The media is obsessed with sad Mel Gibson, whose alleged anti-Semitism was ingrained by a demented father who moved his family from America to Australia after winning on Jeopardy.
But the bigger story evolved in the Malibu compound of another Australian entertainer, just down the PCH from where he was arrested…
What happened to the search for Patrick McDermott?
The mysteries beyond the walls of Mel Gibson’s Malibu neighbor have only deepened since an Australian news reporter used our clues to search for Olivia Newton-John’s alleged boyfriend, and the syndicated infotainment show Extra apparently played a cruel trick on viewers and fans by using the momentum of the case to violate their trust with a cynical publicity stunt.
It’s been thirteen months since McDermott disappeared from an overnight fishing trip, and approaching a year since the journalists who created Tabloidbaby.com returned from the Coast Guard station in San Pedro, California to produce the first television reports on the case and the bizarre fact that Newton-John had neither reported her alleged lover missing nor acknowledged the possibility that he could be alive and in peril.
It’s been six months since Tabloid Baby reported exclusively that McDermott was believed to be alive and had been seen in an around the remote town of Todos Santos in the Baja region of Mexico.
It’s been two months since Australian reporter Nick Papps followed our lead and reported from Todos Santos that McDermott had been spotted with a female companion and may still be in the area.
It’s been six weeks since the syndicated infotainment show Extra piggybacked on Papps’ scoop by sending a private investigator and “PI cam” (instead of a journalist) to Todos Santos to retrieve a visor reportedly worn by McDermott, trumpeted an “exclusive” ingvestigation and promised its viewers that it would send the hat out for DNA testing.
It’s been four weeks since Tabloid Baby reported that Extra had not done any reporting all, but had been handed the hat and interviews by intrepid local reporter Kathy Aviles, who kept a detailed journal of the McDermott timeline on her newspaper’s website.
It’s been three and half weeks since we reported that Extra’s McDermott “investigation” was merely a ratings-seeeking stunt, and that its producers had returned the McDermott visor to Todos Santos—without DNA testing and quite possibly contaminating the evidence.
It’s been a week and a half since Kathy Aviles’ McDermott journal was removed from the El Mirador website.
So it appears the search for Patrick McDermott is at a dead end. Or is it?
Extra’s top producers have refused to respond to Tabloid Baby’s requests for an explanation about the show’s actions in the McDermott case, or whether the show is part of a cover-up (Extra is a Time-Warner property; Newton-John records for Time-Warner).
Nick Papps has moved on.
Kathy Aviles will not say why her McDermott journal has been removed from the Internet. But she has offered it on request.
The U.S. Coast Guard considers McDermott’s case to be “open” and is keeping at least one investigator on the case. However it is unlikely to expend much manpower to bring him back to face comparatively minor “deadbeat” charges (though in wake of the life insurance policy reportedly left to his son, fraud could be a possibility).
Throughout this period, the only other journalist who did a full, unbiased search for the truth in this case was veteran producer and writer Michael Lynn, whose E! True Hollywood Story on Newton-John got him as close to an answer as lawyers would allow.
Who will pick up the pieces and find the truth about what happened to Patrick McDermott. The Tabloid Baby has at least one award-winning journalist and producer who is champing at the bit for a chance to do it (and he’s not Tabloid Baby’s author or our man in Israel, but another veteran newsman whose instincts and abilities hold our editor in awe).
Mr. Murdoch? Think of the cross-promotional possibilities.
Extra? Why not hire him as a freelancer? He’ll even bring along the Extra PI cam.