The view from Salem
Just a few years ago in a suburb not too far away, we were chatting with friends when somehow the subject of the Chamberlain case came up.
Our female host, quite a decent woman really, suddenly became tense, finally declaring, “I still reckon she did it.”
A beat of awkward silence, then: “I just don’t believe her.”
I guess I made some faltering noises of dismay, until her spouse then offered, “I don’t give a shit!”
I was under the, apparently mistaken, impression that most people did give a shit, given that, just for one thing, an innocent family was torn apart by the witch hunt that engulfed the nation.
Some of us will have had the maddening experience of arguing with someone who still believes Lindy Chamberlain was guilty.
And some of us will have had sporadic episodes of madness in which we still believe Lindy Chamberlain was guilty.
Former barrister, prosecutor and Supreme Court judge Ken Crispin is one of the former, with wide experience of the latter. He this week told Phillip Adams:
... I wrote a book and I was interviewed about it by a senior Melbourne journalist, who began the interview by saying, “Ken, I just want to let you know there’s a ground rule for this interview. As far as I’m concerned that bitch is guilty and I don’t want to know I’m wrong.” ...
You couldn’t persuade people by facts. I was on talkback radio and I had a fellow ring up and say, “Now look, I’m an old bushie, you can’t tell me a dingo could go in and out of a tent without leaving tracks.”
I said, “I don’t want to tell you that. It did leave tracks.”
“Oh yeah, who saw them?”
I said, “Well, there were the two police stationed at Ayers Rock, the Chief Ranger, the Deputy Chief Ranger, a queen’s scout named Murray Haby, several other searchers; the tracks were still there next morning when they were seen by the Detective Inspector and Detective Sergeant from Darwin, and from that day to this, the Crown has never disputed their existence.”
“Yeah well, you’ll never persuade me,” he said.
(No transcript, listen here — quoted audio from 11m 45s.)