An Australian man at the center of a well-known international crime podcast was found guilty on Tuesday of murdering his his former wife 40 years ago in Sydney. Photo by New South Wales Police
Aug. 30 (UPI) — An Australian man at the center of a well-known international crime podcast, was found guilty of murdering his former wife 40 years ago.
On Tuesday, a judge found Chris Dawson guilty in the murder of Lynette Dawson after a three-week trial.
Lynette Dawson went missing in 1982 and her body has never been found.
Despite only circumstantial evidence, the judge found Dawson, 74, guilty of killing his wife in order to continue an ongoing relationship with his children’s babysitter who was 16 at the time and identified only as JC in court.
Dawson had already been involved in a relationship with the teen at the time of his wife’s disappearance. The babysitter moved into Dawson’s home shortly after the disappearance.
The popular high school teacher became the subject of The Teacher’s Pet podcast, which was first released in 2018 and delved into the details of the murder, which was unsolved at the time.
Dawson went on to marry JC and the two eventually had a child. The couple later divorced and the former babysitter testified at the murder trial that she was “groomed” by Dawson and treated like a “slave” after Lynette Dawson’s disappearance.
Despite years of suspicion, Chris Dawson was not charged in the disappearance until after The Australian’s Hedley Thomas began digging into the cold case. The podcast grabbed international headlines after it dissected the police investigation and uncovered new testimony that Dawson was having sex with the then-teenager.
Dawson denied involvement during the three-month trial and claimed he received multiple phone calls from his wife in the days and years after she disappeared.
In 2013, the New South Wales government announced an increased $137,000 reward for information in the case.
The judge dismissed claims by multiple witnesses that they’d seen Lynette in the following years as mistaken.
“I’m satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the only rational inference that the circumstances enable me to draw is that Lynette Dawson died or on about 8 January 1982 as the result of a conscious and voluntary act committed by Mr Dawson with the intention of causing her death,” Justice Ian Harrison said in his ruling on Tuesday.
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