away for the fifteen to twenty minutes you describe, did Mrs. Chamberlain say anything more to her husband, in your hearing, about how the baby could have disappeared?'
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 after the 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, across. ...
Q: 'Did anyone switch on the lights of the car?'
A: 'The interior of the car was lighted.'
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 time.'
Cross-examination by Andrew Kirkham:
Q: 'Firstly, did you observe a dingo in the vicinity of your tent shortly before Mr. Chamberlain arrived there?'
A: 'Yes. I was washing up with my daughter, facing towards the sand-dunes, and I saw the dingo enter under the fence, directly across from 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 his demeanor?'
A: 'You want my impression?' Kirkham nodded. 'My immediate impression was that he looked strange. He appeared to be a man rigidly controlling some emotion that he thought may have been in danger 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 could?'
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 signs 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 jump-suit, 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 on.'
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 road and stopped, he would go off to the car.'
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 photographs of it. It was dark, so I used a flash.'
Q: 'At around eight-twenty p.m. did a woman approach your Combivan?'
A: 'Yes. It was Mrs. Chamberlain.'
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 disbelief, I suppose. I asked how did she know. She replied that she saw a dog, or a dingo, coming out of the tent when she was walking to the tent, and she 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 reply?'
A: 'She replied, "No, it wasn't carrying 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 the sand-dune. There were two other torch-lights flashing around on the dunes. I looked around on the lower part, and we called to each other a couple of times - had we found anything? - And the answers were no. Then I thought, Well, if there was a dog carrying something, it would have to cross the ridge of the sand dune, so I'll go up the dune. And I went to the top of the sand-dune and 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, and quite easy to follow, and came along to an area where obviously it had put something 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 picked it up, because it dragged a bit of sand away from the front, and kept moving. And I followed it around past the Anzac memorial, to where a car-park comes off that road to the south of the sand-dune, and lost it in the car-park.'
Q: How [large was the impression in the sand]?
A: 'To use the imperial, about seven inches by five or six.'
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, or not?'
A: 'No, it was just the one oval shape. And there was a drop of something there. Something moist, like saliva had spilt there beside it.'
Q: 'Did you go and tell somebody?'
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.'
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 mouth?'
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 areas....'
Q.'Because you knew that dingoes bury their prey, you took pains, did you not, to indicate to the searchers that they should look for signs of anything having been buried?'
A: 'Right, Sir.'
Q: 'Nothing of the sort was found in the searches you were involved in?
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.
Q. 'Now, Mrs. Kuhl, that is a demonstration electrophoresis plate?'
Q: 'That is a demonstration photograph of a gradient gel?'
Q. 'And that is a demonstration photograph of an Ouchterlony plate?'
Q: '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 those?'
Q: 'What about the actual Ouchterlony plates that you ended up with at the end of your tests? Do you produce those?'
Q: 'What about the actual gradient gel that you used in your tests? Do you produce that?'
Q: 'What about the plate that you used for attempt at a haptoglobin grouping? Do you produce that?'
Q: 'They are in Sydney, are they?'
Q: 'Where are they?'
A: 'They have been destroyed.'
Q: 'The plates are destroyed?'
Q: 'All of them?'
A: 'All of them.'
Q: 'Whose decision was that? Who is to take responsibility for this?'
A: 'I don't see it as anyone's responsibility. It is standard procedure in our laboratory.'
Q: 'Did you take any photographs of them? Or did you direct that any photographs be taken of this evidence, before you destroyed it?’
A: '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 adult hemoglobin.”'
A: 'Yes, I did.'
Q: 'That was demonstrably false.'
A: 'I used that statement for the - for purposes of making things clear and simple. It was not a false statement.'
Q: 'I say false in the sense of incorrect?'
A: 'It was incorrect, scientifically. It was used as an indication of the relative amounts.'
Q: 'You are perfectly entitled to give any explanation which you have, but the fact is, scientifically that statement is utterly incorrect.'
A: 'Scientifically, it is not correct. Yes...'
Q: 'Are 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] September 1979?'
A: 'That would have been consistent with my opinion, yes.'
Q: 'These stains could not date from August 1979? Do you swear that?'
A: 'It is an opinion. Based purely on experience. I can't swear that.'
Q: 'Do you swear they cannot date from July 1979?'
A: 'Once again, no, I can't swear that.'
Q: 'Do you swear they cannot date from June 1979?'
