P.I. Moms: The Truth Behind the Scam: Peter, Carl, Ilona, Norm, Maureen

Butler's Alleged Partner in Crime Speaks Out
“I got sucked into Chris Butler’s world, and I was invited to write about Chris,” Peter says in a previous interview. “He was always about making his world seem as sexy and cool as possible. It’s just a weird, strange, convoluted story of his con artistry, and criminal activity and people searching for their 15 minutes of fame.” Read Peter's article in Diablo Magazine, here.

Peter Crooks joins the discussion via Polycom.

Peter explains what happened on his 10-hour ride along with the P.I. Moms. Were there any red flags that he noticed? And, Carl says Peter almost blundered the entire sting.

“Why is there tension between you guys now?”


[AD]Dr. Phil turns to Carl’s wife, Ilona, sitting in the audience. “You married into this mess, because he was already working for Chris Butler when you got married, true?” he asks.

“Yes, that’s correct,” she says. Ilona says there were times she feared for their lives and is still nervous.

Dr. Phil notes that talking about what happened on a public forum is probably a form of protection for them now. “If something happened to you now, I don’t think they’d go on a man hunt through Maine; I think they would probably go looking for Chris Butler.”On February 16, 2011, the founder of P.I. Moms, Chris Butler, was arrested, along with Norm Wielsch, the former commander of the Contra Costa County Narcotics Task Force. They are both charged with dozens of crimes.

Butler declined an interview, but Wielsch agreed.

See the excuses Wielsch gives for the decisions he made.


Norm and his attorney wanted to join the show but at the last minute, the judge revoked his travel rights. Maureen was able to meet him for an interview, courtesy of 48 Hours.

How did someone who loved their job end up doing the exact opposite?


Dr. Phil notes all the manipulation by Butler. Was he sort of a master puppeteer who caused people to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do?

“I think that’s definitely possible,” Maureen says, noting that charismatic people can use that gift in wrong ways. She adds that people who are “ripe to be manipulated” are often vulnerable.

“It’s often been quoted that all that’s necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing,” Dr. Phil says.

“And that’s why I did something,” Carl says.

“And you did something at that level,” Dr. Phil says, “but you didn’t do anything for me.”

“I understand,” he says.

[AD]Dr. Phil acknowledges Carl’s initiative to stop Butler and Wielsch.

Although he hasn’t evaluated Chris Butler, Dr. Phil explains that people who are accused of what Butler is, appear to be sociopathic. “They have no conscience, they have no consideration or empathy for the impact of what they do on other people, and they are narcissistic enough to believe they will never hit a wall,” he says.

48 Hours coverage of Chris Butler and the P.I. moms airs on CBS Saturday, February 18, 2012, 10/9C.