The Teacher’s Pet was created by Hedley Thomas, Chief Correspondent for one of the country’s biggest newspapers, The Australian. The series attempts to uncover the truth about the disappearance of Lyn Dawson, a 33-year-old housewife and childcare worker who vanished from the home she shared with her two children and husband, rugby league star-turned-teacher, Chris Dawson, 36 years ago.
At the time of Lyn’s disappearance, Chris had told friends and family that she had decided to leave their home and join a religious cult after a rough patch in their marriage, but as time went by and Lyn never materialised, those closest to her became convinced that Chris had killed her all those years ago and were determined to see him face justice.
And the latest developments in the case just go to show the power of new media: New South Wales police have confirmed that Chris Dawson, 70, is to be charged with murdering Lynette. He was arrested in Queensland today and will be extradited to New South Wales to stand trial.
While there has been no word from Hedley Thomas just yet, Lyn’s brother, Greg Simms, said he was “ecstatic” about the development in the case, adding: “We've always been determined to find the truth and that's the reason why we've fought to keep Lyn's name alive.”
The podcast prompted police to search the Dawson’s old family home in the summer of this year for her body, but the dig around the family swimming pool failed to bring fresh evidence. However, police have said they are “confident” in their arrest, which comes following three years of renewed investigations.
Since The Teacher’s Pet first aired, new evidence has continually streamed in to Hedley Thomas, which he would then broadcast each week. New witnesses came forward, including many former students from Cromer High, where Chris taught, who revealed the school operated as a quasi-paedophile ring for the teachers, with both male and female superiors sleeping with their students.
At the time Lyn went missing, Chris was having an affair with 16-year-old Joanne Curtis, their teenage babysitter and one of his students. Chris moved Joanne into their house for a while in 1981, whilst Lyn still lived there. And just a couple of days after Lyn disappeared, Chris moved Joanne back into their home – and into their marital bed – permanently, where she acted as a new mum to Lyn and Chris’s two little girls.
But after splitting with Chris in the 90s, Joanne went on to give evidence against Chris, claiming that he was the person who killed Lyn. Her accusations weren’t enough to arrest him back then, but the wealth of new evidence – including a testimony from another of Lyn and Chris’s former babysitters, Bev McNally, who recalls Chris’s rough treatment of Lyn well – has proved successful.
According to The Australian, Chris’s application for bail was denied – he promised he would drive to Parramatta himself for his court appearance, but was considered a flight risk. He will be flown to Sydney tomorrow morning and officially charged with the murder of Lynette Dawson.
You can catch upon The Teacher’s Pet by downloading it from iTunes,
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