Sentenced to 24 years in prison thanks to a 'true crime' podcast

Sentenced to 24 years in prison thanks to a


A former Australian professor convicted of murdering his wife after a hit podcast unearthed new evidence was sentenced to 24 years in prison on Friday. 

Chris Dawson, 74, was convicted of killing Lynette Dawson some 40 years ago while he was having an affair with a teenage girl, his children's guardian and former student.

The victim's body was never found and few leads emerged in the case until 2018, when the podcast “The Teacher's Pet” sparked renewed public interest and , finally, a new police investigation.

The murder was motivated by Mr Dawson's 'possessive infatuation' with his former student, which led him to kill his wife, Judge Ian Harrison said on Friday when announcing the 24-year prison sentence, accompanied by a security period of 18 years.

“Mr. Dawson is not old by contemporary standards, but he will not live to the end of his term of safety,” he added.

Mr. Dawson vigorously maintained his innocence throughout the trial.

“The Teacher's Pet” was presented by journalist Hedley Thomas, and a few months after its first episodes aired, Dawson was arrested in December 2018 .

It has often been compared to the “Serial” podcast, a benchmark of the genre in the United States, which played a central role in overturning the conviction of a man for the murder of his girlfriend.

On Friday, Lynette Dawson's brother, Greg Simms, thanked Mr. Thomas.

“I hope the media and the police will work together in future cases,” he commented after the sentencing. 

“It's time for us to start living our lives without having this story over our heads.”