Q. 'Here are two bands [of reaction], Mrs. Kuhl?'
A: 'A band and a smudge.'
Q: 'There is a band, and a faint impression of a second band?'
A: 'No, I can see only one band.'
Q: 'That is a band, is it not?'
A: 'It is not a band. It is an artifact in the staining procedure.'
A. '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.'
Q: 'In your opinion, is there evidence suggesting to you that the child was not killed by a member of the canine family?'
A: 'There is evidence to suggest it was killed in another method. It suggests there was an incised wound around the neck. In other words, a cut throat.'
Q: 'Caused by?'
A: 'A cutting instrument across the neck, or around the neck.'
Q: 'Held by?'
A: 'Held by a human element.'
Q: 'What do you say about the possibility of a dog or a dingo having savaged the child in the head?'
A: 'I do not think there is enough evidence on the jump-suit, alone, to support that theory.'
Q: 'What happens if a dog bites a child's head?'
A: 'A lot depends on where, on the head, it bites. It would be very difficult for me to imagine a dog 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 doing, I would have expected extensive bleeding, but not around the collar of the jump-suit.'
A: 'Because when you get a head injury, you get rivulets of blood draining down, and missing the collar. It goes down the front and down the back. Depending on which way the head is bending, certainly, you'll get bleeding around the back of the collar, depending 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.'
Q: 'Had the child been lifted and moved by a dog, what do you say about saliva?'
A: 'I would have anticipated saliva from any member of the canine family lifting a garment....'
Cross-examination by John Phillips
Q: 'Professor Cameron, I would like to ask you some questions about a famous English case, called the Con fait case, in which you were involved.'
Q: 'Because I want to suggest to you it illustrates some of the difficulties in giving forensic opinions in court. Professor, let us go through the history of the Confait case, so the jury will follow it, please. In April 1972 the body of a man called Maxwell Confait was found at a house that had been set on fire, and he had apparently been murdered.'
A: 'That is so.'
Q: 'You attended, in the early hours of the morning and examined his body.'
A: 'Correct. '
Q: 'Three young men were charged with his murder.'
A: 'Yes, if you could go back. On that occasion, I refrained from taking a rectal temperature.'
Q: 'I will come back to that later. I will give you an opportunity to say what you want to, about what you did,' Phillips said, almost pleasantly. 'Three young men were charged with Confait's murder?'
Q: 'Tried at the Old Bailey in November 1972?'
A: 'That is correct.'
Q: 'You gave evidence for the prosecution?'
Q: 'One of them was convicted of murder, another of manslaughter, the third of arson?'
Q: 'They were all sent to jail.'
Q: 'The case of these three lads was referred to the Court of Appeal?'
Q: 'A Professor Teare gave evidence on behalf of the boys?'
A: 'Among others.'
Q: 'The report of a Professor Simpson was produced?'
A: 'That is correct, yes.'
Q: 'You, indeed, gave evidence yourself.'
Q: 'At the end of the evidence, the Court of Appeal--'
Barker: 'I object to that. What the Court of Appeal did has nothing to do with this witness.'
Phillips: 'I am just going to say what the result of the appeal was.'
Barker: 'That is what I object to.'
Muirhead: '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 was satisfied the boys were innocent, did he not?’
A. ‘Yes, that is correct.’
Q. ‘And the boys were awarded some sixty thousand pounds compensation, because of their imprisonment?’
A. ‘That’s right.’
Q. ‘The problem illustrated by the Confait case is that when you gave evidence at the trial, you did not have a completely correct understanding of all the attendant circumstances, did you?'
A. ‘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 do with the disappearance of this child. Really, you first formed that view at the time you wrote your report, did you not?'
A: 'That is correct.'
Q: 'And your report was introduced into evidence at the inquest?'
Q: 'And indeed it largely, but not entirely, forms the basis of your evidence today, does it not?'
Q: '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 incredible, did you not?'
A: 'That is correct, yes.'
Q: 'And you voiced that at the inquest?'
A: 'I did, indeed.'
Q: 'You believed that when the clothing was found only the top two studs were undone, Professor?'
A: 'That is so, yes.'
Q: 'Will you now agree you were acting, even up to the second inquest, under a completely false impression as to the state of the studs that were undone, on that clothing, when it was found?'
A: 'Putting it that way, yes.'
Q: ‘The fact that you believed only two studs were undone was an important factor in causing you to 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, and undo only two buttons. '
Q: 'Have you given evidence under any other false impressions of this case, Professor Cameron.'
