30th Anniversary Letter, August 2010

A letter to Open-Minded Australians:

letterIt is hard to believe it is thirty years since my darling baby was taken. For some odd reason everyone says you will soon forget. Why is it that people expect me to forget a part of myself? Why would you? Loss of a loved one, particularly a child is not something you forget any more than you can get out of your mind that you once attended school. That does not mean you dwell on it all the time. It is simply there in the fabric of your life and history. In some ways it seems forever and in others it is like yesterday still. Yesterday are the happy memories, and the years are the pain.

I choose to dwell on the happy memories and not on the pain. Dwelling on the pain is only something that those who wish you harm hope that you will do. They want you miserable. I don’t wish to be miserable. That is why I learned what forgiveness really is and put it in to practise. You always hear people say to forgive, but they don’t tell you how to do it and that is key. Once you learn that, you wonder why you didn’t do it before. Forgiveness is for yourself, it puts the responsibility on those who hurt you, and lets you get on with your life. It does not say it is ok to hurt me, then hurt me again. It simply says yes you hurt me, you had no right to do that to me but you did. I acknowledge that you did that and that I am not responsible for your actions. I will not take over the continuation of you actions towards me by allowing you or them to dwell in my mind and continue to fester and ruin my life. I have taken back control of my own life and head space and move forward. I am moving forward, not looking backward.

So, have I forgiven everyone involved in creating the fiasco of the last thirty years and the public so willing to believe the worst and spread nasty rumours? Of course I have. I have handed the hurt back to those who caused it and it is up to them as individuals to ask God to forgive them for what they did, because I forgave long ago and moved on. Oh and despite what some headlines have said in the last twelve months, that does include the police, politicians and lawyers of the NT. It would be nice to get a voluntary apology, but I am no longer holding my breath.

Did you know that the truth is not a defence for libel in Australia? Ridiculous as that sounds that is the law as it currently stands. So if you tell the truth about someone you can be charged with libel if you say something a person has done wrong but which they want to remain hidden. They can have you charged in court because you told the truth and revealed their dirty dealing. Of course once you are in court (or under Parliamentary privilege) you can say whatever truth or lies you like and no one can touch you for it. I believe one should be able to tell the truth openly without having to be dragged into court by corrupt people covering their trails. Unfortunately the way the law stands now I cannot tell you of any internal deals, deliberate lies, affairs or favours that I may know of that may make what happened in my case a lot clearer. If I did I would be charged with libel and the truth doesn’t count in Australia yet.

Now it seems like in the centuries to come there will still be arguments over who said what, where and how. It seems to me that it is ridiculous that people will believe all that stuff. Can they not even try to think for themselves but believe everything they are told to think by someone else? In the last couple of weeks I discover I apparently did twice the amount of time in prison that I actually did, in Berrimah Prison no less, despite it being quite obvious that I was in Darwin Prison and Berrimah was only the suburb. Berrima Gaol is in NSW. Only very subtle changes you say and nit picking. Yes you are right that the difference is small in one way – it is only one wrong word. Now look at it another way. One prison does not exist at all and the other is thousands of kilometres away. Now it becomes not such a small thing but totally misleading. This is where lies and rumours start. When the truth is dealt with this way, subtly leaving a word out here and changing one there, then it goes into the archives unchallenged because someone else thinks it is too small to matter and another mistake is let slide, or a deliberate omission or addition let go and you soon can bury the truth so deep that only the most vigilant will ever find it again.

Of courses you can start rumours like the one where I was supposed to have hit on the policemen who raided us! They wish! Of course they didn’t bring that up in court. It is much easier to besmirch a person’s reputation by starting a rumour or making a statement with no basis in fact that will surface accidentally or on purpose some time. Bury the fact that until the police told us we had to stay near the tent we had both searched. By belittling and burying it on the one hand and on the other use it as the excuse to say we sneaked away to bury Azarias’ body, in the end was so successful that even the jury came to believe we didn’t search, despite testimony to the contrary.

It is no wonder that the eyewitnesses resent being disbelieved again and again when they hear and see the stupid lies and innuendoes resurface again and again. You see it is the questions not asked in court that are often the most important. For example Murray Habys’ evidence that he had found what the Aboriginals later confirmed were the tracks of the dingo that took Azaria and the marks where it had put her down. When we met him after he had given his evidence he told us he was not supposed to mention this, and only an odd question allowed him to say what he wished about what he had found. With selective or very technical evidence it is no wonder that modern day juries are no longer equipped to make an informed decision. We need an updated system for the modern age we live in so that there is less likelihood of the guilty going free (because they take advantage of the current inadequacies) and the innocent being charged because they expect the truth and fairness that once a court was based on. Now it is just a lethal game.

Come on Australia. Surely you cannot be proud of the fact that you can let yourself be duped again and again and come back for more of the same. We used to be a proud nation who saw through corruption and were willing to give a fair go. How many times do you have to be hoodwinked and led along by the nose before you demand something better from our courts, police force, politicians and media? There are good, honest, truthful people in all these fields. We need to support them in their struggle to clean up their profession and stand for truth and justice. Hitler got as far as he did because good people didn’t wake up to the importance of the small details that did not look threatening on their own, until the avalanche engulfed all and it was too late to fix.

