The true crime podcast boom continues to make the world a better place, with the news that Chris Dawson, 70, the husband of Lynette Dawson, a Sydney woman who went missing in 1982, is to be charged with her murder after over three decades of suspicion, but no solid answers.
The 34-year-old mother-of-two was reported missing by husband Chris in February 1982, but was last seen on January 9 of that year on the northern beaches of Sydney.
Arrested Husband Chris Dawson Claims Wife ‘Ran Away With Religious Cult’
Chris Dawson initially told police that his wife had abandoned the family for an itinerant religious group, but two coroner’s inquests into Lynette’s vanishing revealed that Chris had been abusive towards his wife and ruled that she had been murdered by “a known person” – suspected to be her husband.
While the full details of Lynette Dawson’s last days are not known, police found her pale-pink cardigan near a hole dug for a swimming pool in the couple’s back garden.
The couple had attended marriage counseling the day before Lynette was last seen, as PE teacher Chris had only recently returned to the family home, having left the family with the intention of starting a new life in Queensland with one of his 16-year-old students, shortly before Christmas 1981. He had only returned after his young girlfriend, Joanne Curtis, called off the couple’s relationship while they were traveling together.
Suspected Wife Killer Chris Dawson’s Schoolgirl Lover
Chris had started a relationship with the schoolgirl some time in 1981, and by December had moved Joanne into the family home. Lynette had reportedly tolerated her husband’s behavior for the sake of their children, and told friends that she “trusted” Chris.
Days after Lynette’s disappearance Joanne Curtis moved back into the Dawson family home and subsequently married her former teacher. Chris Dawson had Lynette’s wedding ring and engagement ring melted down and made into a wedding ring for Joanne.
But the relationship soon turned abusive, with Dawson going to extreme lengths to control and isolate his vulnerable young wife. By 1990 their marriage had ended and Joanne Curtis subsequently gave evidence at a coroner’s inquest into Lynette’s death, detailing the abusive behavior she had personally experienced at the hands of Chris Dawson.
Podcasts Heat Up Cold Cases
The details of the case, as well as possible failings of the initial police investigation into Lynette’s disappearance, were covered at length in last year’s massively popular podcast ‘Teacher’s Pet‘.
With the news of Chris Dawson’s arrest, many will credit the journalists involved for renewing attention in the mystery of Lynette Dawson’s disappearance, and the sad and sordid circumstances surrounding it.
As they gain in popularity, podcasts have become increasingly influential in recent years.
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