This American Life to Feature Diablo Magazine’s Article “The Incredible Case of the PI Moms”

Walnut Creek, California (EastBayDaily) — The acclaimed radio documentary program This American Life will be re-broadcasting its episode “The Incredible Case of the PI Moms” on public radio stations across the country between September 21–30, 2012. The episode will contain updated information about the legal cases of former Concord-based private investigator Chris Butler, former Department of Justice narcotics agent Norm Wielsch, and other characters in the shocking scandal uncovered by Diablo magazine in early 2011. The episode will run on most stations that carry This American Life the weekend of September 21-23. The episode will air on San Francisco’s KQED 88.5 FM on September 29 at noon and 9 p.m.

Peter Crooks, who had been writing a feature about Butler’s detective firm, was tipped to the illegal drug deals by an anonymous source. Crooks helped the source get to the Department of Justice and become an informant, which led to the arrest of Butler and Norman Wielsch, the commander of the Contra Costa County Narcotic Enforcement Team (CNET). Crooks’ original story “The Setup,” can be found at

In April, Diablo won the WPA Maggie Award for Best Series of Articles for Crooks’ reporting on the investigation and arrests of Chris Butler and Norm Wielsch. On May 4, 2012, Chris Butler pleaded guilty to seven felony counts, including drug offenses, conspiracy, extortion, and felony wire-tapping. Butler is scheduled to be sentenced on September 25, 2012. Norm Wielsch is still out on bail and has a trial date set for January 28, 2013.

Barney Fonzi, Group Publisher of Diablo magazine, states, “We’re very pleased that Pete and Diablo magazine are once again being recognized by This American Life. Pete has continued to show an incredible amount of dedication, tenacity, and true journalistic integrity in reporting his award-winning story for Diablo magazine’s readers, and at the same time providing a valuable service to our community.”

This American Life started in 1995 in Chicago. It went national in 1996 and in the years since, it has won many awards—the Peabody, the duPont-Columbia, the Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club, to name a few. Ira Glass, the host of the show, was named best radio host in the country by Time magazine and received the highest individual honor in public broadcasting, the Edward R. Murrow Award. The program airs on more than 500 public radio stations across the country. This American Life is also the most popular podcast in the country, with more than half a million downloads.

About Diablo Publications

For more than 32 years, Diablo Publications has been creating award-winning publications, including Diablo magazine, Napa Sonoma magazine, the Walnut Creek Book, Diablo Arts, and the Tri-Valley California Visitors Guide. Covering travel, theater, lifestyle, and home design, Diablo Publications celebrates the people, places, and pleasures of the East Bay and North Bay. Diablo Publications’ custom content division, Diablo Custom Publishing (DCP), provides complete print and online marketing communications and customer publishing services for corporate clients nationwide. For more information, visit or

SOURCES: Chris Butler: Case4:11-cr-00529-SBA 3rd party source on guilty plea:

Federal Court calendar showing Butler’s sentencing date as September 25, 2012:

Norm Wielsch: Case4:11-cr-00529-SBA 3rd Party source showing trial date:


Dave Reik
Diablo Publications