Painful as it may be at times we need to stand up and be counted. Change starts with the individual, the family, the local community, the town, the state, the country. It is not easy to decide not to let the small things slip, or give in to the bully because of the pain or embarrassment it may cause us, but if you don’t do it you may as well die now. Grow a backbone before the world turns on you. Give up the desire for gossip and sensationalism. Use your brains for something useful. You may surprise yourself what you can achieve.

I thank God that the Crown eyewitnesses in my case did have backbones as did quite a few ordinary Australians who were willing to stand up and say “hey I don’t know what happened but something is not right here and we need all the facts” which paved the way for new legislation allowing for Royal Commissions in Australia now. This allows for all of the evidence, rumours, tip-offs and questions to be exhaustively investigated. The Commissioner in our case was asked to find our guilt or innocence. Although we argued otherwise, he did not feel he had been given the power to rule on whether cause of death was a dingo or not so did not rule on that. Despite that (the Crown always claimed that it was either me or a dingo),  [The Honourable Mr Justice] Moreling in his finding said we would be guilty “íf, in spite of so many considerations pointing to their innocence, the conclusion was reached that it had been proved beyond reasonable doubt that a dingo did not take the baby. In the light of all the evidence before the Commission, I am of the opinion that such a conclusion cannot be reached.”

Our family will always remember today as the day truth was dragged in the dirt and trampled upon, but more than that it is the day our family was torn apart forever because we lost our beautiful little Azaria. She will always ever be what this ongoing fight for justice has been all about. She deserves justice. In light of all the evidence before the Commission, this should be reflected on her death certificate and not the open finding that is there now. It is not like the eyewitnesses are dead or that there was not a recommendation from the Royal Commission and the NT Supreme Court who quashed our convictions. It would not take more taxpayers money to do it. These courts were exhaustive, why not adopt their recommendations and stop wasting everyone’s time, money and intelligence. Lindy or a dingo was the NT claim. Their own Commission proved it was not me, as I had told them all along, so why don’t they accept their own claim now? It makes one wonder: are they really after the truth, or just too stubborn or proud to admit that a mistake has been made? Who knows the reason, but most of all please do not forget that a beautiful little girl died tragically on this date thirty years ago.

Regards,
Lindy

53 Responses to 30th Anniversary Letter, August 2010

  1. Sandra Hartley, EdD says:

    Lindy: You were denied the sigh of relief that any mother seeks. My empathy for you is beyond words. I was also born in 1948 and my first baby daughter was also born in 1980 (in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). The timing of your family life resonates with mine. I lost my baby Catherine briefly in West Edmonton Mall as a toddler when she left my sight as I purchased carnival rides for her in the crowded entertainment park. Previously soneone has stolen her baby stroller, so I was already on high alert, but in seconds she was buried in people and I was yelling and panicking as I shouted out a description of her to anyone who was able to hear me. There were at least 5 directions to go, and I was certain someone had grabbed her and ran. Thankfully, it was no dingo, and no abductor… it took many minutes, but my two year old saw me at the ticket booth and simply ran off to get to the ride whe wanted to try first. I found her waiting eagerly at a ferris wheel quite a distance away, and breathed the sigh of relief that you never had. You describe the terror of losing a child exactly the way I did. While I say I have empathy for you, no one can know what you have really been through. The movie, the book, the articulate words can never convey the true experience of your loss. Your sigh and your relief never came. I am so sorry for this incomprehensible situation you faced – all 30 years of it. I feel so lucky to have sighed.

    • Kerrie says:

      This is beautiful. What a lovely response.
      I too am sorry that Lindy and her family never got to feel that sigh of relief. God bless them. Rest in Peace little Azaria x

  2. Heidi Gifford says:

    Your faith in God is a great inspiration to me –
    I remember seeing an interview some years ago of yourself with Bert Newton and Bert asked you ‘if it was your religion that got you through’. You said ‘not my religion, but my faith’.
    At that point I realised that there is a difference between religion and faith. Thank you.
    I pray for God’s peace and blessings upon you and your family. With best wishes from Heidi Gifford.

  3. Megan says:

    I was 7 when Azaria was taken, and I still remember it on the news and I have been on your side since that day. It still makes me shudder with what you went through and the worst part was that you lost your baby, but that was never acknowledged. It makes me angry beyond words when someone is wrongly convicted. I don’t know why people want to believe the worst, I just don’t understand it. Maybe they are not happy with themselves so they try to bring others down.
    Whatever reason we’ll never know why some people were against you. I just wanted to say I have thought of you over the last 33 years, all of your family and the beautiful little girl you lost. I wish you all peace. xxx

  4. Donal Kavanagh says:

    Sometime ago, around 1986 just before I turned 23, I discovered in myself I was guilty of believing many of the rumors that were going around at the time. I felt so ashamed of it. I realised I was one of those thoughtless people who contributed to your guilt. With no evidence, just gossip. I felt like personally apologising for my participation in the matter even though at the time it seemed so insignificant. I was as guilty as anyone else who participated in falsely accusing you.
    I have been a bold stand for you and your family since.
    No longer am I the space for such thoughtless actions.
    I sincerely apolagise for my part.
    May God bless you the rest of your days. xx

  5. Bronwyn says:

    30 years ago, when the non-believers far outweighed the “dingo” believers, I am happy to say I was certain that you were innocent. I did however, keep my opinion to myself as in discussions, I was ridiculed for my belief in you. I was delighted when you were found innocent and am so pleased that the tide of opinion has subsequently reversed. You didn’t deserve what happened. Nor did your family. God bless you.

