Lost at Sea: The Hunt for Patrick McDermott by Philip R. Klein
Klein Publishing, Nederland, Texas. (2012)
Review by Robert A. Waters
The mystery of what happened to Olivia Newton-John’s long-time boyfriend, Patrick McDermott, has intrigued me since the story first broke in 2005. Newscasters speculated that he fell or jumped off the charter fishing boat, Freedom, into the San Pedro Bay in California. One sensational story after another theorized that his death was suicide.
Lost at Sea: The Hunt for Patrick McDermott, by Philip R. Klein, describes the private detective’s years-long search for what really happened. It is a hard-driving account of the inner workings of a dedicated private detective and his staff as they attempt to locate McDermott.
Born in an orphanage in Korea, the toddler was adopted by an upper-middle-class family in Los Angeles. As McDermott grew into his teens, women found him attractive, and he spent much of his time surfing, playing in a garage band, and partying. When he was eight, his father died. Later, McDermott’s mother passed away. At seventeen, he was on his own.
In 1992, the playboy surfer married Yvette Nipar, a beautiful aspiring actress. They had a child, then quickly divorced. The relationship had been rocky from the start, and got worse. By 2005, McDermott was deep in debt. Investigators speculated that Nipar planned to take him to court to make him pay thousands of dollars he owed in child support.
After a long-term relationship with singer Olivia Newton-John, she ended the live-in arrangement a few weeks before McDermott went missing. The playboy's life had come crashing down.
Hired by NBC’s “Dateline” to learn what happened to the wayward fisherman, Klein found no evidence that McDermott had fallen or jumped into the water. His body was never found, and several witnesses claimed they saw him give his fish away as he left the dock on the day he disappeared. The Coast Guard and LAPD had done a cursory investigation, but since no body was found and presumably no laws broken, they quickly dropped the case.
This book profiles a high-powered search to find an elusive man. The reader follows the investigators, surrounded by NBC staff and cameras, as they make several visits to Los Angeles and Mexico in an attempt to track down their prey. As they get closer, they're in for a surprise--the conclusion will stun those who have followed this case throughout the years.
I highly recommend Lost at Sea: The Hunt for Parick McDermott.