Chamberlain trial drawings slideshow
The Veronica O'Leary collection of courtroom drawings from the 1982 trial of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain feature key figures and moments from one of the most high-profile criminal proceedings in Australian history.
Although she was eventually exonerated Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of murder and imprisoned for more than three years.
The ink and pencil drawings are the work of artist Veronica O'Leary. Reprography by Jason McCarthy.
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'Michael Chamberlain takes the stand'
'Lindy Chamberlain being cross-examined'
This drawing depicts Lindy Chamberlain giving evidence in court, with her husband Michael listening in the foreground.
Lindy was questioned over an entire day. Minor discrepancies between her answers and her original account of events were given much attention. For example, in cross-examination Lindy was questioned for 90 minutes on how many centimetres the moving dingo's nose protruded from the tent when she first saw it, in an attempt to discredit her evidence and disprove her story.
It was claimed that Lindy lied about Azaria wearing a matinee jacket, not originally found with Azaria's jumpsuit, to explain why there was not more evidence on the jumpsuit of a dingo (such as saliva).
The discovery of the matinee jacket, years after the trial, eventually led to the royal commission being called.
'Professor Cameron demonstrates with doll'
The forensic odontologist who gave evidence at the first inquest, Kenneth Brown, was unhappy with the coroner's finding and sent Azaria's clothing to Professor James Cameron, a forensics expert in London, for further examination.
Cameron found that the damage demonstrated human involvement, particularly a bloody handprint on the back of the jumpsuit. His findings resulted in the first inquest being quashed and a second inquest being called.
Cameron testified at the trial and is seen here demonstrating how he believed the baby would have been held, on a doll wearing a similar jumpsuit. The royal commission later demonstrated that the so-called handprint was in fact red sand.
Chamberlain trial jury
The anonymity of jury members is the primary reason why photography has not been allowed in courtrooms. It is unlikely that a member of a jury would be recognisable from a drawing.
Drawings such as this were used repeatedly during the news coverage, as they depict the general scene rather than a particular moment in the trial.
'Pastor Kennaway told the jury'
Pastor Mervyn Kennaway was one of the few people who knew Azaria. He 'visited the Chamberlains at their home in Mount Isa to perform a little ceremony to celebrate the birth of Azaria.' He also testified that Michael Chamberlain habitually drove with a camera bag under the driver's seat.
On the night Azaria died Michael drove the car to a motel in Alice Springs. A passenger noticed the camera bag at his feet and offered to hold it so that it would not be in his way. As he was used to driving with it in the footwell he refused, but this was seen to be evidence of his knowledge that Lindy had concealed Azaria's body in the bag.
Evidence was presented in court that the camera bag was blood-stained but this was later proven to be copper dust from Mount Isa, where the Chamberlains then lived. The camera bag is now in the National Historical Collection.
'Blood analysis expert Joy Kuhl'
Joy Kuhl was a forensic scientist at the New South Wales health office, where many of the items taken in evidence were tested. Her testimony was crucial to the prosecution case that Lindy Chamberlain had killed Azaria in the family car and this was the only explanation for there being blood from a baby under three months of age in the car.
Kuhl's evidence was closely scrutinised in the royal commission. Commissioner Trevor Morling QC concluded that Kuhl was not sufficiently qualified or adequately supervised to test the material associated with the case, especially given the difficulty in dealing with blood that had been exposed to the extremes in temperature of a car that was parked in full sun in Mount Isa for over a year before it was tested.
In particular Morling found that there was no blood on the area underneath the dashboard:
The fact that [Kuhl] could come to such a conclusion about something which was, very probably, sound deadener casts doubt upon the efficacy of her testing generally and upon the accuracy of her other results.
This dashboard panel from the Chamberlain's car is also in the Museum's National Historical Collection.