"He buried her in that spot." What we learnt from Lynette Dawson's daughter's 60 Minutes interview.

Shanelle Dawson was four-years-old when her mother, Lynette, disappeared.

Over four decades later, she was 44-years-old when she heard a judge say her father was guilty of murdering her mother. 

Now, Shanelle has given her first interview since Chris Dawson was convicted in August. 

Speaking on 60 Minutes last night, Shanelle recalled her last text message with her father and memories of him burying her mother, who vanished from the couple's Bayview home in Sydney in January 1982. 

Watch: Shanelle Dawson speaks about her mother on 60 Mintues. Post continues below. 

Video via 60 Minutes.

It's one of the few times Shanelle has publicly spoken about the case, which has created a schism through her family. 

Lynette's youngest daughter, Sherryn Dawson, who was two-years-old when her mother disappeared, has long supported her father and has cut ties with Shanelle. 

Here's the biggest takeways we learnt from the 60 Minutes interview. 

Shanelle believes her father buried her mother under the family's pool. 

During the interview, Shanelle recalled memories of her mother and father which came to light after police put her under hypnosis in 2013.


She said she remembered sitting in her family's station wagon with her mother slumped in the front seat and her father burying her mother underneath the family pool. 

"It was like I could feel myself as a four-and-a-half-year-old child again," she said of the hypnosis. 

"I believe I saw my sister and I in the back of a car, of our station wagon, and my mother slumped in the front."

"I believe I saw him shining headlights on a spot near the pool and digging. I believe that he buried her in that spot for that night, and then the next day when he didn’t have us kids, moved her somewhere else."

Shanelle said she understands people could question the validity of the memory. But when asked whether she believed the memories were true, she said, "I think they are, yes."

Shanelle confronted her father in 2018. 

For decades, Shanelle believed her father was innocent. But four years ago, she came to the realisation that he had been lying. 

In September 2018, three months before his arrest, she confronted him in what would be the last text message she's ever sent him. 

"I won’t live a life based on lies, nor will I keep subjecting myself to emotional manipulation and control," she wrote in the message, read aloud during the 60 Minutes interview. 

"You have dishonoured our mother so terribly, and also my sister and I, through all of this. No more. One day I will forgive you for removing her so selfishly from our lives. 


Shanelle went on to write that "perhaps one day" her father will take responsibility for his actions. 

But instead of apologising and owning up, he 'deflected' onto Shanelle. 

"You are clearly very lonely and depressed in the life you have chosen," Dawson reportedly replied. 

"You know very little about what was going on in my life, or your sisters'. It is your adult life, now 41, with a child and without a partner. That has clearly caused this terrible depression."

The message left Shanelle feeling "dumbfounded" and "angry". 


That same month, Shanelle gave her first ever TV interview since her mother disappeared. 

At the time, she told 60 Minutes that while there are "people who are quite angry, and rightfully so, wanting answers about my mum", there was still part of her "that really loves my dad, and feels protective of him". 

She also told the program that she hopes the police discover what happened to her mum.

"Apparently the police have some new evidence, who knows what that is, I'm curious to find out though," she said. 

"It's not looking good for my father, I will be honest to say."

Image: 60 Minutes.


Shanelle was left shocked by her father's guilty verdict. 

While Shanelle believes her father murdered her mother, she said she was still "in shock" when she heard the guilty verdict read out in court. 

"I just couldn't fathom it really, it just felt so surreal," she told 60 Minutes. 

"[I couldn't believe that] this dad that I love actually did do it and that's now recognised by our justice system." 

Shanelle went on to say that while she feels anger towards her dad today, she also feels compassion. 

"My father definitely embodies the survival of the fittest, f*** everyone else. Just do what you need to do to get what you want," she said. 

"And I feel a lot of anger and rage towards him for being that way, but I simultaneously feel compassion and sadness that he is that way."

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Shanelle doesn't blame JC. 

During the interview, Shanelle was asked about her relationship with her former babysitter - known during the murder trial as JC - who her father had an affair with. 


"I know for myself, having babysat and nannied in multiple, multiple homes ... And thankfully none of those dads ever hit on me. But I know as a 17-year-old, I still would’ve had the capacity, even with my background, to say, 'no, that’s not okay. You’re a married man'," she said.

"I don't blame her, I blame my father, but there's always that part of you that's like why couldn't you just say no."

Shanelle misses her mother and speaks to her. 

Over 40 years on from Lynette's disappearence, Shanelle said she wishes her mother was still here and could spend time with her eight-year-old daughter. 

When asked what she would say to her mum if she could speak to her, Shanelle said, "I do speak with her". 

"I say, 'I'm sorry and I miss you and I wish you could be here.' I tell her, 'Thank you for the first four-and-a-half years of nurturing.' I wish that she could hold my daughter, sing to her or tell her stories or go and do things with her.

"Just those things you take for granted like people call up their mums when they need advice or when they're upset or they've broken up with their partner... or to go home for a home cooked meal, I missed out on all of that."

Shanelle went on to say that she has to "at some point, accept that and move on". 


What has Sherryn Dawson said? 

Unlike her sister, Sherryn Dawson has barely spoken about the case publicly. 

In 2018, she told the Gold Coast Bulletin that her father was the victim of a witch hunt. 

"It’s a witch hunt on my dad," she said. "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 has now cut ties with her sister and continues to support her father along with his side of the family. 

Feature Image: Channel Nine. 

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