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The Teacher's Pet

Author: The Australian

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Lyn and Chris Dawson appear to have the perfect marriage. He's a star footballer and popular high school teacher. She's a devoted wife and mother. They share a beautiful home above Sydney's northern beaches. But when Lyn goes missing, dark secrets are buried. This is no fairytale, but a sordid story of strangely close twin brothers, teenage student lovers, and probable murder. The Australian's Hedley Thomas digs deep into a cold case which has been unsolved for 36 years, uncovering startling new evidence.
19 Episodes
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Trailer

Trailer

2018-05-1601:395

A star footballer. His school girl lover. A wife who vanishes. The Australian’s Hedley Thomas digs deep into a cold case which has been unsolved for 36 years, uncovering startling new evidence.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Bayview

Bayview

2018-05-1841:2133

Lyn was a devoted wife and mother. She adored her husband, but he betrayed and humiliated her in the most callous way. Now she's gone - missing, a likely victim of murder.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Cromer High

Cromer High

2018-05-2355:1413

Cromer High School's pin-up sports teacher Chris Dawson pursued year 11 student Joanne Curtis with the sort of relentless determination he showed as a star of rugby league. Chris had model good looks, an easy charm, and students looked up to him. Other teachers followed his lead, seducing vulnerable school girls as those in charge looked away.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Bruised

Bruised

2018-05-3150:046

As Chris brazenly moved his teenage lover into the family home, Lyn saw the cracks in her marriage widen. It was crumbling all around her. Unable to believe the worst of her husband, she responded with denial, but to her family and friends Lyn's suffering was clear. And the toll was not just emotional. In this episode, a former babysitter for the Dawsons speaks for the first time about the violence she witnessed in the home.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Soft Soil

Soft Soil

2018-06-0701:02:4715

Humiliated and broken by her husband's affair, Lyn finally asked Joanne to leave the Bayview home. The teenager walked out, and into the home of Chris's twin brother, Paul, a few hundred metres down the same street. Tensions continued to rise. And then suddenly, Lyn vanished. Years later, Joanne suggested Lyn's remains were buried at Bayview, in the 'soft soil' - outside what were her daughters' bedroom windows. In this episode, a surprise new witness speaks publicly for the first time about something he was told in 1987, indicating the possible whereabouts of a body.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A Lovely Drink

A Lovely Drink

2018-06-1401:05:1717

In January 1982, as most Australians enjoyed a carefree holiday season, Lyn Dawson was trying to pick up the tattered threads of her marriage. Joanne Curtis was taking tentative steps to extricate herself from her affair with Lyn's husband. And Chris Dawson was desperately seeking solutions. In this episode, a damning piece of evidence - once thought lost - is recovered, and it is something that should be vitally important to the Director of Public Prosecutions.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Gone

Gone

2018-06-2157:338

In the days and months following Lyn's disappearance, Chris Dawson put forth a range of suggestions as to her possible whereabouts. Perhaps she had gone north to think about their marriage. Maybe she'd joined a cult, or a religious group. But whatever he said, he clearly believed she was never going to return, as he promptly moved Joanne back into the family home where she became the new mother to his two children.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Rings

The Rings

2018-06-2801:07:3211

On January 15, 1984, Chris and Joanne wed at Bayview. With no veil, and in a non-traditional dress, the young bride looked like a flower girl. On her hand, she wore Lyn's rings. Chris's brother Paul and his wife Marilyn were witnesses, but there was something Marilyn didn't know. A secret existed between the brothers and Joanne.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Hopeless

Hopeless

2018-07-0501:06:358

Lyn Dawson had been missing for three years when her worried friend Sue wrote to the Office of the Ombudsman - an independent government watchdog - about the lack of police action in the case. We go looking and recover a long-forgotten file after decades in storage, and the contents highlight the hopeless responses of police to a probable murder - and raise more questions, as public anger grows.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Dreamworld