A: 'Not that I know of.'
Q: 'You were not aware that you were wrong until this morning, were you?'
A: 'Well -'
Muirhead: 'His understanding was wrong.'
A: 'My understanding was wrong, depending on the variability of the other statements.'
Q: 'You can vary them as much as you like, but neither of them ever said only the two top buttons were undone.'
A: 'I accept that.'
Q: 'I would like to show Professor Cameron photograph 10 B...Do you seriously suggest that this shows the clothing in a "neat bundle"?'
A: 'I was told the clothing was found in a neat bundle.'
Q: 'I know you were.... But you were told the clothing was found in a neat bundle?'
A: 'Correct, yes.'
Q: 'You said, in your report: "Suffice to say I have never known a member of the canine family leaving clothes in a neat bundle.'"
A: 'That is correct.'
Q: 'Did you put this in your report: "On reading all the evidence, it would suggest the last time the child was seen, by an independent observer, was 1530 hours on the day of the 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 child, apart from an alleged kicking motion seen at the barbecue site." Did you put that in your report?'
A: 'I put that in my report.'
Q: 'Your beliefs expressed there were part of the process of forming your opinions, were they not?'
Q: 'And 1530 hours, if I can remember back to my army days, is three-thirty in the afternoon?'
Q: 'Did you read the deposition of Mrs. West properly?'
A: 'I'm afraid I don't attach names to a thing.'
Q: 'It is clear, from Mrs. West's depositions, that an independent person saw the child as the sun was setting.'
A: 'Yes, it would appear. But no exact time was given.'
Q: 'The sun would not be setting at half past three, would it?'
A: 'No. I don't know when it was.'
Q: 'Do you agree that your conclusion, having regard to Mrs. West's deposition, is a false assumption?'
A: 'It is a false assumption if, if one negates, as I have apparently negated, Mrs. West's evidence.'
Q: 'Have you made any other false assumptions, before you gave evidence, Professor Cameron?'
A: 'Again, not to my knowledge.'
Q: '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. "?'
Q: 'Did you read Dr Scott's deposition properly?'
Q. [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?'
A: 'There was no saliva present on the samples taken.'
Q: 'That is what he said: "Of course, there is no guarantee that there was no saliva elsewhere,"
A: 'I would accept that.'
Q: 'A nappy was one of the articles found by Mr. Goodwin?'
Q: 'I suggest a Constable Noble referred to "bits of scattered nappy"?'
A: 'I remember that.'
Q: 'He referred to "larger pieces of torn nappy", do you remember that?'
Q: ‘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 insides exposed"?'
Q: 'Constable Morris, 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 you read all that?'
Q: 'Did you say this, in your report, and I will just read the material part now: "Suffice to say I have never known a member of the canine family pulling off a nappy intact." That is what you reported, was it not?'
A: 'That is correct, yes.'
Q: 'You reported that without seeing the photographs?'
Q: 'What? On the basis of what Dr Brown told you?'
A: '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 pointed to "a possible, more diffuse area there which gives the impression to me of the heel of the hand, with extended fingers". Right?'
A: 'Yes. I corrected it, and said it wasn't the heel. It was that part of the hand.'
Q: 'And referring to other marks you suggest "they could be the fingers of the right hand", but you couldn't be dogmatic about it.'
A: 'Correct. '
Q: '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 about?'
A: 'That is a play on words.'
Q: 'Well, they are your words.'
A: 'And they are my impressions.'
Q: 'Mrs. Chamberlain, should we take it from what you said about Mrs. Ransome that you accept you told her to see that stains were cleaned from the pants?'
A: 'I accept there must have been some conversation, about something with the trousers. I don't recall any of it.'
Q: 'I understand you do not recall it. But do you accept what she said about having stains cleaned from the pants?'
A: 'Yes. I just said: if she says that's what I said, I accept it.'
Q: 'Do you accept there was blood on the pants?'
Q: 'You do not?'
Q: 'Do you deny there was blood on the pants?'
A: 'I have never seen blood on the pants at all.'
Q: 'Do you remember[Mrs. Hansell, the drycleaner, in her testimony] indicated with her hand a sort of splashing motion?'
Q: '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, very small blobs, just splattery. Between one to three dozen, all told, and they were tapering off, and running down towards the bottom.' Do you remember her saying that?'
Q: 'Do you accept that is what she saw?'
