He faked so much. Did he do it all
to get his own reality show?
Here are 5 ways to delve into the story of a California private investigator’s deception:
1 – The main deal: A reporter gets stung by a private investigator, and the sting’s reversed by an informant
"I received a call from a Los Angeles-based publicist representing Butler and Associates Private Investigations, Inc. The pitch went like this: Butler’s business was a great story for Diablo. Not only did his firm hire moms to run surveillance on cheating husbands, but it had recently been featured in People magazine and on the Today Show and Dr. Philand Butler had just signed a deal for a new reality show on Lifetime Television…
Butler invited me to come on a ride-along on one of his cases to watch his P.I. Moms in action. He described an upcoming case, in which he and the P.I. Moms would "sting" a philandering husband by sending a young, attractive decoy to flirt with himmaybe at a fitness club or via a dating websiteand then try to make a date. If the husband bit, his wife had the goods on him and would be able call the shots in a divorce settlement…"
Read the long article: The Setup – Chris Butler wanted to be a media celebrity and a badass, until he made what turned out to be a big mistake. He asked Diablo to write about him>>
Butler hired decoy women
2 – An ancillary case: After the main culprits are caught, the victim of a DUI sting sues the mastermind
"Butler hired decoys – including attractive women – to ply men with alcohol and then coax them into cars, sometimes with promises to rendezvous elsewhere. Along the way, a police officer working with Butler would pull over the targeted man on suspicion of drunken driving…"
Read the article: ‘Dirty DUI’ allegation leads husband to sue wife, San Francisco Chronicle>>
Norm Wielsch, dirty cop
3 – Was he a victim? The cop who became a criminal tells his side of the story
"…each charged by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office with 28 felony counts, for the alleged sale and distribution of methamphetamine, marijuana, steroids, and prescription pills…
Why would a career cop with a stack of accolades for his police work and a high-paying, prestigious position in narcotics enforcement pull off some marginally profitable drug crimes and, in so doing, risk absolutely everything?"
Read the article: Norm Wielsch: On the Record – The former top drug cop in Contra Costa was headed for disaster long before his arrest. In this exclusive follow-up to Diablo’s expose on a shocking corruption scandal, Norm Wielsch tells his side of the story>>
4 – Watch a 5-minute overview in an NBC TV news report
"It reads straight out of a "whodunit" novel. Suspected dirty cops, a publicity- hungry private investigator, attractive female investigators and the take down of a respected narcotics unit."
How Mommy PIs and Diablo Magazine Cracked the Case
5 – Listen to 54 minutes of "The Incredible Case of the P. I. Moms"
"What do you get when you take a P.I. firm, then add in a bunch of sexy
soccer moms, official sponsorship from Glock, a lying boss, and
delusions of grandeur? This week’s show."
Listen: The Incredible Case of the P. I. Moms, This American Life, NPR>>