  6. Helen Mckernan says:

    My prayers and thoughts have always been with you and your family. I cannot begin to believe the pain and grief you all experienced. Your ability to overcome this agony and find the forgiveness in your heart has been a constant inspiration to me personally particularly on the loss of our much loved son to the horrible scourge of drugs! I pray you will continue to work and inspire and find continual peace. Thank you. I had hoped to hear you in Corowa , but was unable to get there, when would you be in this area again? God Bless, Helen

  7. Kerry Weinholz says:

    My family always believed the truth about the dingo: we lived on a farm and had seen what dingoes could do to cattle. The inability for truth to be paraded in our courts is a terrible injustice to the innocent. A young woman we knew suffered a similar experience of serving ‘time’ for a false accusation. It was her faith in God that held her through those times. While studying the life of Joseph in a book called “God planned it for good”, (while you were in prison), I was deeply impressed by the spirit of God that you would one day be vindicated by God through something totally unexpected. When that matinee jacket was found, I was so excited! (I have since met a family that was at Uluru at the time, and they were shocked that the authorities at the time were not interested in what they had to say.) Thank you for sharing your life and your God with the world. You are truly an inspiration for patient endurance, and for building life upon the faithfulness of God 🙂 May God bless you abundantly.

  8. Claudia says:

    Never forget the short life of little sweet Azaria, That´s the real tragedy. Sometimes this fact is hidden behind all the justice stuff.

  9. Steve Jackson says:

    I am so sorry that your loss, bullying, and fight for justice, for your little girl had you endure so many human hurdles and road blocks.

    In reading the anniversary letter and your warmth and forgiveness on this site, you have assisted me in my struggle from keeping the black dog from my door.

    I wish I spoke for everyone in accepting your forgiveness.

  10. Becky says:

    I was at Ayers Rock camping with my mother and 14 other people in 1980. We were the only ones in the campground. It must have been the rainy season, as our truck was bogged many times by flooding areas. Several Aboriginal children showed up as we were setting up camp in the late afternoon. They all disappeared before sundown when we heard a couple voices off in the distance. At the time, the Ayers Rock site was so beautiful. There was only a tiny hotel with a few units. What I will never forget are the dingoes. Some of us were sitting around the campfire when all of a sudden we saw lots of pairs of glowing eyes around us. They were dingoes. They weren’t very far away from us. It was totally unnerving. Some of the girls started screaming. To be honest, most of us would not go to the bathroom that night. Those who did venture over to the bathroom did so in a group. And lots of us didn’t sleep. What I felt was that they weren’t scared like other wild animals. Tragically, I never knew the story until many years later. I truly believe the animals were very capable of killing a small baby. The tribal people were very careful to have their children home early in the evening. They took off through the bush and we know there are snakes and other dangerous creatures besides the dingoes.

  11. Yvette Thomson says:

    My husband and I met your former husband Michael when we were living in Burketown in August 1980. He was there doing a freelance story for the North West Star. He spoke of your upcoming trip to Ayers Rock and the fact that you had just had a baby. We have followed your story throughout the years and have been horrified at the way you were treated and also the inaccurate and biased reporting that the public took for granted as being the truth. We heard first hand how the rumour mill started and gained momentum in Queensland. The horrible things that were said after Azaria’s memorial service in Mt Isa on a Friday. I think you are an amazing person to have survived everything that has been thrown at you and your family. I hope that the Australian public has learnt a lesson about believing anything that comes from the media. Unfortunately I doubt it. After all is said and done, you and your family tragically had your beautiful daughter taken from you in horrific circumstances. Then your lives were turned upside down due to extreme ignorance and prejudice of so many people who should have known better I just hope that your family has found the peace that you all deserve.

  12. Phil says:

    Dear Lindy

    I have no wise or sage words to say – just simply….sorry.

  13. John says:

    I as an American know you are innocent. I had heard the scant news here in the mid Eighties and thought you were supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. a good prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. Innocent people have been persecuted since the beginning of time. You are one of them. God Bless and keep the faith. Prayers for your lost child.

  14. Susannah says:

    Dear Lindy,

    Not only did you experience every parents worst nightmare, but your grieving should have been respected, not polluted by ignorance and despicable rumours that resulted in further suffering for you, your children,your family, friends, legal supporters and eye witnesses.

    Your story has no precedence and your mistreatment is shameful for Australia , its courts, media, and police. Your plight to inspire change must not go unheard.

    Through all your pain and incarceration, at no time did you loose focus on fighting for justice . This justice did not exist around you, and like a child who trusts that their parents will take care of them ,this was denied and,the judicial system took 32 years to change Azaria’s cause of death to being taken by a Dingo or Dingo’s . God bless you and I pray for the faith you have.

    As a midwife, I was so moved that you arranged for Kahlia to be breast fed when you were denied the right. How noble and selfless. Thank you for inspiring so many. You have astounded me with your story, courage and determination to forgive.

    Kindest regards

    *name withheld*

    Bathurst NSW

  15. Dean Bassett says:

    Dear Lindy,

    I was 7 years old at the time and I clearly recall my mum yelling in sorrow and disbelief as to the shock and horror verdict. I am now 42 with my first born who has just turned 6 months. I have no idea what drove me but I said to my wife that I would like to read your book so was bought as a gift and a gift that is! I enjoyed every page, every chapter, every word until the end. As I closed, I burst into tears! My wife was a little worried seeing my reaction however I assured her of the need to read.

