Lynette Dawson’s daughter breaks her silence over mum’s mysterious disappearance6 min read

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The daughter of Lynette Dawson has broken her silence over her mother’s disappearance in an emotional interview.   

Shanelle, who was just four when her mother vanished in the Northern Beaches suburb of Bayview, broke down in tears while speaking to 60 Minutes,

Lynette Dawson’s disappearance has gained an incredible amount of attention as the subject of podcast The Teacher’s Pet.

Mrs Dawson made plans to meet her mother at Northbridge Baths, where her Mr Dawson worked casually as a lifeguard. He said that he dropped her off at a bus stop in Mona Vale about 7am.

Lynette Simms, a nurse, married Christopher Dawson, a football player, and had two children with him. But in 1982 the mother disappeared - and she hasn't been seen since (Pictured: Chris and Lyn Dawson pictured on their wedding day on March 26, 1970)

Lynette Simms, a nurse, married Christopher Dawson, a football player, and had two children with him. But in 1982 the mother disappeared - and she hasn't been seen since (Pictured: Chris and Lyn Dawson pictured on their wedding day on March 26, 1970)

Lynette Simms, a nurse, married Christopher Dawson, a football player, and had two children with him. But in 1982 the mother disappeared – and she hasn’t been seen since (Pictured: Chris and Lyn Dawson pictured on their wedding day on March 26, 1970)

Two days after Mrs Dawson vanished Mr Dawson's teenager lover, Joanne Curtis, moved into their home (Pictured: Joanne Curtis with Mrs Dawson's children Shanelle and Sherryn)

Two days after Mrs Dawson vanished Mr Dawson's teenager lover, Joanne Curtis, moved into their home (Pictured: Joanne Curtis with Mrs Dawson's children Shanelle and Sherryn)

Two days after Mrs Dawson vanished Mr Dawson’s teenager lover, Joanne Curtis, moved into their home (Pictured: Joanne Curtis with Mrs Dawson’s children Shanelle and Sherryn)

She never turned up and Shanelle’s father had told her and her sister that Mrs Dawson had left them to join a religious organisation.

Two days later his schoolgirl lover, Joanne Curtis, moved into the home and Shanelle and her sister Sherryn were told she was their ‘real mum’. 

Initially Chris Dawson was not a suspect in his wife’s disappearance, but in recent times he has become a person of interest.

However the Director of Public Prosecutions has always said there is not enough evidence to go to trial.

The two met when Mr Dawson became a PE teacher at Cromer High in 1979 and she was in Year 10.

Mr Dawson and Ms Curtis married at the home on Gilwinga Drive on January 15, 1984 with Paul, Chris’ twin brother, and his wife Marilyn Dawson as witnesses.

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It was almost as if their mother never existed – she was never mentioned by Mr Dawson or Ms Curtis and all photos of her in the house were taken down.

Shanelle told 60 Minutes: ‘I remember looking out the front door waiting for her to come back.’

She said that she tries not to wallow in self-pity but it gets hard on days such as Mother’s Day.

More then 35 years after her mother disappeared Shanelle (pictured) has broken her silence about what happened to her mother

More then 35 years after her mother disappeared Shanelle (pictured) has broken her silence about what happened to her mother

More then 35 years after her mother disappeared Shanelle (pictured) has broken her silence about what happened to her mother

After Ms Curtis moved in it was almost as if their mother never existed - she was never mentioned by Mr Dawson or Ms Curtis and all photos of her in the house were taken down (Pictured: Ms Curtis with Shanelle and Sherryn)

After Ms Curtis moved in it was almost as if their mother never existed - she was never mentioned by Mr Dawson or Ms Curtis and all photos of her in the house were taken down (Pictured: Ms Curtis with Shanelle and Sherryn)

After Ms Curtis moved in it was almost as if their mother never existed – she was never mentioned by Mr Dawson or Ms Curtis and all photos of her in the house were taken down (Pictured: Ms Curtis with Shanelle and Sherryn)

Shanelle said that she understands people’s anger when it comes to not knowing what had happened to her mother.