Q: 'Do you deny it was blood?'
A: 'I have never seen any blood on them myself. There could have been blood on them because they were in the front of the tent.'
Q: 'Is that the way you would account for it, if it were blood?'
A: 'Well, that's the only explanation I have.'
Q: 'Is that how you account for the blood on the tracksuit pants, if that be the case?'
Q: 'Notwithstanding that it was seen to be only below the knees, and only on one side?'
A: 'I don't know how they were folded or placed in the tent. It's the only explanation I have.'
Q: 'You would discount the possibility that it came from you?'
A: 'That is not my blood, Mr. Barker.'
Q: 'Did you have any blood on your shoes at any stage?'
A: 'My own opinion is that there was blood on my shoes. It hasn't been confirmed by any tests, though.'
Q: 'When did you become aware of the blood on your shoes?'
A: 'It was the first time I went to wear them after I got home. It would have been a week later.'
Q: 'When was that? That you became aware of blood on your shoes?'
A: 'I said: about a week later.'
Q: 'How do you say the blood got on your shoes?'
A: 'I think it would be from crawling over things that were in the doorway, and things in the tent.'
Q: 'I take it from what you said about the possible application of blood on the tracksuit pants, and the other blood you saw, that you accept that the baby was bleeding in the tent?'
A: 'Yes. Yes....'
Q: 'Do you recall this animal going around the car? That is, on the southern side of the car?'
A: 'No. As I said, I only watched it with my eyes for a couple of feet or so, and after that it was guesswork as to where it went.'
Q: 'Did it just disappear?'
A: 'I didn't watch where it went at that stage. I went into the tent.'
Q: 'Do we take it that it had progressed at least to some part of the car?'
A: 'Well, it had gone somewhere.' I don't know where it had gone, Mr. Barker.'
Q: 'Did you see it again at all?'
A: 'I saw a dingo standing by the car on the southern side. The trackers told me that it was a different animal. It was the one I chased, though.'
Q: 'There was two dingoes there, and was there?'
A: 'According to the trackers, there were two.'
Q: 'when it was shaking its head, was it somewhere on top of the two parkas, is that right?'
A: 'Somewhere in that area.'
Q: Apparently, if it be blood, shaking blood onto your slacks?'
Q: 'Onto Aidan's parka? Do you know?'
A: 'In my opinion, Aidan's parka had blood on the inside of it, but I don't think there have been any scientific results on that.'
Q: 'You know that none has been detected, do you not.'
A: 'I said scientifically. I don't think they've picked it up.'
Q: 'You know, do you not, that Dr Scott closely examined the tent for blood?'
A: 'Yes. I believe it was Dr Scott.'
Q: 'You know he found a small spray, on the southern side of the tent.'
A: 'No, I understand there was a couple of small sprays. Along the southern side of the tent.'
Q: 'But then you know he said it is most unlikely that it was human blood?'
A: 'I know he said he couldn't detect what it was, apart from the fact it was blood.'
Q: 'If this dog, carrying the baby, ran to the south of the car, the spray or sprays on the side of the tent could have very little to do with this case.'
A: 'If it had gone around the car. But if it had gone in between, that would be a different matter.'
Q: 'You suggest that as a possibility?'
A: 'Yes, I think it's a possibility. Yes.'
Q: 'That it went between the tent and the car?'
Q: 'When did you first consider it as a possibility?'
A: 'When I heard about the sprays on the side of the tent. During the first inquest.'
Q: 'Before that, your view was that it had gone around the car?'
A: 'I had thought that's where it had probably gone, yes.'
Q: 'Because you saw it there.'
A: 'I saw a dingo there....'
Q: 'You have heard quite a lot of evidence, have you not, about the presence of blood in the car?'
Q: 'You have heard quite a lot of evidence about the orthotolidine test?'
Q: 'And you heard Mrs. Kuhl say that she received positive reactions for blood from the carpet from the driver's side?'
Q: 'And the driver's seat?'
Q: 'If it were the case, do you know why there would be blood on the driver's side carpet?'
A: 'No. It could have come from a number of places, I suppose. I don't know.'
Q: 'What places would you suggest?'
A: 'Children crawling around the car, or people moving. Or from people Michael had fixed up, with injuries. I don't know.'
Q: 'Who did he fix up with injuries?'
A: 'Oh, we often used to stop for road-accident victims.'
Q: 'How many road-accident victims has he carried in that car, beside Mr. Lenehan?'
