Australia Today

The Primary Suspect in 'the Teacher's Pet,' Chris Dawson, Has Been Arrested

The subject of the true crime podcast is expected to be charged with murdering his former wife.
Gavin Butler
Melbourne, AU
Chris Dawson with wife Lynette

Chris Dawson, the man at the centre of true crime podcast The Teacher’s Pet, has been arrested over the death of his former wife Lynette. Chris was seized by Queensland Police officers on the Gold Coast at the request of NSW Police, Fairfax reported. He is expected to be charged with Lynette Dawson's murder.

Lynette disappeared in 1982 under suspicious circumstances. While her body has never been found, the case of her suspected murder became the subject of national attention this year when NewsCorp journalist Hedley Thomas released a true crime podcast exploring the details of her disappearance.

The Teacher’s Pet prompted renewed calls for Lynette’s case to be reexamined. It’s thought that the podcast led detectives to dig up her former backyard in September searching for further evidence. It also framed Chris as a primary suspect in Lynnette’s suspected murder. Despite coroners having similarly concluded that he was to blame, however, Chris Dawson has thus far maintained his innocence, and the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions previously found that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

"Without a body, without knowing first of all whether in fact she is dead, without knowing secondly if she is dead, how she died, it's very hard to mount a case of a reasonable prospect of conviction just on motive and the undefined existence of means and opportunity,’ Nicholas Cowdery QC, who was acting as DPP at the time, told the ABC. “That makes [the case] very weak.”

Earlier this year, after conducting extensive further investigations, detectives from the Homicide Squad’s Strike Force Scriven requested that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) review their brief of evidence. The ODPP provided advice to police earlier this week, and NSW detectives subsequently applied for an arrest warrant before travelling to Queensland.

Chris was arrested by Queensland Police detectives in the presence of Strike Force Scriven investigators at Biggera Waters just before 8am. The 70-year-old former rugby league player will be extradited back to NSW, the ABC reports.