The incredible true story of the PI Moms scam and the small-time reporter who exposed it: “A jaw-dropping tale of ambition, crime, and reality TV” (Ira Glass, host of NPR’s This American Life).
In 2010, an unbelievable story came across the desk of Diablo magazine lifestyle reporter Pete Crooks. The pitch went like this: Retired cop Chris Butler ran a private investigation firm in Concord, California, staffed entirely by soccer moms. Sexy and smart, these women were the real-life Charlie’s Angels—trained in investigation, self-defense, and weaponry.
Butler and his PI Moms had already been featured in People magazine and on Dr. Phil. Now Butler’s publicist was offering Crooks an opportunity to ride along with them as they prepared to start filming a reality TV show. But after the ride-along, and a few mysterious emails, Crooks found himself chasing a very different kind of story. It turned out the “sting” he’d witnessed had been an elaborate setup.
The more he learned about Butler’s operation, the more Crooks realized he was in far over his head—deep in the underbelly of fraud, police corruption, drug-dealing, and people willing to do anything for fame.
“You are going to laugh a lot . . . Only a true noir fan could have done such a bang-up job.” —Beth Lisick, New York Times–bestselling author of Everybody into the Pool