Lynette Joy Dawson was an Australian woman who disappeared in 1982. Her husband, Chris Dawson, was the prime suspect in her disappearance, but has always maintained his innocence. In spite of several investigations and a renewed interest in the case in recent years, her whereabouts and what happened to her remain unknown.
Lynette and Chris Dawson met in high school and married in 1970. They had two daughters together. By the early 1980s, the couple’s relationship had become strained and they were living apart. Lynette lived in the family home with her daughters, while Chris lived in a nearby house that he had purchased.
On January 9, 1982, Lynette was reported missing by her family. Chris initially claimed that he had gone to visit his parents, but his family did not believe this and reported him missing to the police. Despite an extensive search, no trace of Lynette was found.
Chris Dawson, a former rugby player, was the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance. He changed his initial version and claimed that Lynette had left the family home and gone to live with a religious cult. However, no evidence was ever found to support this claim.
Everything leads one to believe
In the years after Lynette’s disappearance, Chris Dawson had relationships with several young women, including a 16-year-old student who had been a live-in nanny for his children and moved into the family home just two days after Lynette’s disappearance.
As if this were not enough, shortly thereafter, the teenager gave birth to a child. This fact raised suspicions and contributed to the accusations of his involvement in the disappearance.
In 2000, Chris Dawson was charged with Lynette’s murder, but the charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.
The influence of a podcast
In 16 episodes, the podcast “The Teacher’s Pet” by journalist Hedley Thomas compiled a wealth of information and evidence that had never been part of the original case, and was able, for example, to interview witnesses that the police did not have access to. The theory developed by “The Teacher’s Pet” was that Lynette had been killed by her husband.
Receiving 28 million downloads before it unfortunately had to be taken off the air, the program generated involvement on social networks and attracted media attention, giving new impetus to official police investigations that had been halted after the case was reopened.
The result of this was, for example, the arrest of Chris Dawson in December 2018. He is currently out on bail and continues to plead not guilty.
Lynette’s body was never found, and her fate remains a mystery. Her family is still searching for answers and hopes that one day they will find out what happened to her. The case has received a lot of attention in recent years, and investigators are optimistic that new evidence is emerging.