Dreamworld

2018-07-1201:03:567

Leaving the dark shadow of Lyn’s disappearance behind, Chris moved his young new wife and children north to Queensland, into a home on acreage near the newly-opened theme park, Dreamworld. Isolated behind high fences, Joanne lived the life of a 'Stepford wife', and was expected to meet all of her husband's demands ... including continuing to look like a school girl.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Damaged

Damaged

2018-07-1901:24:587

After six difficult years, the volatile marriage was over. Joanne felt she had become ‘disposable’, as Lyn had been years before, and feared for her life. She fled back to Sydney, telling friends she was convinced Chris had murdered his first wife. In this episode, you'll hear what Chris Dawson told detectives when he was interviewed in 1991.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Loyalty

Loyalty

2018-07-2601:16:217

Chris Dawson was interviewed by police in 1991, and then never again. But Sue Strath, Lyn's loyal friend, kept agitating for a further investigation, and in 1998 Detective Damian Loone was assigned to the case. Curiously, the earlier investigation notes had vanished.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Momentum

Momentum

2018-08-0201:13:302

Some of them hadn't seen each other since Cromer High days more than 30 years ago but they came together in a show of force, determined to hold to account teachers who had preyed on students for sex. Meanwhile, the detective Damian Loone escalates his murder investigations, interviewing many witnesses in a quest for the truth. And the area of "soft soil" comes back into focus.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The System

The System

2018-08-0901:31:058

Before the first coronial inquest, police tap phones in the lead-up to digging in a relatively small area around the swimming pool at Bayview, where they find a woman's cardigan. The crime scene officer on that dig describes what he believed were stab marks in the garment. He suspects Lyn's remains are still on the block - and may have been narrowly missed because the dig was restricted for budgetary reasons. As the coronial inquests get under way, a student becomes concerned that Chris is trying to groom many of her friends at an all-girls school. The inquests are bad for Chris - but the system fails Lyn and her family again.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Decision Time

Decision Time

2018-08-1702:02:095

After 36 long years, failed police investigations, two coronial inquests, and countless appeals from Lyn's family, the case is stronger now - and once again it's in the hands of the office of the DPP. Regardless of their decision, the NSW police commissioner pledges to keep investigations going, and he plans to order a much more significant dig at the Bayview property. In this episode, former coroner Carl Milovanovich explains why he believes a jury would convict Chris over the probable murder of Lyn - and why the case still troubles him today, 15 years after his inquest in a Sydney courtroom. And Lyn's daughter Shanelle has final words in honour of her mother.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Digging

Digging

2018-11-2901:29:265

Following an incredible groundswell of community interest ignited by this podcast, September saw a stunning development in the case with police returning to the Bayview house to conduct a new and more thorough search for the remains of Lyn Dawson. This dig was a necessity - not just to try to uncover new evidence, but also to restore public confidence and to prove to Lyn’s family that the police, this time, would do their jobs properly. Meanwhile, new witnesses come forth with compelling stories of encounters with Chris Dawson and his explosive temper.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Arrest

Arrest

2018-12-0545:286

Nearly 37 years after Lyn Dawson disappeared, police have arrested Chris Dawson over the alleged murder of his wife, taking him into custody and preparing his extradition to Sydney where he will face court. When the knock on the door came, the 70-year-old was calm. The timing may have been a surprise, but he’d known for a long time that this day may come. Calling the matter "a cold case murder", the magistrate denied Dawson's application for bail citing a high flight risk, and said the crown alleged domestic violence allegations against Chris Dawson would be raised in evidence, as well as testimony from Joanne Curtis. But Dawson's family believe he will be cleared, releasing a statement saying that he is innocent and that there is clear and uncontested evidence that Lyn Dawson was alive long after she left her husband and daughters.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A new podcast from The Australian.Tracy fell in love with Max Tavita, a man who won her over with tales of a life in the investment world and how he was working in the World Trade Center in New York when the first plane hit in 2001. Then Hamish crashed into their lives.Music credits for this episode:Meydan - L'Etoile danse pt 2Lee Rosevere - DecompressionDerjuli - Driving in a carUurite - Years and years, future peaceStephen Ludwig - 214S  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Special Update Episode

