On Thursday in Sydney 70-year-old Chris Dawson was charged with the murder of his former wife, Lynette Dawson, almost four decades after her disappearance.
A podcast, The Teacher’s Pet, has brought global attention to the case.
The podcast, which was created by the News Corp-owned Australian newspaper and which has been downloaded more than 25 million times around the world, uncovered fresh witnesses which police say helped lead to his arrest.
Lyn Dawson was 33 when she went missing in 1982 leaving behind two young daughters. Her body has never been found.
The case has gripped not only Australia but the entire world.
Chris Dawson, a former rugby league player, has long been a suspect in the case but denies any involvement in his wife’s disappearance.
Fresh statements from at least two witnesses led to Dawson’s arrest on Queensland’s Gold Coast on Wednesday in connection with the disappearance of his wife. The new evidence helped police “tie pieces of the puzzle together”, according to the NSW police commissioner, Mick Fuller.
It is believed the evidence was provided by Dawson’s teenage lover at the time, Joanne Curtis – who moved into the family home in Sydney’s northern beaches days after Lyn Dawson disappeared – and a former student of the school he once taught at.
Dawson, who intends to plead not guilty, will spend at least a week behind bars before applying for bail after he faced Sydney Central Local Court via video link on Thursday.
Detectives from the NSW homicide squad began reinvestigating her suspected murder in 2015 and sent a brief of evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions in April this year.
“There was additional evidence that was identified and that has seen the DPP make a positive decision in prosecuting an individual for the murder of Lynette Dawson,” Fuller said. “Statements from witnesses helped us tie pieces of the puzzle together.”
The former school teacher appeared in Southport magistrates court on Wednesday, where his application for bail was refused.
Dawson’s family said they had no doubt he would be found innocent. “We are disappointed at the decision of the DPP as there is clear and uncontested evidence that Lyn Dawson was alive long after she left Chris and his daughters,” his brother Peter Dawson said, according to the Seven Network.
Fuller said detectives had spoken to Lyn Dawson’s family on Wednesday and they “were certainly relieved to hear this result”.