Police Are Searching The Home Of A Missing Woman After Popular Podcast Uncovers New Evidence
A hugely popular Australian podcast which has gripped listeners over the last four months, and had over 18 million downloads, has now triggered the re-opening of a cold case.
Teacher's Pet, created by Hedley Thomas and The Australian, tells the story of 33-year-old Lynette Dawson, who went suddenly missing in 1982.
To all accounts a doting mum to her two children, the podcast investigates why the case was not taken more seriously and why it was accepted that Lynette had simply abandoned her family.
A year of investigation by @australian journalist Hedley Thomas has uncovered a handwritten statement Chris Dawson wrote for police in 1982. In it are a series of lies and deceptions that could be his undoing. #60Mins pic.twitter.com/a8hZ3MOS3V- 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) September 9, 2018
The case was of particular interest because Lynette's teacher husband, Chris, was having an affair with a 16-year-old student, Joanne Curtis, who moved into the family home immediately following the disappearance. Additionally, he did not report the disappearance for six weeks.
And on Wednesday, thirty six years on from the disappearance, it was confirmed that police are now searching Lynette's home and the surrounding area for evidence or her remains.
The mystery gripped listeners, many of whom believe that Lyn's husband Chris murdered her though he has never being investigated or charged and has always maintained his innocence.
As the podcast dropped week by week it changed direction, as interest was piqued and new characters and witnesses started to step out of the shadows with previously unreported or forgotten evidence.
Through interviews with friends, neighbours, workmates, and other acquaintances of the Dawsons, Hedley explores the mystery both because it's fascinating to listen to but because everyone involved seems to genuinely want to solve the mystery.
The search will cover four spots in Sydney over five days in the suburb of Bayview where Lyn and Chris lived, and police have indicated that they may speak to Lyn's husband again.
60 minutes on Sunday and Australian Story on Monday both doing expose on the disappearance of Lyn Dawson, sparked by @australian Hedley Thomas's brilliant The Teachers Pet podcast. Surely the noose is tightening around the neck of the one responsible for her disappearance.- Ray Gatt (@Gatty54) September 6, 2018
Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said, "this is all about getting justice for Lyn", adding, "it is a complex block because it's mostly rock. We'll go to the bottom of the pool. At the end of the day, it'll be a hand dig". In 2000, the podcast reports, the woman Chris had an affair with, Joanne Curtis, suggested that police search the pool area.
They found a cardigan that had cuts consistent with stabbing. In addition to the pool, police will be searching at the back of the house, the backyard, the house, and other areas near the home. Two coroners' inquests into the case as recently as 2001 and 2003 recommended that a "known person" be charged with Lyn's murder.
While there's been some interest in the case since 1982, it's been heating up since the podcast launched in May, with more than 18 million downloads since then. If you want to get involved and start listening, you can check it out here.
Featured Image Credit: The Australian - Teacher's Pet Podcast