With over 28 million downloads since its inception, The Teacher’s Pet has become a global phenomenon. Like many other true-crime podcasts that have amassed a devoted listenership, the compelling series has helped bring injustice to the light - in this case, the disappearance of Lynette Dawson, who was allegedly murdered by her former husband, Chris Dawson.
Produced by The Australian, the podcast has catalysed renewed public interest in the 1982 case and provided police with the breakthrough evidence they needed to secure Dawson’s arrest. However, it’s eagerness to see justice finally prevail could potentially obstruct Dawson’s right to a fair trial. Despite the culminating evidence against him, Dawson could avoid a trial by jury or even avoid a murder trial altogether.
In response to the arrest, it was announced that not only has production has been suspended indefinitely, but the current 16 episodes uploaded have also been pulled. According to The Australian, the request came from the Office of the Department of Public Prosecutions, asking that the episodes be removed and remain unavailable throughout the duration of Dawson's trial.
The Editor In Chief of The Australian, Christopher Dore, said the publication is “committed to ensuring a fair trial for Mr Dawson. He is entitled to the presumption of innocence…”