Speculation on cannibalism was cranked up a notch in Paul Toohey’s book Rocky Goes West, in which the author claims that Rockefeller’s mother had hired a private investigator to make the journey to Papua New Guinea in order to try and uncover clues on her son’s disappearance. According to Toohey, the investigator made contact with the Asmat and traded his boat engine for three human skulls, which the tribe said were the skulls of the only white men they had ever killed. Convinced that one of the skulls must be that of Michael Rockefeller, the private investigator allegedly brought all three of them back to New York. The veracity of this story has been the subject of some debate, but the History Channel show Vanishings claimed to have uncovered evidence that Rockefeller’s mother had indeed handed over a $250,000 reward to the investigator, which had been offered for any definitive evidence as to Michael Rockefeller’s ultimate fate. What that evidence truly was remains a mystery."
"During his extensive investigation, Hoffman would piece together a grim picture of Rockefeller’s final hours. Hoffman was able learn of how not long before Rockefeller’s expedition and subsequent disappearance, a Dutch official named Max Lapré had set out to squash a bloody, all-out cannibal war between two Asmat villages that had spun out of control. A patrol was sent out to investigate and when they arrived at the village of Otsjanep, they were met with Asmat warrior headhunters armed with arrows and spears, who then began a ritual and dance preparing for imminent battle. The panicked Dutch patrol had opened fire upon the warriors and killed five of them before retreating."