    I am sorry and I am thankful for the insight into your life and journey.

    Your spirit is phenomenal and one to be loved, respected and admired.

  16. Peta says:

    Dear Lindy, in the last ten years I have been struggling to overcome the enormous sadness only a woman can feel when she loses a baby. I have lost three pregnancies because they were not supported by my partner. He has children to his first wife and wanted no more, so I made the decision to not continue as I believed it’s in the best interests of the child to have the support of both parents. Every other day I am reminded of this loss and pain and I pray to have the wisdom, intelligence and determination to move beyond the 2-dimensional place where I am now. I want to live my life and enjoy everything I have now, but I still have the handbrake on. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I cried when I read your words about love and loss. No human could know this feeling unless they have been there themselves – especially where a child is concerned (your own flesh and blood). I will remember the strength that resonated from your words for all time. Perhaps this will help me to move on now? Knowing that there is hope and most of all – that forgiving someone else means that you are actually forgiving yourself – is very comforting. I wish this for all women who have felt this indescribable pain in their lives. Many blessings to you, Lindy. Quite clearly you are an elightended soul who has met your higher purpose. Thank you! xx

  17. Joana Isabel says:

    What I have read has made me think a lot….
    It is easy to give and advice and to tell about forgiving …
    Only somebody who has lived a difficult experience can be sympathetic to others who live a very difficult one…..

  18. Wendy says:

    Hey Lindy…soo glad that you are walking the walk of Forgiveness that only God can orchestrate, We were working in an Indigenous community ’77 – ’79. One of the first things the aboriginal women told me was to make sure we never let our youngest out of our sight. They assured us they would also protect her….WHY because of the very real threat that a dingo was/is quite capable of taking a child. Our youngest was 3 at the time. I always had belief in your innocence. God Bless and continue in His strength to fight the ‘good fight’.

  19. Linda J Hodgkinson says:

    II always believed you and I couldn’t believe the inhumane way in which you were treated. God bless you and yours XX

  20. Cheryl Ann Knights says:

    Hi Lindy, I always believed in your innocence. I remember when the verdict was announced I was at a friends house and it came on the news. I felt devastated for you as I just knew in my gut that a miscarriage of justice had just happened. I have always spoken of my belief in your innocence and I used to pray for you as I know it would be horrendous enough to lose your daughter that way and then to be accused of her murder when you are innocent would be just heart wrenching. you have been through so much Lindy and I so felt your pain for many years as I followed your progress. Thank God that justice has finally prevailed and you have found some comfort and solace with your new husband. I know nothing can ever take away the pain you have endured but I am so happy to see you free and happy now. I wish you many blessings for your future.

  21. Kelly says:

    Dear Lindy

    I wish I could give you the biggest hug xxx It would be from a Pom and a lawyer so you may wish to decline but nevertheless; I think that you are one of the most amazing women of my lifetime, you truly are.

    I was born on the 7 August 1980 so this case has a special meaning to me, not only because of the date but also because my brother and I were attacked by a domestic Alsation dog in 1992 when we were 12 and 10 respectively. The dog took out a section of my calf muscle and then pulled my brother down (who was 10 meters away at the time) and bit through the tendons on the reverse side of his knee. Doctors thought he would never be able to walk again. Thanks to the wonderful doctors we can both walk I have a massive dent in my calf though. If a domestic trained dog could do this to us as 12/ 10 years old, it makes me fathom the rational of the authorities and public who indulged in the whole sale ignorance and bullying you endured during 1980 and beyond.

    In Australia since the 1800’s there has been installed one of the worlds longest walls, the Dingo fence because these creatures would kill cattle and sheep. It is an amazing wall that divides the whole of the SE of Australia off it was there 80 years plus before 1980. It seems truly beyond all reasonable comprehension that the public would ever doubt an attack on a little baby girl a 30th the weight of a cow or bull surrounded by the enticements and smell of barbecued food and litter. Also what about the other attacks to older children before and after…sorry I am ranting the more time that passes the more crazy the prosecutors look. You would not even need much of an open mind to the draw the right conclusion in this case, I am not saying parents in death cases should not be considered but there was no evidence against from the get go not even enough to press charges. Eye witness evidence rebutted any reasonable doubt. No country would build a wall of this magnitude and name it the Dingo Fence if these creatures were not inherently dangerous.

    I understand perhaps the Australian public did not know about the Dingo Fence but the authorities should have educated the public on this and the nature of this creature.

    I truly believe that some large business inter-govermental interests did not want to loose profits from tourism. I believe that this is what you were made to suffer for.

    Lindy you are an amazing mother and woman stay that way

    Lots and lots of love to you and your wonderful children. Your a great mum and wonderful woman.

    Kelly xxxx

  22. Mimi says:

    Dear Lindy I’m happy for you & your whole Family. On the behalf of your Baby Azaria I though you did it but listened too well. I’m very sorry we all make mistakes. All my Prayers gose out too you & your whole Family. 💋💋💋💋✨✨✨✨✨🕯🕯🕯📙🕯💐💐💐💐💐.

  23. Vicki says:

    Dear Lindy,

    I have just finished reading your book and my heart is breaking for you and the loss of your precious Azaia. I’m from the US and although there was a lot of coverage of Azaia and your trial and tribulations, I was distracted by a frenetically busy life and only have vague memories of the horror you were forced to endure by the police, the medial, the “experts” and the court. I remember being horrified when you were convicted and I prayed for you often. Fast forward many years – I lost my 17 year old son almost twelve years ago to a drug overdose. I cannot fathom how you persevered, held fast, continuously fought for yourself and your family and never blamed God. You are such an inspiration to me, and my own grief. Thank you for your story, I can’t even remember how I was reminded of you and your Azaia but once my memory was jogged, I ordered and read your book in one sitting. God bless you.