Shanelle, now a mother herself, said: ‘Yet, there’s still that part of me that really loves my dad, and feels protective of him.’

The 40-year-old said that Mr Dawson was a good father and said there was a side of him that was almost like a puppy.   

There was a six-week window between Mrs Dawson disappearing and Mr Dawson reporting her missing.

He denies having anything to do with his wife’s disappearance and has maintained his innocence. 

Shanelle said that she understands people's anger when it comes to not knowing what had happened to her mother (Pictured: Lyn Dawson with Shanelle)

Shanelle said that she understands people's anger when it comes to not knowing what had happened to her mother (Pictured: Lyn Dawson with Shanelle)

Shanelle said that she understands people’s anger when it comes to not knowing what had happened to her mother (Pictured: Lyn Dawson with Shanelle)

However Shanelle said that the police allegedly have new evidence.

She told the program: ‘Who knows what that is – but I am curious to find out.

‘It is not looking good for my father, I must admit.’

Shanelle said her last conversation with her father involved him looking her in the eye and said he never hurt his first wife.

However she is determined to honour her mother’s memory and pay tribute to her. 

Shanelle is determined to honour her mother's memory and her sister Sherryn has supported her father, saying that there is a witch hunt against him (Pictured: Chris and Lyn Dawson)

Shanelle is determined to honour her mother's memory and her sister Sherryn has supported her father, saying that there is a witch hunt against him (Pictured: Chris and Lyn Dawson)

Shanelle is determined to honour her mother’s memory and her sister Sherryn has supported her father, saying that there is a witch hunt against him (Pictured: Chris and Lyn Dawson)

Shanelle’s sister Sherryn has always maintained her father’s innocence.

Earlier this year she told The Gold Coast Bulletin: ‘It’s a witch hunt on my dad.

‘My dad’s getting hounded because there’s all these people that have got it in for him.

‘Rather than focusing on perhaps that there could be someone else.’

There is a $200,000 reward for anyone who has information which leads to the arrest and conviction of Lyn Dawson’s killer. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

WHAT HAPPENED TO MOTHER-OF-TWO LYNETTE JOY DAWSON?

1970: Lynette Joy Simms marries footballer Christopher Michael Dawson. They are both 21 and later have two daughters, first Shanelle and then Sherryn

1980: Mr Dawson, who retired from playing rugby league to become a PE teacher, starts affair with 16-year-old pupil Joanne Curtis at Cromer High School on Sydney’s northern beaches

1981: Mr Dawson persuades Mrs Dawson to let Joanne move in to their home to get away from her violent stepfather and finish her Higher School Certificate 

December 1981: Mr Dawson and his young lover run away together to Queensland but Ms Curtis changes her mind and they return to Sydney

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January 8, 1982: Mrs and Mrs Dawson go to marriage counselling. Mrs Dawson’s mother speaks to her daughter, who is not a big drinker, on the telephone and thinks she sounds ‘sozzled’. 

January 9, 1982: Mr Dawson says he dropped his wife at a Mona Vale bus stop so she could go shopping at Chatswood. Mrs Dawson fails to turn up to meet  her mother, husband and children at Northbridge Baths. Mr Dawson says his wife rang him and said she needed some time to herself

January 10 or 11, 1982: Mr Dawson picks up Joanne from South West Rocks on the mid north coast of NSW and she moves into his home. He reports his wife missing six weeks later.

1983-85: Mr Dawson divorces his missing wife and marries Joanne. The newlyweds move to Queensland where Joanne has the couple’s daughter Kristen

1990: Mr Dawson and Joanne split up. She moves back to Sydney and urges police to search his old garden for a body

2000: Mrs Dawson’s pink cardigan is found during a police dig on the family’s former property at Bayview

2001 and 2003: Two coroners find that Mrs Dawson was murdered by a ‘known person’ – Chris Dawson – but he is not charged with any offence

2006: An episode of the British TV series Antiques Roadshow is filmed in Padstow, Cornwall. Mr Dawson later claims a woman seen in the background of the episode could be his missing wife 

2018: Police prepare another brief for the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions. The Australian launches its podcast, The Teacher’s Pet, about the case

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