Chris Dawson, the subject at the centre of the hugely successful true crime podcast The Teacher’s Pet, has been arrested this morning in Queensland in Australia, over the death of his wife Lynette Dawson. He is expected to be charged with murder.
“A 70-year-old man has been arrested this morning shortly before 8 o’clock in relation to the murder of Lyn Dawson,” confirmed Detective Chief Inspector Chris Olen to The Australian.
Walkley Award-winning journalist Hedley Thomas spent months investigating the 1982 disappearance of Lyn who went missing from her and Chris’ idyllic Bayview home on the Northern Beaches in New South Wales. Days after she was gone, Dawson moved his school girl lover, Joanne Curtis (with whom he was having an affair with since 1980), into the marital bed and told his young daughters she was their new mother. She even wore Lyn’s clothes and jewellery. It took Dawson six weeks to report his wife missing and while the mounting evidence against Dawson implied he murdered his wife, he was never charged. Until now.
Relative of Lyn, Allyson Jennings, who runs the Looking for Lynette Dawson Facebook page, said she was overwhelmed by the arrest, 37 years since Lyn went missing. “I never thought this day would ever come. I really didn’t,” she told The Australian. “Mum told me, then my brother messaged me as well. I’ve been in a work meeting and I got a text. It’s a big day but it’s also the beginning of a very scary journey. It’s the beginning of a very long legal process.”
Thomas collated his findings in his podcast which garnered 27 million listeners across the world. Today is a huge win for Lyn’s family who have long campaigned for justice.
NSW detectives will apply for his extradition at his first court appearance. A press conference confirmed additional evidence by means of an extra two witness statements led to the arrest today. Many believe one of those statements could belong to Curtis.
Dawson reportedly “came quietly with police” and “was a little bit taken back” and is currently with the local Queensland watch house waiting to go before the courts today.
Police noted that while they do not know the whereabouts of Lyn’s body, they have solved homicide cases in the past without physical evidence. They are exploring different theories of where Lyn’s body may be.
Police believe the strength of the case against Dawson is strong, implying it will be enough to put him behind bars.
More to come.