Lyn Dawson with baby Sherryn at the beach before she disappeared without a trace in 1982. Picture from Sherryn's Facebook.
Lyn Dawson with baby Sherryn at the beach before she disappeared without a trace in 1982. Picture from Sherryn's Facebook.

“My dad didn’t kill my mum” – daughter speaks

FOR 36 years, Sherryn Dawson says she has heard wicked lies and conspiracies about her father.

How charming Sydney school teacher Chris Dawson wooed a student into the family home and allegedly murdered his wife, Sherryn's mother Lynette, in 1982.

Footage from an ABC program called Chequerboard, featuring an interview with identical twin brothers Chris (Right) and Paul Dawson.
Footage from an ABC program called Chequerboard, featuring an interview with identical twin brothers Chris (Right) and Paul Dawson.

Family, neighbours and authorities have all provided their own take on a four-decade mystery that gripped two states as Sherryn Dawson sat silent, creating her own family in a suburban Gold Coast home.

Until now.

"It's a witch hunt on my dad," Ms Dawson told the Bulletin this week.

"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."

Sherryn's mother went missing on January 8-9, 1982. Coroner findings from two inquests, between 2001-2003, found Lynette was murdered by Chris Dawson.

FEBRUARY 26, 2003 : Joanne Curtis, former wife of Christopher (Chris) Dawson, arrives for inquest into the disappearance of Lynette (Lyn) Dawson in 1982 at the Westmead Coroners Court in Sydney. Pic Glenn Campbell. F/L
FEBRUARY 26, 2003 : Joanne Curtis, former wife of Christopher (Chris) Dawson, arrives for inquest into the disappearance of Lynette (Lyn) Dawson in 1982 at the Westmead Coroners Court in Sydney. Pic Glenn Campbell. F/L

No charges were levelled at Dawson, with the Director of Public Prosecutions ruling there was

insufficient evidence. Mr Dawson has always maintained he is innocent.

New life has been brought to the mystery in The Australian's podcast, The Teacher's Pet, which documents the story of former top flight footballer Dawson, his wife's disappearance, his sexual relationship with 16-year-old student Joanne Curtis and the teen moving into his marital bed to help raise his two children, Sherryn, 2, and Shanelle, 4.

In 1985, they moved to the Gold Coast where Chris continued work as a high school teacher, at Keebra Park and Coombabah high schools.

Artwork from The Australian Podcast The Teacher’s Pet, predominantly featuring Paul and Chris Dawson, Lyn Dawson and Joanne Curtis.
Artwork from The Australian Podcast The Teacher’s Pet, predominantly featuring Paul and Chris Dawson, Lyn Dawson and Joanne Curtis.

Sherryn staunchly believes her father - who now lives on the Sunshine Coast with his third wife - is innocent and wants the world to get off his back, including her older sister Shanelle.

"I just don't believe for a moment that she (Lynette) left us voluntarily and then stayed away all this time," Shanelle told The Australian.

The comment annoyed Sherryn: "I know she has (spoken) and she was overseas when we were all getting harassed 10 years ago. She wasn't the one getting harassed.

"It's a witch hunt and I'm over it.

Sherryn Dawson, daughter of accused murderer Chris Dawson.
Sherryn Dawson, daughter of accused murderer Chris Dawson.

 

A post from Sherryn Dawson's Facebook page with her and her mother.
A post from Sherryn Dawson's Facebook page with her and her mother.

"I don't want to be around all this negativity and all this falseness.

"I've got a family I want to focus on," said Sherryn, who is on maternity leave with her second child.

The strain on the sisters' relationship was evident in Facebook messages in January 2016.

Sherryn posted an old photo of Lynette holding her at the beach as a baby.

"Beautiful," a friend commented.

"Thanks, 36-years-old and I miss her more than ever," Sherryn replied.

"She would be so proud of you and your gorgeous girl," her friend responded.

"Yes she is (from wherever she is)," Shanelle added.

Sherryn did not reply.

She also criticised the role of step mother, Joanne, claiming she contributed to the public perception of her father.

"Stepmother was a bitch," Sherryn said.

"And then she screwed my dad.

Joanne Curtis has told The Teacher's Pet she was "not nice" to the girls.

The first four episodes of the podcast are available now.



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