Journalist Hedley Thomas is being praised for his podcast Teacher's Pet, which investigated the 1982 disappearance of Austrailian woman Lynette Dawson. The original missing person case was unsolved by authorities, but the podcast (which was released earlier this year), led to police in Australia launching a new forensic search in September.
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That search has now led to the arrest of Chris Dawson, the former husband of Lynette Dawson, after two witnesses came forward to give new evidence. He will be extradited from Queensland to New South Wales where he is expected to be charged with murder.
This is just incredible. The power of the podcast. Thanks to Hedley Thomas for his relentless pursuit of the truth and search for the accountability for Lyn Dawson’s disappearance through the Teacher’s Pet podcast and finally to her family & friends for never giving up. https://t.co/v1kj4wGmEH
— maddie (@_maddie_) December 4, 2018
Mother of two Lynette Dawson disappeared from the home she shared with Chris Dawson in 1982. At the time of the disappearance, he was a PE teacher at Sydney's Cromer High School and had started a sexual relationship with one of his students, who was also the family babysitter.
The student had moved into his home days after Lynette had disappeared; although, at the time, Mr Dawson had said Lynette had left him and the kids to take a few days away for herself. Mr Dawson only reported his wife as a missing person six weeks after she had initially 'left'.
Mr Dawson vehemently denied any involvement in Lynette's murder, despite two coronial inquests suggesting she had disappeared and was more than likely murdered by her husband.
Since its release in May, over 27 million people have listened to the Teacher's Pet podcast; bringing the issue to global attention. The audio investigation highlighted deep flaws in the original police investigation; as well as the unwillingness of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution. The state's police commissioner recently issued an apology for the mishandling of the case.
Greg Simms, the brother of Mrs Dawson, told Nine News: "We've always been determined to find the truth and that's the reason why we've fought to keep Lyn's name alive."
Lynette Dawson's body has never been found.
You can download Teacher's Pet from the iTunes store.