A new podcast delving into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Olivia Newton-John’s ex-boyfriend has debunked the idea he faked his own death.
Patrick McDermott, a cameraman who dated the late actress and singer for nine years beginning in 1995, was 48 when he disappeared in June 2005 after going on an overnight fishing trip off the coast of Los Angeles when he was 22, according to others People.
Seventeen years later and with no trace of Patrick, many have explored the theory that he faked his own death due to financial problems (he was said to be $30,000 in debt and filed for bankruptcy) and pressure to keep up with the Hollywood lifestyle ‘.
But after investigating the circumstances of his disappearance, the presenters of Pseudocide: The Disappearance of Patrick McDermott told FEMAIL that they believe Patrick really died on the fishing trip and various “sightings” by the cameraman do not stand up.
Patrick McDermott, Olivia Newton-John’s on-off boyfriend of nine years, disappeared at the age of 48 while on a fishing trip off the coast of LA
The podcast examines reported sightings of McDermott in Mexico over the years, which hosts Poppy Damon and Alice Fiennes believe were hoaxes and false leads. After completing their investigation, the hosts told FEMAIL they are convinced Patrick is really lost at sea.
As they began researching the series, they admitted that they were skeptical about the rumors that Patrick had faked his death, but “wanted to keep an open mind.”
They said, “So many people thought they saw Patrick in Mexico that at first we thought the rumors might have substance.”
Patrick McDermott was born in South Korea and was orphaned by the Korean War in the 1950s. As a toddler, he was adopted by an American family and grew up in the United States.
When Patrick went fishing on the Freedom Boat on June 30, 2005, Olivia was on a promotional tour in Australia.
The couple (pictured in 2001) met in 1995 and were together on and off until his disappearance
When other passengers left the boat the next day, crew members found no sign of Patrick, but his car keys, wallet, and passport were still on board.
However, since the crew hadn’t counted the passengers, it was another week before anyone noticed that Patrick hadn’t returned from the trip when he didn’t attend a family event on July 6. His car remained parked near the San Pedro marina.
Mystery has surrounded the cameraman’s mysterious disappearance since investigators found no trace of him. They also could not find any evidence of a crime, accident, suicide, or fraud on the boat. Patrick was believed to have been lost at sea.
Officials believe he simply fell overboard and drowned, but conspiracy theorists insist he may have had another boat offshore to pick him up. Several sightings of Patrick have been reported in Mexico over the years.
As the new podcast series unfolds, the hosts interview Wes Stobbe, a Canadian from the province of Manitoba whose picture was featured on the cover of the National Enquirer in November 2017 with the headline “12 Year Mystery Solved!”.
He tells podcast hosts his shock when he saw his photo, which was being sold as Patrick McDermott’s photo, from his vacation home in Sayulita, Mesico.
He says: “I said, ‘Well, I don’t look like him, but I think some people think I do.’
Adds Wes, a bartender, “I just had to laugh. I just burst out laughing.’
He tells the hosts that his friends were also very amused to see the photo on the front page and that one of his heavily tattooed friends also got a new ink of the incident.
Aside from the hilarity of the mistaken identity case, however, Wes reveals to the hosts that he felt guilty about the incident.
“Perhaps I felt sorry for part of the family … that could indicate a faint hope that he might be found alive,” he says, recalling trying to contact Olivia Newton-John to confirm he was definitely not was her missing ex-partner.
When Patrick’s disappearance was mysterious, private investigators set up a website called FindPatrickMcDermott.com that tracked the locations of its visitors. After a spate of internet traffic poured in from the city of Sayulita, the case focused on the Mexican city.
Over the years, Sayulita has remained the focus of conspiracy theorists who believe Patrick McDermott is alive and well — and in 2016, Spanish media quoted locals from the city as saying Patrick had been there and “wants to be left alone.”
Other locals said they often saw Patrick running on the beach and that he was a “classic hippie” with straggly hair and frequented the local bars and cafes.
After the presenters read the reports, they talk to Oswaldo, the town manager of Sayulita, who was one of the locals said to have seen Patrick around town.
However, when he is contacted by the journalists, he says: ‘Patrick who?’
He then reveals that he has not actually seen or spoken to Patrick, and gives a different account than that reported in El País in 2016.
It quickly becomes apparent that many Sayulita residents have spoken out about sightings of Patrick, but it’s unclear if any of them actually saw him in person.
The hosts contacted 10 people who had been previously quoted as saying they had seen Patrick near Sayulita – but none of them could confirm they had actually seen him themselves.
Speaking to FEMAIL, the hosts said it was “strange” to learn that no one in Sayulita had actually seen Patrick himself.
They said: “We have never been able to get to the bottom of this discrepancy. Why were they cited earlier with greater certainty? Did her memories change over time or was something darker at play?’
Olivia Newton-John died in August this year at the age of 73 after a battle with breast cancer.
In 2016, she revealed that she hadn’t paid any heed to rumors that her missing ex-partner was still alive and likely died on the fishing trip.
She told 60 Minutes: “It’s human to wonder. Because whenever you’re going through tough times, there’s always those concerns.
“Those are the things in life that you have to accept and let go of. Of course there are always questions and that is human.
‘But you know, I live on.’
Commenting on the case of Patrick’s disappearance, which has fascinated people around the world for almost two decades, the presenters said: “Unsolved mysteries are always fascinating – you can project all sorts of bizarre and fantastical theories into empty space.
“We even read a false theory that Patrick was paid to date Olivia Newton John and they never actually dated!”
They added that media interest in the case could well have sustained conspiracy theories rather than relying on the US Coast Guard’s conclusion at the time – that Patrick was dead.
They said, “In the Fake Death version of the story, Patrick is a cheating mastermind. The true answer to the mystery – that he died at sea – is comparatively simple and incredibly tragic.”
Pseudocide seasons 1 and 2 are available on Spotify. Season 1 covers nine different cases and Season 2 is the story of Patrick McDermott’s disappearance.