Murder Charges Follow Hit True-Crime Podcast

Chris Dawson allegedly killed wife in 1982 amid affairs
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2018 9:40 AM CST
Murder Charges Follow Hit True-Crime Podcast
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/avdyachenko)

Police in Australia say they've solved a 36-year-old murder that fascinated worldwide listeners of a true-crime podcast. More than 27 million people have listened to The Teacher's Pet produced by The Australian—which hit No. 1 in the US, Canada, and the UK—since it began in May exploring Lynette Dawson's 1982 murder, reports the BBC. Inquests previously recommended murder charges against a known suspect, though prosecutors decided there was insufficient evidence. With new witness statements as a result of increased media coverage, however, police now say they're "confident" in charging Chris Dawson, who previously claimed the mother of his two daughters ran off to join a religious cult, per Arrested in Queensland on Wednesday, the 70-year-old is to be extradited to New South Wales, where the murder allegedly occurred.

Investigators say the former high school teacher engaged in sexual relationships with students, including a 16-year-old who moved into the Dawsons' home two days after Lynette's disappearance, which Chris reported six weeks later. Police eventually dug up one of Lynette's cardigans showing "marks consistent with stabbing," but no body was ever found, per "From our perspective, it is not crucial to finalizing the matter," says an officer, while the Sydney Morning Herald reports prosecutors plan to present evidence of domestic violence. The outlet also references a family portrait Lynette had planned as evidence that she didn't plan to run away. Her brother says he's "over the moon" about the arrest. Meanwhile, Chris' family touts his innocence, citing "uncontested evidence that Lyn Dawson was alive long after she left Chris." (Officers dug up the couple's former home this year.)

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