When you read a book, you remember things from it. I carry authors with me but the strongest one, the loudest one, the author voice that speaks most often in my head is the voice of Lindy Chamberlain. Her book – Through My Eyes – is one of my most prized books. It’s actually starting to fall apart because over the last 10 years I have read it so often, especially as I was climbing out of that nasty hole known as depression. Lindy may not know this, but I consider her a great friend of mine. ;) In the way that many of my blog friends have become great friends of mine even though I have never met them.
For those of you unfamiliar with Lindy Chamberlain, her daughter Azaria was taken by a dingo at the big red rock known as Uluru these days, formerly known as Ayers Rock. Lindy was later jailed for killing Azaria in one of the worst abuses of our legal system ever seen here in Australia. You can read more on Lindy’s website but if you want the real full story, you’ll need to read the book, which you can also buy on the website – Lindy will sign it, too. I really need to grab a new copy myself. You may have seen the movie Evil Angels based on her story with Meryl Streep as Lindy.
I hear so many people say “I’m not a good writer” and I am always shocked to hear it. I don’t think there is such a thing as a good writer. I think writing is about communicating, expressing your thoughts and ideas, letting people inside yourself by writing what is in your head. Either I get what you’re saying, or I don’t. That’s not due to the quality of the writing. Sometimes people I connect most of the time write something I can’t connect with. That’s not because they’re a bad writer, that’s because I don’t understand it. As Chani said to me in her comment on my post from yesterday “Sorry to be so disconnected. I simply don’t understand”.
So how can any of us understand what Lindy went through? To have your baby stolen from you and killed, to go through two inquests and a trial, to be sent to jail when you are pregnant with your next child and have that child taken from you while you stay in jail for something you’re innocent of.. these are not everyday experiences. However we all experience loss and grief, we’ve all been accused of something we didn’t do at some point in our lives – I think that’s true. Most of us were not arrested and sent to jail, for many of us it might have been something that happened in a moment, at school, at work, a misunderstanding. On top of all this, Lindy brings such a strong and clear voice to the telling of her story.
What made me think of Lindy today was a post I read about Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. I’m sure many of you have heard of that event. What I’m seeing happen to those people rings a familiar bell having read Lindy’s story – but on the other hand the press are being downright polite to those people compared to how the press skewered Lindy. Those people left their child in a ground floor unit which was unlocked and they went quite a distance away. Lindy was within hearing distance of the tent where she’d momentarily left her baby intending to return to go to sleep.
So what is going on with the media? As Juliet says – “There is much disquiet and puzzlement at the UK media’s kid-glove approach towards the McCanns”. I haven’t seen any of the media because I live in Australia but the UK tabloids are known to be some of the loudest in the world. If they’re not asking the same kinds of questions Juliet is asking in her post, is something wrong? Are strange things afoot?
Aussies reading this will probably agree with me when I say Lindy Chamberlain is a major part of history in this country. If you ask people what they think about her, you’ll get a mixed bag of opinions. Some people still think she is guilty of murdering her baby. They don’t know the facts, and they seem to have missed entirely that the Chamberlains were exonerated (found not guilty) by a Royal Commission. Knowing the facts as I do it is difficult to believe they were ever found guilty. If you are Australian and you do not own a copy of this book, you should grab a copy and get educated on the truths instead of the myths.
Tourism was such a major industry for the Northern Territory and the people in charge wanted the *dingo* found innocent because they wanted people to feel safe camping at Ayers Rock, a major tourist drawcard. Australia is not a safe place. Those of us who live here know some of the risks but even we do not know everything. We know about the venomous snakes. We know about the spiders. We know about some of the dangers lurking in our oceans. We have to be responsible about these things, so tourists can make the right decisions, so tourists can be aware of the dangers.
Some years later a 9 year old boy was killed by two dingoes on Fraser Island. Three years later a dingo was found stalking a baby in the hotel room of some tourists. The problem is made worse by the fact that tourists feed the animals.
There’s another situation happening in Queensland now, with the Irikanji jellyfish. Here’s a little background on the situation from the 7:30 report. Tourism is a huge industry there so would you want to tell people there is a possibility of deadly jellyfish in the water? It’s irresponsible not to tell people. There have already been deaths. Money needs to be put towards research and anti venom.
I’m not one to judge – as I’ve said before I leave that to Judge Judy. As far as the McCann’s are concerned, I have absolutely no idea what happened to their child. I personally would never have left children alone in an unlocked hotel room. I don’t wish to judge them on the fact that they did so. I do think questions have to be asked, especially in light of this supposed “pact”some people have made with the McCann’s . I am surprised that they aren’t being shredded by the media and I find that very unusual. It leaves me wondering, is there more to this story than meets the eye? Are we all so blind now – the mere mention of pedophiles and people shut up and stop asking important questions?