We’re getting a lot of web traffic and hits from people looking for information on Patrick McDermott.
This is the place . For years, and up against great criticism and ridicule, Tabloid Baby was the sole news organization that kept alive the story of the boyfriend of Olivia Newton-John who disappeared after boarding a charter fishing boat in San Pedro, California in 2005.
Earlier this week NBC’s tabloid show Dateline picked up the story, reporting on claims that did indeed stage his own disappearance to avoid debts and enable his teenage son to cash in on a $151,000 insurance policy.
Dateline gave it a cute title, Beyond The Sea and put the comic, perpetually amused correspondent Keith Morrison on the story and filled the report and related stories with question marks, but despite the disclaimer, the bottom line, as picked up internationally (and thanks to the UK Daily Mail for the quotes below), is that another team of private investigators says McDermott is travelling along the Mexican and South America coastline under an alias.
The U.S. Coast Guard concluded that the cameraman, who was 48 when he went missing, had most likely drowned. But suspicion remained over McDermott's disappearance after it emerged he’d filed for bankruptcy, owed thousands of dollars in child support to his ex-wife— and that Newton-John never reported him missing.
Dateline picked up our lead in March 2007, and hired PIs to find McDermott, months after we reported that the infotainment show Extra took evidence from a local reporter in Baja Mexico, promised to have it analyzed, but did not.
Investigator Philip Klein told Dateline: “He's alive-- there's no doubt in my mind, this guy's alive. Maybe in his mind if he stages his death, the insurance policy will pay off his debts and he can leave his child a gift by pretending he's dead.”
Klein claimed McDermott's life insurance policy “is in full force and effect. The premiums have been paid every month. There has also been an inquiry by a person or persons in an attempt to possibly file a claim on the insurance money.”
Klein's agency set up a website called findpatrickmcdermott.com, a ruse to find McDermott by showing investigators the locations of people logging on to the site.
Klein said he began tracking hits from what he believes was a boat travelling along the Mexican coastline as far as South America.
"Sayulita, Mexico, is where many of the hits were coming from. We got to Sayulita, we began to show his picture around to witnesses in the area, and we found people who said, ‘Yeah, I know him, he comes here all the time.’ We have witnesses, including five Americans, willing to give us signed affidavits that they've seen him.
“He asked waiters to put him in corners, he had changed his appearance once or twice. He's moving as a lone wolf."
“The rule of thumb is always this-- when you're running you are always looking over your shoulder and we're going to catch him looking at us.
"We fully anticipate he's going to go underground for a while. But when he raises his head, he's not just going to have 20 eyes looking for him, he's going to have a million eyes looking for him."
Really Her Boyfriend?
Shamus Klein said that Newton-John apparently was also accessing the site on a regular basis for updates on efforts to find McDermott.
“The most unusual hits we've gotten were Olivia Newton-John when she was on tour in Asia. Every hotel she was registered at and staying at there were hits from that hotel on that night where she was staying.”
He claimed his team had “confirmed" sightings of McDermott from at least 17 witnesses across Mexico.
Newton-John refused to be interviewed for the Dateline show. Last year, she married John Easterling, founder and president of natural remedy firm, Amazon Herb Company.