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Podcast Leads to Conviction of Australian for Wife’s Murder

SYDNEY– An Australian man was convicted Tuesday of murdering his wife 40 years ago after a new police investigation was sparked by a popular podcast.

Christopher Dawson, 74, faces a possible life sentence. He opted for a trial before a judge rather than a jury in the New South Wales State Supreme Court due to his notoriety from “The Teacher’s Pet” podcast, which has been listened to by 60 million people since 2018. The podcast exposed a case circumstantial evidence that Dawson had murdered his wife, Lynette.

Judge Ian Harrison found that Dawson killed his wife in 1982. At the time, Dawson was a high school teacher who was in a sexual relationship with a teenage former student and nanny for his two daughters, identified in court as JC.

The judge found that the husband killed his wife because he was afraid of losing his lover.

Harrison rejected the possibility that the wife left her husband and children to disappear without a trace. He also dismissed claims that her wife had been seen alive after January 1982 or that she had contacted her husband.

“All of the circumstantial evidence satisfies me that Lynette Dawson is dead, that she died on or about January 8, 1982, and that she did not voluntarily leave her home,” the judge said.

The wife was strongly attached to her husband and daughters, was not a “waning violet,” and had limited funds to support herself. This led the judge to reject the idea that she had left with only the clothes on her back.

“The proposition is ridiculous,” the judge said.

In his reasons for the guilty verdict, Harrison found that Dawson had lied about the phone calls he claimed to have received from his wife after her disappearance.

JC and Dawson married in 1984 and separated in 1990.

Outside court, Lynette’s brother, Greg Simms, appealed to his brother-in-law to reveal the location of her body.

“The journey is not complete. She is still missing. We still have to get her home. We would ask Chris Dawson to find himself to finally do the decent thing and allow us to take Lyn home to rest in peace,” Simms said.

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