Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Cry In The Night Part 1 Of 3

A Sleepless Night

Bobbie found Frank Morris who sent his subordinate, Constable Noble, to help them move, a decision that contravened normal police procedure in such a situation. When he arrived at the camping ground in the police four-wheel drive Toyota, everyone pitched in to transfer all of the Chamberlains' things from the tent into the back of the truck. Anything remaining was piled into the family car.

The two boys, wrapped in their sleeping bags, were placed in the front of the police truck with Lindy. Michael offered Bobbie Downs a lift to the motel in his car. During this trip, Bobbie noticed Michael's camera bag on the floor near Michael's feet. When she offered to put it somewhere else, he refused, explaining that he always kept it there. This seemingly insignificant incident would provide a great deal of leverage in the Crown's case against the Chamberlains.

Azaria helped by her brother.
Azaria helped by her brother.

When they arrived at the motel, they were informed that there would be no charge, and that they were welcome to stay as long as they needed. Lindy and Constable Noble carried the boys into the room and tucked them into bed. The contents of the truck were quickly placed in the corner of the room, including the empty bassinette. The sight of it lying there empty was too stark a reminder for Lindy, so she covered it with the sleeping bags and blankets in the hope of blocking out the reality of the nights events.

Michael and Bobbie arrived and prepared to empty the contents of the car, but Lindy said they had everything they needed for now. The car was left with doors and hatch wide open as Lindy and Michael were introduced to the motel staff who had prepared them sandwiches and hot drinks.

There was little anyone could say, so one by one they left. Finally, Lindy and Michael were alone. They locked up the car and closed the door on the night, but not on the memories. Laying in the darkness, Lindy played things out in her mind. If only she had zippered the tent. She was only away for a couple of minutes. How could she have known of the danger? Why weren't they warned that dingoes could be dangerous? Over and over she wondered at what had happened.

Lindy and Michael slept little that night and were up and dressed by dawn. They had organised to call their parents first thing in the morning. The thought of them learning of their granddaughter's death via a media report distressed them. As Michael shaved, Reagan awoke. Sleepy and disoriented by the change of location, his first question was "Where is bubby?"

How does a mother tell her child of four that his little baby sister, whom he had adored, was dead? Lindy tried as best she could to gently explain the reality of the situation to Reagan, but his young mind was unable to grasp that Azaria wouldn't be coming back.

Constable Morris came to the Chamberlains' room. Before Lindy had an opportunity to ask, he informed her that there was still no news. He told the Chamberlains that they would need to sign a "form of release" for the Coroner's Court, explaining that there would have to be an inquest. He would drop by later.

Morris returned as Lindy and Michael were telephoning their parents. A call came in from an Adelaide newspaper reporter wanting to interview the parents. Michael and Lindy were not sure what to do so they asked the opinion of Frank Morris, who suggested that they might as well get it out of the way. Michael agreed to take the call, answering the reporter's questions as best he could. Throughout the interview, he felt it important for the reporter to stress the need to warn people of the dangers presented by dingos in the area.

As they left the motel office, Morris joined them. He requested to go through their belongings for any evidence that would be needed for the Coroner's inquest.

Inside the motel room, the contents of the tent were piled in the corner as they had left them the night before. Both Lindy and Michael had avoided the grisly task of sorting through the morbid reminders of their tragedy.

Constable Morris inspected the sleeping bags and blankets as Lindy and Michael pointed out to him the bloodstains they found, keeping anything he felt relevant. Aidan pointed out to his mother a bloodstain on the cuff of his parka. Lindy asked Morris if he would need to have this, as it was the only warm jacket he had. As Morris felt that they had more than enough material for the purpose of the inquest, he told her to keep it. While Lindy and Michael signed the release forms, Morris informed them that Inspector Gilroy, from Alice Springs, was flying in later that day and would need to interview them.



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