Chris Dawson’s former teen lover will be a star witness in his potential murder trial, it has been claimed, after the former schoolteacher was extradited to NSW to face charges over the 1982 disappearance of his former wife Lynette.
Dawson was arrested on Wednesday and is now expected to be charged over his wife Lynette’s murder, 37 years after she disappeared from the couple’s Sydney home. He was captured on camera just hours later being moved on to a plane at Gold Coast Airport to be flown to Sydney.
Now, according to the Australian newspaper’s popular podcast The Teacher’s Pet – which has focused on the cold case over the last few months – his former teenage lover Joanne Curtis and another ex-student who kept a diary about her schooldays will be key witnesses should the case go to trial.
According to the news outlet, Curtis has been cooperating with homicide detectives reinvestigating the case recently.
The Daily Telegraph also claimed Curtis would be a top witness, with police hoping she will “tie the pieces of the puzzle together”.
The news outlet claimed that police now believe Lyn was allegedly murdered at home, before her body was buried in bushland in Sydney’s north.
Curtis famously moved into the family’s home with Dawson just two days after Lyn, 33, went missing. They married two years later and welcomed a daughter together, Kristen Dawson.
Kristen, who is now aged in her 30s and with two young children of her own, has since spoken for the first time about her 70-year-old father after being approached by the Daily Mail – just hours after Dawson’s arrest.
She reportedly said: “It’s a really hard time for us at the moment.”
It comes after Dawson’s family slammed the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) just hours ago, saying he is innocent and claiming there is still more evidence to be investigated.
“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 their daughters,” the statement posted on social media read.
“We have no doubt whatsoever that Chris will be found not guilty as he is innocent. There will be no further comment. Please respect the privacy of Chris and his family.”
Detectives from the Queensland Police Service’s Homicide Squad arrested Chris just before 8am on Wednesday morning in the presence of Strive Force Scriven investigators at a home in Biggera Water on the Gold Coast.
They charged him with an arrest warrant and he appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court, where NSW detectives applied for and were granted his extradition to Sydney.
Speaking at a press conference following the arrest, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said over the course of Operation Scriven and the re-launch of the investigation earlier this year, additional evidence was identified that enabled them to build on their case against Dawson
“They were predominately statements from witnesses that helped us tie pieces of the puzzle together,” he explained. “No doubt it will be a voluminous brief with an enormous amount of evidence and obviously there will be a number of witnesses that will be called.”
Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Scott Cook, also praised the work of Strike Force Scriven investigators who have worked tirelessly to uncover the truth behind the cold case.
“A team of dedicated detectives has been investigating this case over the past three years,” he said in a statement. “The resolve of the Unsolved Homicide Unit detectives shows that they will continue to search for the truth, no matter how many years may pass.”
The arrest comes after popular podcast The Teacher’s Pet revisited the cold case in detail and recalled how Chris claimed at the time of Lyn’s disappearance that she needed time away and left the home intentionally.
Just a few days later, he moved his schoolgirl lover into the family home. He then waited six weeks to report his wife missing.
Despite two coronial inquests recommending Chris be prosecuted for murder, the DPP stated at the time there was insufficient evidence to lay charges.