Special Update Episode

2019-04-0517:1710

As Chris Dawson's defence team, police and prosecutors work hard to prepare for a murder trial which may be heard some time next year, 2020, the team behind The Teacher's Pet podcast series discloses a new development - taking down the first 16 episodes in Australia, to help ensure Chris gets a fair trial. And Greg Walsh, Chris's experienced lawyer, flags some of the issues and claims which are important to him and the accused.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Comments (359)

Claire Pragnell

cannot download!! tried for several months...

Jul 2nd
Reply

Mike Bran

amazing podcast

Jun 23rd
Reply

Gwen Barrett

Why won't it down load grrrrr

Mar 19th
Reply

Cynthia

,

Mar 5th
Reply

Anita Coia

Great podcast but won't play 'soft soil' episode or beyond for me 😭

Feb 1st
Reply

Crystal Dimas

too long a podcast. too much about the school and rapists and not enough about Lynn. too redundant. so she was never found he was never convicted. go figure.

Jan 29th
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Melisa

Excellent journalism! And great perspectives being shared. Those teachers got away with Predator behaviour bc of the white mens club. The DP spoke well but if he really was honest he would admit how he was part of the cover up and turning the blind eye. if it was a female teacher with those rumorssss including drinking with students in the weekend, she would've been chastised and fired. Truth!

Jan 17th
Reply

Jessica Girl

which two people 🖤 this???

Jan 11th
Reply (1)

Jessica Girl

ridiculous

Jan 11th
Reply

NiK

Sounds like all the Dawson boys are tools.

Jan 3rd
Reply (1)

Pam Clear

P

Dec 14th
Reply

Vic Underwood

Keep us updated! Please.

Dec 6th
Reply

Megan Langreck

I have gone from being judgemental of Joanne, to despising her. The other women who have spoken in these episodes, about Joanne, are noble and compassionate and realistic where she is concerned. Far more than me. The poor little girls. What hells their lives were turned into, just because their ugly POS father wanted a piece of a$$.

Nov 25th
Reply (1)

Megan Langreck

Wish they would stop going on about how handsome Chris Dawson was. He was UGLY. On the outside, too.

Nov 25th
Reply (2)

Megan Langreck

It is wrong of me probably to have such a low opinion of Joanne, but I see her as some level of accomplice. In the end she probably didn't have an episode of conscience.Rather, the responsibility of being the f$%^ toy, the babysitter, and the domestic servant became too much and just was not fun anymore. I have tried to be more humane in my opinion, because I know better than to think this way, Joanne was groomed and exploited, and ended up having no home to return to. Plus these Psychopath twins built off each other and backed each other and exercised such levels of control over their women. But magawd. The rings. The bed. The trips away. The horrible Christmas he inflicted on his wife and daughters, that she was instrumental in.

Nov 25th
Reply

Megan Langreck

I know Joanne was young, and all, and I know she was being exploited because of her young age and her crappy life at home. But I can see her, in spite of her words, being just fine with "replacing" Lynn.

Nov 24th
Reply

Megan Langreck

Reassuring to hear the narrator be uncompromising on just what this situation was, between the husband and the teenager. I still do not have a good opinion of her.

Nov 24th
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Megan Langreck

We aren't supposed to "slut shame", it is supposed to be anti-woman or something. I think the conduct of some females is detrimental to all other women, and disgusting too. I do not think highly of the "schoolgirl" lover in this case. I think at the very best she is an accomplice.

Nov 24th
Reply

NoaGins

"Sue was worried about finding a body only once" 😂

Nov 3rd
Reply

NoaGins

It's sort of inspiring that former students came together to support each other and get justice. It would be so easy to stay out of it 30 years later - especially if you weren't directly a victim. These former students are working to rectify these crimes to whatever extent they can, and that's awesome.

Nov 2nd
Reply
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