  24. Freddy Smith says:

    Lindy,
    Having heard part of an interview on the Radio after you were finally cleared, I did not quite understand your suffering at the hands of our Government until I took a turn at the wheel.
    I too was accused of murder and faced the abuse of our justice system. I can not forgive yet and I doubt I will have the courage ever to do so. Luckily my name was not smeared across the media, but like you, there are people that believe I am guilty of a crime. But if the real evidence was presented in the court then the truth could be told and the guilty party required to pay.
    The harm and hurt caused by people in power and the harm they choose to do can not be ignored, our justice service is not about the innocent but about the prosecution’s ability to warp the truth.
    I also agree anyone that who walks into court believing that truth and innocence wins out, will find themselves in trouble very quickly.
    Listening to someone tell their story after the horror they went through does not come close to telling the real story. The only way to tell that story is to relive it moment by moment and dissect the emotions and the distress that humans place either deliberately or unintentional on a person living within the “JUSTICE SYSTEM OF AUSTRALIA”

    And I have learnt to hate the media, police, politicians, and our so called judges and magistrates.

    Having shaved the edge of the hell you went through and all on top of losing your Daughter, how you and your family have remained sane and have any positive out look is way beyond me.

    I wish you a very good life ahead and am glad your family is there to support you. I am sorry that Michael was not there in the end, and hope that somewhere he knows some peace.

    And I thank all those who supported you and helped you and to them I also wish them future wellness.

    All the best
    Freddy Smith

  25. Delia says:

    God bless you Lindy. I signed a petition in Christchurch Square which family and friends had set up for the conviction to be reviewed.. I felt so sad for th0se quiet , modest people. I knew I had to sign otherwise I could not live with myself.

  26. John O'Callaghan says:

    Dear Lindy ~ you have been such an incredible example of how to forgive others who didn’t know anything about you and have yet blindly declared you guilty. I don’t mention your name in public to strangers – because I still know there are ignorant people out there. But with my family and my friends I have often brought your name up in conversation. You have shown myself what forgiveness is all about and no one knows if they will be able to forgive unless they too have been so attacked by the power of the State and unjust authority. To be blamed for Azaria’s death in the midst of your unspeakable grief is more than anyone could ever cope with. It is so clear that God sustained you and has been with you – through times few of us could ever imagine. In my mind you are there alongside Bonhoeffer – Sophie Scholl – Martin Luther King and those others. No one knows quite what injustice feels like until you have had the experience and no one knows what it is to lose a child unless they have had that experience also. I will never be able to imagine your grief and pain – very few of us ever could. You have shown us how to be a true Christian and not a religious one. You have shown us how to forgive powerful enemies who have no reason to assault you and you have shown us that with God’s help your spirit though totally crushed in those very dark years has survived and experienced it’s own resurrection. I am so thrilled you will meet Azaria again; I am so joyful that you will know each other in Heaven where there will be no injustice and no grief and no more separation via death. Thank you for all you have given us; we can never repay you. God bless you Lindy. [name supplied]

  27. Bilinda Law-Morley says:

    Lindy I don’t know if you will ever see this but I just wanted to say I feel that I, until today at least, do not deserve your forgiveness. I know you say the forgiveness is for your own sake, but I thank you for it anyway. Your baby’s death was the first public furore I was aware of as a very young adult. Sadly I simply followed where the media and public opinion led me. Today I watched the mini series(I have at least always refused to watch the movie!). I’ve spent the last 3 or 4 hours on line and “have miles to go before I sleep”, and I am by now trying not to cry.
    Right now, I can only say that I need to try to ascertain facts, and I am reconsidering my opinions. Would that I had done the same all those years ago.
    One thing I have been doing is checking out comments on vids etc, and then reminding people that a beautiful babe was cruelty robbed of her future and her family’s earthly companionship and succour as that family was robbed. No matter what opinions people have, they need to treat Azaria’s memory, her life and her death, with respect and care.
    There are hugs in heaven as I know you know, hugs for your wonderful girl, who at least now has her earthly father with her there.
    I don’t really know WHAT to say except that I am sorry. One thing I feel saddest and angriest about is that you and your family were denied your grief, denied the sympathy and outpouring of love that should have been perhaps a mild comfort to you. I hope at least that on the anniversary days there’s someone to hug you all now, and remember her with you.
    Maybe the most valuable thing I can offer to those reading my ramblings is the assurance, the certainty, that I and doubtless many others have learned from this, and won’t again be taken advantage of by the media and those in power.
    Hugs in heaven for Azaria, hugs for all of you. May you feel God’s blessings upon you as you remember her. You and yours were in my prayers tonight and will be so again.
    Please don’t take this amiss, but I love your baby Azaria too, and I ask that the Saviour who is an Advocate for us all to our Heavenly Father will hold you all in love and blessings.

  28. Bonita Cattell says:

    Lindy I always believed you were innocent and said that loud and clear. Some years ago I discovered that my Pastor Geoff Charles from WA was part of a youth group trip to Ayers Rock and was present at the campfire that night. He unreservedly believed you.