A: 'I don't mean he carried them in the car. I mean he stopped to assist at the accident site, and then he -'
Q: 'Yes? Well?'
A: 'He had to get back in the car to drive.'
Q: 'And you think he might have carried the blood with him.'
A: 'He could easily have done that. It is quite possible to have some on your hands when you get in.'
Q: 'And you heard about the positive reaction to the cross-bar under the passenger-seat?'
A: 'I can remember a cross-bar. I'm not sure which seat it came from.'
Q: 'You heard about the reaction to the stain on the ten-cent coin?'
Q: 'And the floor? And the bracket? And the hinge?'
Q: 'What do you say about that?'
A: 'I don't know that I've got any opinion on it, particularly.'
Justice 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?'
A: 'Well, I don't know that I've really formed any opinion, Your Honor.'
Q: 'Can you account for the presence of blood on that side of the car?'
A: 'I know Mr. Lenehan's blood was on that side of the car. And a number of other incidents I have related here in court, but other than that. I don't know anything about it.'
Q: 'The blood around the console? Can you account for that, if indeed it was blood?'
A: 'It could have got there when Reagan hit the dashboard. I don't know.'
Q: 'When was that?'
A: 'A couple of months after we bought the car, in I979. Reagan was about twenty months old.'
Q: 'What about the window handle?'
A: ‘Well that could've easily got there when I got back into the car after attending to Mr. Lenehan.'
Q: 'The chamois?'
A: 'That's been used on a number of occasions to clean up the, car.'
Q: 'What about the spray under the dash.'
A: 'I'm not convinced in my mind how that got there.'
Q: 'Can you offer us any suggestions?'
A: 'It would only be pure speculation.'
Q: 'You prefer not to speculate. You just have no idea how it got there.'
A: 'I'm not going to speculate on how it got there.'
Q: 'You would not suggest it came from Mr. Lenehan, would you?'
Q: 'A nose bleed?'
A: 'Not under there.'
Q: 'What about the towel in the wheel-well at the back?'
A: 'That had been used to clean up the car, and wipe down the car, on various occasions. One of the car towels had been on my knee when I was nursing Mr. Lenehan.'
Q: 'The scissors?'
A: 'I don't really know whether there's any blood on the scissors or not.'
Q: 'The camera-bag?'
A: '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 zip.'
Q: 'What gear did he put in it that night? Do you know?'
A: 'In the car? All the stuff out of the tent.'
Q: 'In the camera-bag.'
A: 'He wouldn't have put any gear in the camera-bag, but he may have zipped it up before he traveled.'
Q: 'There were large areas in both the front two compartments which reacted to the positive screening tests for blood, the orthotolidine tests. Now, if indeed that reaction was for blood, can you account for it?'
Phillips: 'Your Honor, I do not want to intervene, but did not Mrs. Kuhl specifically say that after four days she could not prove the presence of blood in the bag?'
Justice Muirhead: 'I think Mr. Barker may be restricting it to the orthotolidine test.'
Phillips: 'That last little piece that slipped in, got it into the area of actual blood.'
Muirhead: 'Could you restrict it?'
Barker: 'I said 'if it were blood', Your Honor.'
Muirhead: 'If it were blood, and if the orthotolidine test did give a positive reaction. Put the question again.'
Q: 'She said screening-tests of the vinyl surfaces gave consistently positive results in both the front compartment and centre compartment. You cannot account for that?'
A: 'If it was nasal secretion or something like that, I could understand it.'
Q: 'Nasal secretion?'
A: 'Well, it had held used handkerchiefs, and I carried used children’s' clothes in it, and things like that.'
Q: 'On the night of I7 August?'
A: ‘I wouldn't expect so, on the night of I7 August, but it had been used for some four months, by us, before that, and it was about five years old when we got it.'
Q: 'You see, you heard it put that other substances can cause a positive reaction, did you not?'
Q: 'And that one of those substances could be vomit, provided the vomit contained blood?'
Q: 'The baby had vomited in the car on about five occasions, is that right?'
Q: 'Did it ever vomit blood?'
Justice Muirhead: 'To your knowledge.'
A: 'She had projectile vomiting. I've never analyzed it to see what's in it but it's - rather painful.'
Q: 'On each occasion you were holding her?'
A: 'No, on at least one occasion Reagan was. Reagan was burping her.'
