On January 9, 1982, Australian mother Lynette Dawson suddenly disappeared.
Her husband, Chris Dawson, stubbornly claimed that his wife left him and only their two young children.
According to her husband, she had not possessed it before she left.
Two days after her disappearance, a 16-year-old girl moved into the family home.
This was just the beginning of what was to become a 40-year mystery, according to reports CNN.
Now the mystery has made a breakthrough.
– We’re in shock, Lynette Dawson’s niece, Renee Sims, says Sky News.
It has been downloaded over 60 million times
A podcast has been ensuring that the much-talked-about issue now appears to have been resolved.
In 2018, investigative journalist Hedley Thomas and the newspaper he works for, The Australian, started the real-life crime podcast “The Teacher’s Pet”.
On the podcast, Hedley Thomas looked closely at the marriage between Lynette and Chris Dawson — not least the 16-year-old who moved into their house.
It didn’t take long before “The Teacher’s Pet” became one of the most downloaded podcasts in the world.
to me Watchman It has been downloaded over 60 million times.
Taken four months later
Thanks to the huge interest in the podcast, the police received many tips in the case.
Several witnesses came forward to say what they saw.
Four months after the podcast began, according to Reuters, the volume of evidence had become so great that Chris Dawson was arrested.
The Sydney High Court judge said during his ruling on Tuesday this week that the podcast provided evidence in whole or in part in these cases.
16 years old met
Lynette and Chris met in 1965, when they met, according to New York times I was 16 and went to the same high school.
Five years later, on August 26, 1970, they married in Sydney.
I met the 16-year-old
After becoming a professional rugby player for the Newtown Jets in the 1970s, Chris Dawson began working as a sports teacher at Cromer High School outside Sydney.
There he met a student who was identified as “JC” for legal reasons only.
She was 16 years old, and according to Australian media, she was having problems at home.
Chris, then 32, invited JC into the house he was sharing with Lynette and their two daughters in north Sydney.
JC often spent the night there and also worked as a babysitter for the couple’s children, ages two and four, respectively.
Suddenly Lynette fell to the ground.
Did not attend
The Australian news site wrote, that it took six weeks before Chris Dawson reported his wife’s disappearance News letters.
While being questioned, he said he dropped her off at a bus stop because she was going to the store to change some clothes.
Later that day, the family was supposed to meet her mother – but Lynette never showed up.
After she was gone for a few days, Lynette called him, according to her husband.
He claimed that his wife, who was known to be a very family oriented woman, told him she needed time to herself.
According to the news agency, the investigators in the case have Reuters She couldn’t find any evidence that Lynette called her husband – or anyone else – after her disappearance.
I waited six weeks
While the police were searching with lights and lanterns for Lynette, Chris lived with JC.
Despite extensive searches, they found no trace of Lynette.
A year after Lynette’s disappearance, Chris filed for divorce from her.
He told neighbors that he was sure his wife joined a religious sect and left the family forever.
In 1984 he married JC.
The two were married for nine years before they finally filed for divorce.
In the late 1980s, Sydney police announced that they no longer believed Lynette Dawson had voluntarily left her family.
– The case is considered a murder, according to them.
They began tapping Chris’ phone, digging near the couple’s home, but to no avail.
Nothing could link him to the murder.
Found many errors
So, it took one more podcast for the issue to break through.
With 17 episodes of “The Teacher’s Pet,” investigative journalist Hedley Thomas highlights all of the alleged mistakes made during the investigation.
Thomas questioned why prosecutors were not going to prosecute Chris Dawson, despite two forensic examinations that concluded that his wife was most likely dead – and that he was likely the killer.
Thanks to advice and new witnesses who came forward, Chris Dawson was arrested in 2018 and charged with the murder of his wife.
The guide is convincing and comprehensive
In April of this year, just before the start of the trial, Chris Dawson’s lawyers announced that they would request a complete stay of the proceedings.
Their argument was according to News letters “How much status information has already been posted”, possibly as a result of the podcast.
Lawyers thought this would mean Chris Dawson would not get a fair trial.
However, his trial, which lasted until July of this year, began.
There, the judge repeatedly referred to the “teacher’s pet.” He made no secret of the fact that he was deeply moved by the work of the drilling journalist.
– Harrison said in court the evidence is convincing and extensive.
Treated like a slave
JC was one of the many witnesses at the trial.
In her testimony, she said Dawson “cheated” before she, aged 16, moved in with him two days after Lynette’s disappearance.
It was indicated that she was 16 years old at the time, while Chris Dawson was twice her age.
– It wasn’t a relationship. I refuse it. JC said in court that I was just a child, according to the Sydney newspaper Daily Telegraph.
On top of that, JC said that after she moved she wondered why Lynette Dawson wouldn’t take her things with her – if she had already chosen to leave home and family.
JC said she was treated like a slave at home, that she had to take care of the children, cook and do laundry.
He wanted to replace the wife
While pronouncing the sentence, according to Washington Post Lasting a full five hours, Harrison said the motive for the murder was:
Chris Dawson was obsessed with JC. He wanted to exchange his wife with her. JC threatened to end her relationship with him.
“The thought of losing JC made him sad and frustrated and eventually clouded his mind, so he decided to kill his wife,” Harrison said.
At the sentencing, Chris Dawson lashed out.
– He said the allegations that Lynette Dawson tended to give updates by phone after she left her family are simply completely absurd.
Do the only thing right
Lynette Dawson’s body has never been found.
“Everything indicates that Lynette Dawson died, that she died around January 8, 1982, and that she did not leave her home voluntarily,” Judge Harrison said during sentencing.
He said the murder may have occurred on a beach north of Sydney, where the couple lives.
Judge Chris Dawson urged the police to help find the body and “do the only right thing.”
He said – Show her this respect.
Lynette Dawson’s family, who had always refused to believe she left her family voluntarily, cheered when the verdict was passed.
– Today her name was erased. She loved her family and would never intentionally leave them. Instead, a man she loved took advantage of her trust, as her brother Greg Sims said Watchman.
Journalist Hedley Thomas also testified at the trial.
The press was surrounded by him when he walked out of the courtroom.
It took 40 years for this to happen. Chris Dawson should have been tried 40 years ago. He had 40 years to enjoy his life without being held accountable for what happened. He said it was a shame.
Chris Dawson’s attorney, Greg Walsh, told senior news outlets outside the courtroom that Dawson would appeal the court’s decision.
Mr. Dawson has always maintained – and still does – his absolute innocence of the crime for which he was convicted. He said he would continue to maintain that innocence, according to CNN.
It is not yet known when the verdict will be issued.
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