A "sozzled"-sounding Lynette said the therapy session went well, and Chris had made her a "lovely drink".
She had planned to meet her family the next day, but never turned up.
Two days later, Mr Dawson’s teenage lover moved into the home.
On Wednesday, the ex-league player was arrested, hailed by the NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller as an “important step”. But for prosecutors, a daunting challenge lies ahead.
Keli Lane, who was convicted of killing her two-day-old daughter, and Lindy Chamberlain, whose conviction for murdering her baby was overturned, are part of an elite club - convicted of murder with no body.
A legal source close to the case told the Herald that while a body would strengthen the case, it is not a deal breaker for the prosecution.
“It will depend on the other evidence and whether that creates a reasonable prospect of conviction for the intentional killing of the victim. But it does open up lines of attack for the defence,” the source said.
"We have solved homicides before without identifying the body. Ideally in this case we will not give up on trying to identify the whereabouts of Lynette Dawson, but … it is not crucial," Commissioner Fuller told reporters on Wednesday.
Before Mr Dawson was arrested, former director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery QC said he declined to prosecute because the case was “weak”.
"Without a body, without knowing first of all whether in fact she is dead, without knowing secondly if she is dead, how she died; it's very hard to mount a case," he said.
Concerns about the trial’s fairness can be alleviated, sources say - it could be delayed, and a jury is always instructed to disregard what has been reported on the case.
Another possibility is a judge-only trial, which Mr Dawson’s lawyers would have to apply for, and is not guaranteed.
A jury trial would be a “disaster” for Mr Dawson, according to criminal lawyer Sam Macedone.
"Most people will have made up their mind before starting," he said. "You need a judge-only trial to ensure the case won't be affected by emotions."
University of Sydney Associate Professor Tyrone Kirchengast said that Mr Dawson's major downfall could be his suggestion of Lynette leaving to join a religious group, comparing it to Keli Lane's stumble over the name of Tegan's father - Andrew Norris or Andrew Morris.
"The suggestion that she dropped everything, including her two kids to go to a cult, could be the stumbling block,” he said.
If the case goes to a jury, he said, jurors are likely to be unsatisfied with circumstantial evidence.
"We call it the CSI effect - every jury wants to see the DNA evidence, evidence of blood or something that can give them ground for their decision," he said. "But in this case we have very limited evidence."
If convicted, the Dawson cold case will make Australian history after going unsolved for 36 years.
Without a body, the amount of time passed will prove a hurdle for both the prosecution and defence.
Mr Macedone has worked on numerous cold cases throughout his career, and believes that the amount of time that has elapsed will work in favour of the defence.
"Memory does play a big part in these cold cases. I imagine the defence will cross-examine witnesses to test the veracity and the accuracy of their testimonies," he said.
The missing woman has become almost a household name, following the The Australian's launch of podcast The Teacher’s Pet.
With it has come significant interest in justice for Lynette.
But legal experts warn that armchair detectives baying for blood are sure to prejudice Mr Dawson's right to a fair trial - and Lynette’s chance for justice.
Mr Dawson’s own lawyer Greg Walsh voiced his concerns on Thursday.