Two New Witnesses Led To Arrest Of Chris Dawson
Yesterday marked a breakthrough in the cold case murder of Lynette Dawson, who disappeared without a trace from her family home on Sydney’s northern beaches in 1982, as he husband Chris Dawson was arrested.
The 70-year-old former Newtown Jets rugby league player has long been a suspect in the case but on Wednesday he was finally arrested and after being extradited to NSW he is expected to be charged with his wife’s murder later today.
Lynn disappeared at the age of 33 and at the time it is reported that Mr Dawson, who was a sports teacher at the time, was in a relationship with one of his 16 year old students, Joanne Curtis.
Just two days after Lynette went missing, Ms Curtis, who was also the family babysitter, moved into the family home.
Mr Dawson has always denied any involvement in his wife’s disappearance and in a statement yesterday his family said that they believed he would be found not guilty.
However, yesterday Mr Dawson’s arrest on the Gold Coast came after a sudden development in the case uncovered new evidence some 37 years after the young mother of two originally disappeared.
The Cold Case was brought into the spotlight in recent months by The Australian’s investigative podcast series The Teacher’s Pet, which won reporter Hedley Thomas and producer Slad Gibson the Gold Walkley award.
This podcast series, which captured the attention of the world, uncovered two new witness statements, which police have said will form part of their evidence along with information discovered by police.
“It is my understanding two additional statements were the work of the media,” said NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller.
According to The Australian, the two key witness statements included in the police case are from Ms Curtis and a former northern beaches schoolgirl who kept diaries from the time that she knew both Ms Curtis and Mr Dawson.
This unnamed woman reportedly met with detectives in recent weeks and Ms Curtis reportedly gave new information which led to Mr Dawson’s arrest, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Yesterday the daughter of Mr Dawson and Ms Curtis, Kristen Dawson, spoke to Daily Mail following her father’s arrest saying, “It’s a really hard time for us at the moment”.
Two coronial inquests between 2001-2003 suggested that Mr Dawson had killed his wife but he was never arrested due to insufficient evidence.
Lynette Dawson’s body has never been found but despite this, detectives are “confident” about their case against Mr Dawson.