Q: 'Do you suggest that the vomit could account for the presence of blood? For the positive reaction in the camera-case?'
A: 'Well, this is - There are things that had been at different times in the camera-bag.'
Q: 'You say vomit?'
A: '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.'
Q: 'You know there was no blood on the fly screen.'
A: 'I presume there wasn't, because it hasn't been mentioned.'
Q: 'Do you say this dog had its head halfway through the fly screen, shaking a bleeding baby?'
A: 'I said it was emerging through the fly screen.'
Q: 'Shaking its head vigorously?'
A: 'I couldn't tell you, now, whether it was shaking its head as it was going through, or before it was through. Its obvious movement was shaking the fly screen at some stage. It was all in a matter of a few seconds, from the time I first saw it to the time I was in the back of the tent, very very fast and moving.'
Q: 'Your evidence is that you saw it shaking its head vigorously, and it was moving the fly screen in the process.'
A: 'I don't know whether its head was shaking the fly screen, or whether what it had in its mouth was hitting against the fly screen.'
Q: 'And what it had in its mouth, we know now, according to you, was a bleeding baby.'
A: 'That's my opinion.'
A: 'That is my opinion.'
Q: 'Well, is there any doubt about it?'
A: 'Not in my mind.'
Q: 'Is it merely your "opinion" or is it something you know as a fact?'
A: 'It is something my heart tells me is a fact. Other people don't think so.'
Q: 'Does it surprise you there was no blood on the fly screen?'
A: 'No. There was blood on the pole. It doesn't really surprise me there was none there. It would depend which angle the animal was, or which angle the wounds were.'
Q: 'Mrs. Chamberlain, you say this child was in the mouth of a dingo which was vigorously shaking its head at the entrance to the tent. That is what you firmly believe, is that right?'
A: 'That's right.'
Q: 'The dog having taken Azaria from the bassinet?'
Justice Muirhead:'Take it steady, Mrs. Chamberlain.'
Q: 'You saw blood on the parka?'
Justice Muirhead: 'Would you like a spell, Mrs. Chamberlain?'
A: 'No, I'd rather get it over with, Your Honor.'
Muirhead: 'I do not want you to have to answer questions when you are feeling distressed.'
A: 'No, I'd prefer to go on. This has been going on for two years. I want to get it over with.'
Q: 'You say the blood on the parka must have come from the baby?'
Q: 'When it was in the dog's mouth?'
A: 'Somewhere around that time.'
Q: 'What other time could it have come from the baby?'
A: '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.'
Justice Muirhead: 'We will adjourn for ten minutes....'
Q: '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 its mouth. She hadn't taken a great deal of notice of it, because she'd seen dogs and dingoes earlier in the day around the campsite, around the rubbish bins, and tourists feeding them to try to get photographs etcetera, and didn't take undue notice until she returned to the tent-site a short while later, and then suddenly realized that the dingo or dog must have taken her baby." Did you hear him say that?'
A: 'I - I don't recall his evidence greatly. That is not, to my knowledge, what I told him. It may have been the impression he got.'
Q: 'Did you tell him you had seen a dingo near the tent, and it had what appeared to be something in its mouth?'
A: 'I told - I told him I had seen a dingo in the tent with – appearing to have something in its mouth, yes.'
Q: 'Is this the case: when you first saw the dingo you did not take much notice because you had seen them around the camp earlier in the day?'
A: '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 out of the tent.'
Justice Muirhead: 'When you say "much notice", you mean that you did not feel alarm?'
Q: 'Did you 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’?'
A: 'Not to my knowledge.'
Q: 'Do you deny telling him that?'
A: 'I said I don't remember telling him that.'
Q: 'Do you deny telling him?'
A: 'I just don't remember telling him anything about it. I don't know whether I did or I didn't.'
Q: 'You might have told him?'
A: 'It's possible, but I don't see why I would have, because it doesn't connect with any of my memories of what happened.'
Q: 'Which is totally inconsistent with your evidence, is it not?'
Q: 'You know Constable Morris, do you not?'
A: 'I do now, very well.'
Q: 'I suggest to you that he came back to try and find out what the baby was wearing.'
A: '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 let the searchers know basically what they were looking for.'
Q: 'Did you tell him, again, that you saw the dingo near the entrance to the tent?'
A: 'I could have, quite possibly.'
Q: 'Did you tell him the dingo had "nothing in its mouth "?'
A: 'I think we've been over this a number of times before. I told him I saw nothing in its mouth.'
