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Lynette Dawson’s sister has recalled one of the final times she spoke to the missing mother of two before she vanished more than 40 years ago.
Patricia Jenkins gave evidence via video link at the murder trial of her sister’s husband Chris Dawson.
“She said to me (Chris) was always so angry with her all the time,” Jenkins told the court.
In the same phone call, she remembered Lynette describing her husband’s “black eyes flashing”.
Lynette was last seen on January 9, 1982, after Dawson said he dropped her off at a Mona Vale bus stop on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Lynette had later planned to meet her husband, children and mother at the Northbridge Baths but never showed up.
Lynette’s mother, Helena Simms, was prolific in keeping a diary and on the day of her daughter’s disappearance wrote: “To Northbridge for swim with girls. Lyn phoned, left home. Chris agitated, said she’s on Central Coast.”
The court was also read entries leading up to the disappearance, which paint a picture of a strained relationship after the couple’s teenage babysitter, known as JC, moved into the family home at Bayview.
Simms wrote: “Lyn to work. JC to school with Chris. JC has problems + is Chris’ shadow!
“Lyn home very unhappy almost in tears about Chris.”
“Lyn rang… Things upset in their household… (Lyn’s father) said JC should go!!”
“Chris ‘shot through’ left Lyn + 2 girls on their own.”
Dawson had run away with the student but returned home a few days later claiming he wanted to patch things up.
The now 73-year-old denies killing his wife and claims she left of her own accord, but more than four decades on, Lynette’s sister refuses to use the word “left”.
Jenkins said in the early days the family had no idea what happened and relied on what Dawson told them.
Lynette’s brother Greg Simms, a former police officer, also took to the stand to give evidence.
He told the judge he once met with the babysitter “JC”, who Dawson went on to marry, and she told him she felt she was heading down the same way as his sister.