  29. Miss Mary Seymour says:

    I hope what I have to say will not cause you too much distress, but I am presenting my experience because it demonstrates why I have absolutely no doubt that a dingo was responsible for the death of your baby. I live in an English urban area near the untended grounds of an old mental hospital, an area colonised by foxes. The local council require us to put our domestic rubbish into black plastic bags, tie them securely and leave them on the pavement for collection by council employees. We are required to put our bags out before 8am. One week I decided I wanted a lie-in and put my bag out on the pavement last thing at night. Among other rubbish in it was a bundle of chicken bones & skin which I had boiled down to make stock. When I had drained off the stock, I wrapped the bones &c in a couple of thick sheets of newspaper, folded the paper into a neat, square package and put this in an old plastic bag also folded round the bundle. This I put in my black rubbish bag along with a great deal of other domestic rubbish. When I came down in the morning (& before the bin men drove up) I was amazed, and angry, to see that foxes had attacked my bag. A neat hole had been ripped in it, a small quantity of rubbish was scattered on the pavement and conspicuous among the debris were two things: the plastic bag the bones had been in, unfolded but not torn, and the folded newspaper, still folded, just opened at one end. Of the chicken bones there was no trace, not even a grease mark on the pavement. Oh yes, a canid is perfectly capable of detecting something edible even when wrapped up, and of unwrapping it neatly and abandoning the inedible wrapping. Since then I have got up in the morning to put out my rubbish! I found the parallels between my paper wrapping and plastic bag, and the baby-clothes described in the evidence of your trial quite unnerving. How anyone could have disbelieved you I find utterly incredible. This is how canids behave.

  30. Megan says:

    “Unfortunately the way the law stands now I cannot tell you of any internal deals, deliberate lies, affairs or favours that I may know of that may make what happened in my case a lot clearer. If I did I would be charged with libel and the truth doesn’t count in Australia yet.”

    Please write it all down and have it released after your death. It needs to be known.

  31. Chris Mellor says:

    Lindy, once again today you have been vindicated. Sadly another small child has been attacked and carried off by a dingo. We hope and pray he will be ok. In 1980, my admittedly basic understanding of dingo behaviour told me they were dangerous. In 2006 I was on Fraser Island at a conference. A dingo confronted me at the entrance to the resort. The look in that animal’s eyes told me I was his intended lunch. I beat a hasty retreat. My admiration for you knows no bounds. I think of you often. The whole of Australia owes you an apology. Not enough of us spoke up. Love and light to you and yours. Rest In Peace sweet Azaria.

  32. Lin Spence says:

    Dear Lindy,

    I just watched ABC Anh’s brush with fame. It was a very inspiring interview. You are such a strong beautiful woman. I became a mother in 1982 when your life was turned upside down. My gut feeling always told me you were innocent I admire your faith strength threw out all that you endured. I know this is a very belated sorry I don’t have a lot of respect for the media how they treat people. You have stayed strong & such a kind human being take care

    Warm regards

    Lin Spence

  33. Morwena Davies says:

    Lindy, I have always felt empathy with you and your loss of beautiful Azaria. I lost my 7.5 week old son Brett to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 1976. The guilt felt by me as a parent with a child lost to that cause is amazingly “awkward”. People do not understand and are judgmental in a negative way. To this day I feel guilt, however I often ask myself, what could I have done? I subsequently went on to have a daughter in 1977 and another daughter in 1980. I was fearful that I may lose them to the same cause. In fact the fear never left me when my grand son was born in 1996. I freaked out at a friend’s house when he was a few weeks old while he was sleeping, as I believed he had died, and in my panic requested an Ambulance be called. Fortunately that was not the case he is now a 22 year old man. No-one understands our individual and unique grief. My heart and soul has and always will go out to you and your family for your loss and the cruelty you endured by ignorant people. God be with you always.

  34. Shirley Cooper says:

    Dearest Lindy,
    I’d had baby Sally when the jury came out.
    My fury and rage at the verdict knew no bounds. I marched around with my own petition and was laughed at. I have recently lost my 30 year old son Stuey to leukaemia and my faith has sustained me too.
    Lindy my grief has been bitter at certain treatment decisions and insensitive relatives’ attitudes. My children are also traumatised.
    I admire you more than words can describe.
    You are an inspiration. Your words describe terror well.
    Love Shirley Cooper.

  35. Neri says:

    Dear Lindy,
    I am still crying from watching your interview with Anh Do tonight on the ABC.

    I was a child when this happened and remember the adults and media frenzy surrounding this case. I instinctively knew, even as a child, you were not guilty of what they had accused.

    Hearing what you and your children went through is a hateful crime, and the men who were the perpetrators should be held to account. It was yet another disgrace in our Australian legal history.

    As a mother, my heart breaks for you. As others have said, all I can say is “I am so genuinely and profoundly sorry”.