Q: 'Did you correct him?'
A: 'To - to my remembrance I, yes, I know we had several discussions on his impression, and my impression.'
Q: 'You do now remember the conversation, do you?'
A: 'I know that when he came to see us just before we left he was still confused.'
Q: 'He was confused? By the way, did you tell him the baby was wearing a matinee-jacket?'
A: 'I did mention it. But I don't know if he was close enough to have heard. He was on the move.'
Q: 'You heard him say here that you did not say anything about a matinee-jacket at the time.'
A: 'It was quite possible he was too far away to hear.'
Phillips: '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.'
Justice Muirhead: 'He said that it was not verbatim. He made no notes.'
Phillips: 'More than that, with respect Your Honor. He said he may be mistaken about that.'
Muirhead: 'I was not trying to argue with you, Mr. Phillips. I was kind of basically agreeing.'
Q: '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 entered the tent, not when you were running towards it?'
A: 'I think it's just a matter of how it's put.'
Q: 'Is it? What you say there is, do you not, you called to your husband that the dingo had the baby when you emerged from the tent? Not before you went into it?'
A: 'Well, I did both.'
Q: 'You did both. Did you see, as you approached the tent, that the baby had gone?'
Q: 'Why did you not tell that to Gilroy?'
A: 'Well, I thought I had.'
Q: 'Why did you say to him: "I dived straight in the tent first to see if there was anything I could do. I never thought of him taking her’?'
A: 'To know that something's true, and to accept it, are two different things...'
Q: 'You dived into the tent, did you not, and saw that she was gone? Is this what you told Gilroy?'
A: '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 it. I don't pretend that everything in there is exactly one after the other as it happened. I was totally confused, and still in shock, when that was taken.'
Q: 'Is it the case that what you say here,' he waved the document, 'cannot be relied upon?'
A: 'I am saying that it may not specifically be lined up, one thing after the other. It may be jumbled. I'm not saying it's incorrect. I'm saying it may be in the wrong order.'
Q: '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?'
A: 'It isn't, in my mind, Mr. Barker....'
Q: 'Mrs. Chamberlain, may I respectfully suggest to you that the whole story is mere fantasy.'
A: 'You have suggested that before.'
Q: 'Mrs. Chamberlain, is it not the case that your husband declined to search actively on that Sunday night because he knew that the baby was dead, and he knew that you had killed her?'
A: 'No, definitely not.'
Q: 'And is it not the case that this is why you declined to actively search?'
Q: 'I suggest to you that the reason that you and your husband stayed near the car whilst people were searching was that, for some portion of that night at least, the child's body was in the car.'
A: 'Definitely not.'
Q: 'You invented the story of the dingo removing the child from the tent.'
A: 'I definitely did not invent that story. It's the truth, Mr. Barker.'
Q: 'Professor, had you received prior to this trial a copy of Mrs. Kuhl's work-notes?'
Q: 'Had you been supplied, too, with a copy of her deposition, her sworn evidence, made at the second inquest?'
Q: 'During the course of this trial, I think everyone is aware, you were present during Mrs. Kuhl's evidence?'
Q: 'Professor Boettcher, in your opinion, should it be concluded, on the results of any of the tests performed by Mrs. Kuhl, that fetal hemoglobin was present in any of the samples tested by her?'
A: 'No. It is my opinion that such a conclusion should not be reached from the results presented by Mrs. Kuhl. The anti-serum known as anti-hemoglobin has in it antibodies that react with both the alpha and the beta molecular chains which are found in hemoglobin’s. The alpha chains are found in all hemoglobin’s, adult and fetal. The beta globin chain is found only in adult hemoglobin. Fetal hemoglobin contains both alpha and gamma hemoglobin chains, and if one is testing a blood sample that has some fetal and some adult material in it, one expects that, if you obtain a reaction with anti-fetal hemoglobin anti-serum, that should be directed only at the gamma chain, which is found only in fetal hemoglobin. If you perform a test on the same sample with an anti-hemoglobin serum which is specific for the alpha chain which is found in both adult hemoglobin and fetal hemoglobin, you would also expect to get a positive reaction....'
A. '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, because that is the way the dingo has constructed the situation and, if we are talking about small mammals, it will take the entire head. It will seize the entire head in its jaws, and in one motion it simply closes its jaws, and it will crush that skull. Usually they will accompany this with a sharp shake, which is calculated to break the neck of the animal at the same time....'
