The US Coast Guard’s explosive, top secret dossier on Patrick McDermott, Olivia Newton John‘s vanished ex-lover, has been obtained by RadarOnline.com, five years after his mysterious disappearance and includes stunning never-before-released evidence.
The sensational files on McDermott, who vanished during a deep sea fishing trip off Los Angeles, two weeks after he and the Grease star broke up, detail the most bizarre twists in the case that has left law enforcement investigators baffled.
On March 11, 2005, less than three months before Patrick stepped onto the Freedom vessel and was never seen again, he bought a .357 magnum.
Investigators have never found the gun: in a search of his former Los Angeles residence, in the commission of any crime or as having been pawned at a second hand store.
More-than-100 pages of the Coast Guard’s investigation files — marked secretive and for “OFFICIAL USE ONLY” — have been released to RadarOnline.com and Australia’s New Idea magazine, under a joint freedom of information request.
The classified dossier provides an intimate insight into the on-again off-again, eight-year romance between Olivia and the handsome, Korean-born Californian drifter.
And it includes claims that Patrick was pocketing payments from his superstar girlfriend, at a time when he was drowning in mounting debt and failing to meet child support.
In another startling revelation, it can be revealed that Olivia didn’t contact investigators until July 20 — nine days after her personal assistant rang her in Australia to raise the alarm that the man she dated for almost a decade was missing.
Eventually Olivia, 61, made three statements to Coast Guard special agents probing the case.
The first time, she called from Australia, according to the special agents’ assigned to the case, because she “wanted to know if there was any news on the whereabouts of McDermott”.
“The last time Newton John saw McDermott was the day she departed for Australia, sometime in mid June 2005,” the investigators noted, in their “Report of Investigation”.
It was that devastating moment when the pair ended their romance – forever.
“During that visit, Patrick came to the residence (in Malibu) to say goodbye, he gave me flowers and a card, but left prior to my departure to the airport,” the documents quote Newton John as telling the agents.
“Patrick thought it would be good that we separate while I was in Australia for two months. We both mutually agreed on the break-up.
“This had happened in the past and normally we got back together because we missed each other too much.
“Patrick seemed to have a good attitude (to the breakup)… we parted on good terms.”
Olivia told investigators Patrick, who staff said had moved in just a few months earlier, took some items he had stored from the house.
But she protested she did not ever ask him to move his personal items out.
“While I was in Australia, we did not telephone each other because of the break-up, but we did exchange email about the projects he was working on at the residence,” she added.
“But I never talked to him again.”
The Coast Guard files also contains interviews with Olivia’s longtime assistant, who confirmed Patrick was on the star’s payroll, for working around her home.
As investigators were probing suspicions Patrick may have staged his death to cash in on life insurance claims in the midst of a personal financial crisis — he had just $755.01 in savings and $19,004.56 in credit card debt when he disappeared — Olivia told them she had no idea about his private financial affairs.
“I have no knowledge of financial problems, social problems or anything that would make him want to disappear,” she was quoted, as telling the government agency.
“The only medical problems that I knew Patrick had was an occasional back spasm whenever he lifted heavy items.”
The report — titled ‘Report of Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident involving P/V Freedom; Passenger Missing; McDermott’ — also reveals:
- Patrick had once attempted to commit suicide by taking a cocktail of pills.
- Just eight months before his disappearance, Patrick attempted to have his life insurance policy drastically increased to $500,000, from $100,000.
- He never pursued an increase in the policy, after being told “because he was broke and did not have any information on family medical history, the insurer would look at any reason not to pay off that policy if something happened to him within two years of it being written.”
- Two passengers on board the Freedom told special agents Patrick, while on the starboard side of the vessel and during a safety briefing, told a joke about Geico Insurance — an American insurance company.
- A file recovered from Patrick’s personal computer contained information on how to set up a fake identity.
- Patrick destroyed all of his emails, in one of his last acts alive.
- Numerous letters were deleted — including correspondence from Olivia.
- Forensic investigators found someone had attempted to access Patrick’s computer between the moment he disappeared and when it was seized. However, that unknown user couldn’t log on: he/she posted an incorrect password.
- Patrick had once received death threats from a man who was infatuated with Newton John and would brag “that he was going to be Newton John’s boyfriend as soon as he took care of McDermott.” The threats were reported to the Los Angeles Sherriff’s Office.
- On October 30, 2003, Patrick started a company with the curious title Twice Alive Productions.
Investigators also seized the Mac computer and sent it to the Coast Guards Investigative Service Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia for forensic examination.
What they discovered was intriguing. And like most Hollywood mysteries, it proved truth, in this case, is stranger than fiction.
One of McDermott’s last known acts alive was to destroy all his emails.
Numerous letters were deleted between 24 June and 30 June 2005, reported the investigator, in the case notes. Not just from the software, but Patrick also deleted the records from his AOL server ensuring there would be no trace of whom he communicated with – and what was said.
Some of those were from Olivia; the contents of those emails can never be recovered.
In a further twist, the computer technicians found something else that was erroneous: someone had attempted to access Patrick’s computer between the moment he disappeared and when it was seized.
However, that unknown user couldn’t log on: he/she posted an incorrect password.
It was also noted, “the screw heads holding the computer mother board…Were moderately worn, evident that someone had been inside the computer case prior to the Coast Guard receiving the evidence,” wrote the investigator.
As a result, the search failed to produce any leads “that would indicate where McDermott might have gone or that he considered committing suicide.”
The question that alludes investigators remains: where is Patrick today?
Recent sightings had him hiding out in Mexico, working as deckhand and sailing between paradise ports, along the coastline to as far south as Brazil.
For its part, the Coast Guard has closed the case. It has been deemed by the investigators a “Deadbeat Parent” case – under which the State Department remain on the lookout, but not actively, for someone who has absconded from life’s responsibilities.