    I send you and your family love – and we as fellow humane beings will never forget that you lost your darling daughter and sister and granddaughter xoxox

  36. Al says:

    Lindy, I cannot believe what you have gone through, forgive all who made life for your family so public, so intrusive. I got justice 53 years later when I went to trial against a serial paedophile. The law is antiquated, slow but we finally got justice. You always knew you were innocent, and that’s what many couldn’t believe but you showed them all. Denis Barrett got it right in the first inquiry and how many ‘experts’ got it all wrong.. Human intervention is something that still keeps me wondering, I’m sure you have a pretty good idea who was involved as I do, but have so far escaped the law, but hopefully new evidence will eventually bring them to trial. God bless you. Al

  37. Kerry Hartigan says:

    Dear Lindy, I also was one to believe the rumors against you. I am in the middle of reading your autobiography. WOW is all I can say.
    I admire you for what you have gone through & survived.I know I would not have coped as you did. My 1st baby was stillborn at 34 weeks in July 1981. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t think of her. Our children maybe gone but never forgotten. Xxx

  38. Sue D says:

    I remember how it felt or how it was at the time. I remember believing you but how the media tried to paint you as a monster I wondered how I would cope in the same situation it was something I could see myself coping with as at every turn some so called expert came out saying this or that about Dingo behaviour and ability. And yes it was bazaar I see the states say 70% of people believed you but that wasnt true as any person I said I believed you ther was a complete silence like I had said something wrong. I believe most were as the authorities and media who convicted you without proper reason. To me it just didnt make sense how they took the whole thing so far. Although I did feel they were scared about the impact on tourism. Anyways thats how it felt back then and it was huge everyone in Australia knew of you and your family.And now tomorrow on 60 minutes there will be another family that have been through the same with a Dingo grabbing thier baby but able to c snatch back the baby. And Nearly 40 years later. This proves without a doubt this is Dingo behaviour and they are strong enough to drag a baby off. They got thier baby back but are visibly shaken still. I believe they used your faith against you that you remained calm. I understood this at the time due to my own faith. One day you will see her again and all the hurt will be gone.

  39. Stephen DOWLING says:

    I was one of those who judged you based on the media reports at the time. I am so sorry. You deserve every dollar the Government paid you, and more. We all let you down by failing to fight for you and Michael. I am so ashamed of what we (Australia) did to you. Please accept my apology for my role in this.

    God bless

  40. Susie Young says:

    Dear Lindy, when I came to Australia with my husband and two young children you & your family were very much in the news. I was in total disbelief when the news broke that you had been given a life sentence. My heart went out to you & your family. I knew that you were innocent, not just believed, but it was a deep knowledge with no doubt whatsoever that I find hard to explain to this day. I followed the story over the years & I was overjoyed when you were released. I watched the Lindy tapes on channel 7 tonight which prompted me to comment. There is so much injustice & corruption in our world that sometimes I feel a deep despair, it would seem that money, agendas & power are very often put before truth, honesty, justice & love. I read your 30 year anniversary, you are an inspiration, a woman of faith with a message of forgiveness, a true example of courage. God bless you & your family.

  41. Wendy says:

    Dearest Lindy
    I was only 2 years old when your darling Azaria went missing, so I don’t remember it. My mum tells me that when you were sentenced, I cried, so already at that age I felt for you. I do recall many news stories and the hatred of others spoken about you. For whatever reason, I always had a deep feeling you were innocent and, still to this day,reading you story or watching documentaries or the movie “Through My Eyes” my heart absolutely bleeds for you and tears fall for your entire family including your beautiful little baby Azaria. I admire you, Lindy,I really do. Your Faith, your determination and your fight (but not in a nasty way) for true justice is to be applauded. I too, am very sorry for your loss, your mistreatment and all the hatred you must have felt. God’s blessing be with you and your family now and always.

  42. Stacey says:

    Dear Lindy,

    I wish I had the right words.
    Watching the documentary tonight on 10, I can’t imagine the grief.
    It rains in my heart.

    You found peace, how I dont know.

    I feel for you, your family, your friends and those who were with you that awful night.

    I’m disappointed in our justice system.

    I wish you peace, love and light.

    Stacey

  43. Monique Costello says:

    Dear Lindy, so much pain was experienced by you and your family. There are no words for that. My heart goes out to all of you and please forgive the Australian people for doubting you for one minute. We all should have listened more and judge less.
    Thank you for telling what really happened.
    All my love, with tears.

  44. Judi Venten says:

    Dear Lindy & family,
    I’ve just watched the 2part documentary and the horror of the injustice you all suffered never leaves me. It’s all so very tragic. You are incredibly remarkable people. I never doubted your story and would repeatedly recoil in horror at the cruelty of ppl who were certain of your guilt – they would yell so aggressively during discussions it soon became futile to speak in your defence.
    The day you went to gaol, we were camping at Cunningham’s Gap with a former NT stockman friend who spoke of the way dingoes worked in packs – one distracting the cow while others lay in wait to go in for the kill. He said they ground calves skulls to nothing so Azaria had no chance. I always wished he could have brought his knowledge to help you somehow.

    The documentary explaining the way you were all treated with such revile is totally unspeakable and makes me so ashamed to say I am Australian. What a disgrace.
    I’m so glad you continued in your commitment to the truth and your innocence.
    May God restore to you all the years the locusts have eaten. What a blessing you are.

  45. Julie Unicomb says:

    Dear Lindy,
    I have just finished watching the two part documentary here in Australia on the 40th Anniversary of the death of baby Azaria. I’ve got to say that 40 years ago I was angry at the treatment you were receiving from press, police, government and members of the public and I’ve got to say now that after re-living it all through the film, I am still angry. It beggars belief that you were subjected to years of torture and were shoved along on a nightmare journey simply because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I always knew you didn’t do “it” and I cannot express how much sadness I feel for you still now even though you have moved on and have found happiness again. I’ve shed a lot of renewed tears today watching the documentary, such injustice and cruelty you should never had had to experience.
    All the very best for the future. You are a wonderful person who deserved to be treated so very differently.

