Evil Angels: The death of Azaria Chamberlain in the central Australian desert, and the events leading to judgement
Penguin Books, $24.95 pb, 550 pp
John Bryson has tried to solve one of Australia’s great mysteries – how Azaria Chamberlain died. The cover of Evil Angels gives the clue to his answer. A bruise-coloured sky glowers over a stark, orange-brown desert. There is the twisted relic of a tree in the foreground and in front of it, like a spreading puddle of blood, the shadow of a dingo, its eyes on an evil slant.
Bryson’s judgment that Azaria was taken by a dingo is never explicitly stated. But it is implicit in the way his meticulously gathered evidence is presented. In marked contrast to the quickies on the case that came out several years ago, Bryson has tracked down virtually all the relevant witnesses who were present in the carpark at Ayers Rock when the baby went missing. Many of these witnesses were not interviewed by the police. Some of them who were interviewed later were surprised to find that they were not called to give evidence in any of the trials. A number of them were adamant that the story told by Lindy Chamberlain, bizarre though it sounds, fitted in with what they saw and heard.