The Mystery Of Olivia Newton-John's Missing Boyfriend Continues


The Mystery Of Olivia Newton-John's Missing Boyfriend Continues

Twelve years ago, actress and singer Olivia Newton-John was on a promotional tour in Australia when her boyfriend of nine years, cameraman Patrick McDermott, vanished off the coast of California.

48-year-old McDermott was on an overnight fishing trip with 22 other passengers and three crew members when he disappeared on June 30, 2005. The entire mystery continued to deepen when investigators found his personal items, including this wallet, was left on the boat.

US Magazine

To add to the bizarreness of the case, McDermott wasn't reported missing right away. His ex-wife filed a missing report about a week later after he failed to show up at a family event. It took another 45 days for Newton-John to publicly address her partner's disappearance.

Newton-John re-married in 2008, and opened up about her former beau in an interview that year.

"It's human to wonder but you know, those are the things in life you have to accept and let go. Because whenever you go through difficult times, there's always those concerns," she admitted. "But, I live on and of course questions come up, always, it's human."

NY Daily News

In 2008, the United States Coast Guard's investigation concluded that he "most likely" drowned, but that did not stop people from speculating that McDermott faked his death to avoid paying back his debts, including $8,000 in child support.

In 2009, Dateline NBC aired a special in which investigators went to Mexico, where McDermott was rumored to be hiding after receiving multiple sighting tips. The lead investigator, Philip Klein, tracked down an address that allegedly confirmed McDermott was alive and living under his birth name, Pat Kim.

The manhunt was then officially called off, and the McDermott case was rarely discussed until recently. In November 2017, an Australian magazine published an article which included photos from a US media agency of a man believed to be McDermott.

"The widow's peak is exact. The eyes are very similar and the ears extend down on the head the same distance. I believe it is him," Charlie Parker, a private detective, told the magazine. He also claimed that the man is a "90 percent match."

Newspapers and tabloids all over the world picked up the story, but little did they know that there was more to the photos than meets the eye.

When the magazine broke the news of McDermott's alleged whereabouts, it took everyone by surprise, but nobody was more taken aback by the claims than a man named Wes Stobbe.

The Canadian pub owner was in total shock when he saw the supposed photos of Newton-John's ex-lover on a boat because he knew the real truth: the man in the photos was not McDermott.

Turns out, the press misidentified the images, and the man was actually Stobbe. Sounds like something straight out of a work of fiction.

Daily Mail

Stobbe and his wife, Bridget, were out on a boat ride in Mexico when the snaps were acquired.

"Apparently if you make the photo fuzzy enough and grainy enough, it might be passable, but I don't think I look like him," Stobbe told CBC Manitoba's Radio Noon.

The businessman is still reeling from his accidental fame, and although the Stobbes were taken aback when the reports first surfaced, the family now finds the mistake funny.

He does have plans to return to Mexico in the near future, and jokes that he might get a T-shirt that reads "not Patrick," to wear while on vacation.

Daily Mail

Stobbe offers an explanation for why he thinks his face was mistaken for McDermott's.

"I have a face that seems to be recognized falsely more than once," he said. "It happens to me so often for some strange reason."

As for the real McDermott, he is considered dead and there is still no solid evidence that warrants another investigation. His son, who was about 11 years old at the time of his disappearance, is the sole beneficiary of his $100,000 life insurance policy.

Do you believe McDermott could still be alive? Let us know in the comments!

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.