  46. Gloria Vanderhyde says:

    Dear Lindy, I think you are one awesome woman who in spite of being judged wrongly you have no hate in your heart and in fact you have only forgiveness for those who wronged you. I was totally convinced that you were innocent right from the start and because of your strong faith in the Almighty who came out a winner. I admire your style in dressing and your beautiful hair styles. You sure carry yourself well and have always held your head up high as you knew fully well that you were not guilty. I feel very sorry for you for all you went through and all the injustices that you faced. You are a role model for all women. God bless you and your family abundantly always. An admirer.

  47. Judy Ryan says:

    Lindy, I have just received this from a friend.
    It is a beautiful tribute to your darling Azaria, from the depths of your Mothers heart to her child.
    I met you in late May 2014, in the lineup to the bathroom at the QVB, Sydney.
    I said “I have always wanted to tell you that I always believed you were innocent”. And I always will.
    You were so kind, so gracious, with a joy only God can give.
    You asked would I like to see a photo of your new grandaughter.
    That was lovely.

    I watched your truth on chan 10 and placed a few things on an advocacy group. They applaud you as I do.
    Yes, justice for Azaria.
    Aiden Reghan and Kailua are amazing young people.
    I am so happy for you that you have a dear husband and amazing children and grandchildren.
    It was an honour to meet you that day.
    As you left, you said “we will meet in the Mother’s club in Heaven one day”.
    God bless you and your family.
    Kindest regards
    Judy Ryan

    For there is nnothing covered that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known.
    Math 10:26.

  48. Ian M says:

    Dear Lindy, I was like many people back then. I judged you based on the only facts that were at my disposal at the time – the media saturation. Of course, we now know that many of the stories we heard relating to you and your family were nothing but unsubstantiated gossip. We also know that the forensic evidence which convicted you was misleading and false. I now feel ashamed and embarrassed for having been so gullible. I had always doubted the theory prevalent at the time of your conviction, that a dingo would not take a baby. I grew up on a farm and knew that a dingo was entirely capable of such an act. And of course, the evidence had always been there, but the police not only ignored this evidence, they set out to ridicule it! There have also been may examples of dingo attacks on children and adults since the time your daughter was taken. We all tend to place our trust in the police and justice system, but sometimes they get things very wrong. Your conviction is proof sufficient of that! What you endured can only be described as a gross miscarriage of justice. My great wish is that the NT Government and NT Police will now issue a formal apology to you and your family in words that are suitable to you.

  49. Naomi Rosenberg says:

    Dear Lnndy

    My mother had a cot death before I was born more than 40 years ago, and my parents are still grieving, the loss of a child never really reconciles itself, the pain is there constantly. I cannot begin to imagine how much torture you endured not to be able to grieve together, and the pain that comes from a wound that isn’t allowed to heal
    Your strength, courage and resilience is simply incredible, I just want to say that you are needed in this world and your voice should never be silent
    God bless you

  50. Jeni Robinson says:

    Dear Lindy, Reagan, Aidan, Kahlia and Michael now at rest with your beloved baby daughter and sister,
    I was pregnant with my first baby – a precious baby girl – when the tragic news broke of your loss all those years ago, and my prayers immediately went out to you for all you were enduring. Since then, many a tear has been shed watching the unfolding events over time.
    Such a terrible tragedy that brought about an appalling miscarriage of justice. My heart goes out to all of you for everything you had to suffer for so long at the hands of a seemingly unwavering justice system, people in authority who knew better and should have carried out their jobs with truth and integrity rather than cover up, mistakes and falsehoods, and a host of people who were willing to believe the worst rather than the truth staring them in the face.
    I am so grateful to God that His spirit was with you throughout those darkest of times, and is still there comforting you when those awful memories start to overwhelm you again, as I’m sure they often do.
    I’m also so very grateful for all those witnesses and supporters who stood fast in their accounts and beliefs to ensure that the truth wasn’t lost in the huge raft of lies and coverups. They truly are your second family…
    I pray that you will always stand strong in your faith and sense the comfort of the Lord’s presence knowing she’s safe in His arms, and one day all of you will be reunited together forever.
    God bless you in everything you do, with Rick by your side and the prayers of so many whose hearts and faith have been with you down through the years.
    One day all the tears will cease and that dreadful pain will ease, but in the meantime know you are supported by a heap of fellow Aussies, along with a host of angels, as your Heavenly Father waits in readiness to welcome you to your forever home so you’ll never be apart from that precious little girl again.
    God bless you all

  51. Kellie says:

    Dear Lindy, the sheer strength you must have is nothing short of a miracle. I am so sorry for all the pain you have endured. May you be protected for ever x

  52. John O'Callaghan says:

    Dear Lindy,
    No one can begin to imagine what you endured, the grief, the injustices, the sheer length of time, the ganging up of the legal fraternity and the media, it’s all so unbelievable. I feel forever haunted by that photo of you and Azaria on Ayres Rock, it’s beyond words. The truth sets us free, even when so many are against the truth. I loved how you said “God knows the truth and I do too and that’s enough for me.” I also love how you have showed such incredible Christian spirit by forgiving your enemies, what an example you are to the rest of us. I’m just so glad you will see Azaria again one day. Thank you for being who you are, for being an incredibly real, true & modest person, who refused to be destroyed by all the evil & the deepest grief of losing your beautiful baby daughter.
    God bless, John

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