Maybe a dingo ate your baby!" suggested Elaine Benis (Julia Louis Dreyfus) in an episode of Seinfeld in season 3, bumped from season 2 because Larry David thought it not very good. But the phrase stuck.
Elaine's literary quote harkens back to a 1998 Meryl Streep film, A Cry in the Dark
. Streep played Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, who utters some version of "the dingo's got my baby!" after her nine-week-old daughter Azaria was taken from the tent that she and her then-husband Michael Chamberlain were sharing while camping in the Northern Territory, Australia.
The film was based on a true story, a tragedy that happened on August 17, 1980. Lindy was convicted of murder and given life in prison while Michael was considered an accessory after the fact and given an 18-month suspended sentence. But legal challenges eventually exonerated both parents. A coroner eventually attributed the baby's disappearance to "the result of being attacked and taken by a dingo." So, it happens.
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