Q: 'With your knowledge of dingo behavior and capacity, are you able to offer an opinion as to whether a dingo would be capable of grasping and carrying the child?'
A: '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 identification, make seizure, which would be of the entire head, and it would close its jaws sufficiently to render that mammal immobile. As a continuous operation, it would then continue by making off with the acquired prey. It would have made the seizure by head, and it would be unlikely that it would change its grip in any way. That would have been enough to immobilize the prey.'
Q: Would the dingo [have spent much time in the tent, given what we know was happening around the Chamberlain's tent]?
A: '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 Ayers 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 our knowledge it doesn't happen normally in dingo society.'
Q: 'With your knowledge of dingo attacks, would you expect to see a large amount of blood?'
Barker: 'I object to that.'
Justice Muirhead: [What is the basis for your objection]?
Barker: '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....'
Q: Have you [observed much blood from dingo killings in the field?]
A: 'No, there's been very little, and it's characteristic of a kill in the field that little bleeding takes place.'
Q: '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?]
A: 'No, that's quite consistent, because they are observed to also shake it after they have made the seizure, and the shake is obviously intended to break the neck.'
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 hand?'
Plueckhahn: '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?'
Plueckhahn: 'Impressions, 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.'
Q:'What did your wife tell you had happened to the child?'
A: 'That a dingo had taken her.'
Q: 'When did she tell you in detail, Mr. Chamberlain, precisely what she had seen?'
A: 'We talked about it, on and off, during the evening.'
Q: 'What did she tell you?'
A: 'I don't recall exactly the conversations we had.'
Q: 'There is no doubt, is there, that your wife was the last person to see the child alive?'
A: 'No doubt.'
Q: 'And do you tell us that you are unable to say just what she told you about the child's disappearance?'
A: 'In no detail can I tell you. We prayed.'
Q: 'Did you think then that the child had died?'
A: 'I knew she was in great danger.'
Q: 'From what?'
Q: 'Of what?'
Q: 'What did you think was going to cause her death?'
A: 'Either exposure or bleeding.'
Q: 'You didn't know from where she was bleeding?'
Q: 'You didn't inquire whether your wife could help you find out?'
A; 'It didn't occur to me. The fact was she was bleeding, and she was in danger of death.'
Q: 'Could it be because you knew that the dingo did not take her, and that she was dead at the hands of your wife?'
Q: 'Did you say to Constable Morris something like this, on the occasion he came back to make some inquiries: 'It was the will of God; there was nothing that you or I or anybody else could do about it'?'
A: 'I don't recall saying it.'
Q: 'Do you deny it?'
A: 'I'm not going to deny it.'
Q: 'It's something you believe?'
A: 'I believe in God's will.'
Q: 'Did you believe it was the will of God when you told Morris?'
A: 'God's will is over all.'
Q: 'I suggest you couldn't see then, and you can't see now, why your wife would not have seen a baby dressed in white being carried in the mouth of a dingo out of the tent, and past the front of it.'
A: 'I believe my wife's account, Mr. Barker.'
Q: 'I suggest the whole story is nonsense, and you know it.'
A: 'No, Mr. Barker.'
Q: 'How do you account for the damage to the collar of the jumpsuit?'
A: 'I can't account for it.'
Q: 'Did your wife cut the sleeve?'
A: 'I don't think she did.'
Q: 'Did she cut the collar?'
A: 'I don't think so.'
Q: 'Did you bury the jump-suit with the child in it?'
Q: 'Did your wife?'
A: 'I don't think she did....'
Q: 'Mr. Chamberlain, your wife, I suggest, told you that the story of the dingo was false, very soon after the child was killed.'
Q: 'Did she not?'
A: 'She did not.'
Q: 'She told you she was going to suggest that the dingo at the tent was the same as the dingo she saw at the Rock.'
A: 'Could you repeat that please?'
Q: 'She told you that she was going to suggest that the dingo at the tent was the same as the dingo she saw at the Rock.'
A: 'I don't remember that.'
Q: 'Did she say, 'Why don't we go to the algas so the boys will stop playing up?' Or something like that?'
A: 'No. No, that wasn't said.'
Q: 'Look, didn't it occur to you that there might have been a remote possibility, however remote, that the child was still alive on Monday morning?'
Q: 'You believe in miracles, don't you? There are plenty of precedents for them, aren't there?'
A: 'I'm also a realist.'