Chris Dawson arrested and expected to be charged over wife's murder

Cheryl Sanders
December 5, 2018

Chris Dawson will be extradited to New South Wales today, where he is expected to be charged with the murder of his wife Lynette following his arrest on the Gold Coast.

This consisted of primarily witness statements, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said.

The mystery case gained global media attention and a cult following, with The Teacher's Pet podcast trending internationally and attracting 27 million listeners around the world. Her husband, Chris Dawson, has always been the prime suspect.

Mr Fuller said finding Ms Dawson's remains was "not crucial to finalising the matter", however investigators had not given up hope of doing so.

The Gold Coast magistrate described the police case as "circumstantial" given Ms Dawson's body has never been found.

To date, he has maintained his innocence.

In 2015, NSW homicide detectives established Strike Force Scriven to reinvestigate the circumstances surrounding Mrs Dawson's disappearance and suspected murder.

"We're certainly hoping an interview with this 70-year-old man who's now in custody in Queensland will assist us with the outcome of where the body may be".

Through his duty lawyer, Mr Dawson tried to obtain bail so he could voluntarily go to New South Wales today to face court.

After a career playing rugby league for the Newtown Jets, Chris Dawson worked as a P.E. teacher at Cromer High School.

Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said the 70-year-old was "calm and a little bit taken aback" when arrested on Wednesday morning.

"That dig didn't provide any additional information, unfortunately, and, look, from our perspective we would have dearly loved to have found the body of Lynette Dawson not just for the brief of evidence but for her family", Fuller said.

Some of the additional material surfaced as a result of The Australian newspaper's investigative podcast The Teacher's Pet.

A search of the family's former home in Sydney earlier this year failed to turn up new evidence.

Her family, two coroners and the current NSW police commissioner think she was killed.

The magistrate said the crown alleged domestic violence allegations against Mr Dawson would be raised in evidence, as well as evidence from the woman involved in the affair - Mr Dawson's former student Joanne Curtis.

Lynette Dawson disappeared in 1982.

Despite that, Mr Dawson did not report his wife missing for nearly six weeks.

His family said they were "disappointed" at the decision of the DPP.

"There is clear and uncontested evidence that Lyn Dawson was alive long after she left Chris and their daughters", the statement said.

"We have to also ensure Chris gets due process".

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