The Setup: A True Story of Dirty Cops, Soccer Moms, and Reality TV by Pete CrooksThe Setup: A True Story of Dirty Cops, Soccer Moms, and Reality TV by Pete Crooks

The Setup: A True Story of Dirty Cops, Soccer Moms, and Reality TV

byPete CrooksForeword byJoe Kenda

Hardcover | January 13, 2015

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The pitch went like this: Chris Butler, a retired cop, ran a private investigator firm in Concord, California. His business had a fascinating angle#151;his firm was staffed entirely by soccer moms.

In fact, Butler employed PI Super Moms: attractive, organized, smart, and trained in investigative techniques, self-defense, and weaponry.This American Lifehost Ira Glass described them as "MILF: Charlie’s Angels.”

When this story came across Pete Crooks’s desk when he was working atDiablomagazine in 2010, he was instantly hooked. He’d heard a little bit about Butler and his super moms in the news; they’d been featured inPeoplemagazine and onDr. Phil. What Butler’s publicist was offering was too tantalizing to pass up: an opportunity to ride along with Butler and a few of his sexy PIs as they prepared to start filming a reality TV show.

But after the ride-along#151;and after he started receiving mysterious emails from one of Butler’s employees#151;Crooks started to realize something didn’t seem right. After doing a little digging, he discovered the "sting” he’d seen only had one real victimhim. The PI bust had been a setup.

Crooks wasn’t a hardboiled crime reporter. He did lifestyle pieces for a regional magazine. The more he learned about Butler’s operation, the more he realized he was in far over his head. But swallowing his fears, he decided he was going to write an expose on Butler and his entire organization. He soon found himself deep in the underbelly of fake sting operations, wannabe celebrities, police corruption, drug-dealing, reality television, double-crossing employees, and more twists and turns than a dozen crime thrillers.
Pete Crooksis a Bay Area-based journalist, and the author of the seminal investigative story about one of the Bay Area’s most sensational crime and corruption stories in recent history. For the past 14 years, Crooks has been one of the editors ofDiablomagazine, and was on assignment for the magazine when he broke the incredible crime s...
Title:The Setup: A True Story of Dirty Cops, Soccer Moms, and Reality TVFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:January 13, 2015Publisher:BenBella Books, Inc.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1940363314

ISBN - 13:9781940363318


Editorial Reviews

"The Setup tells one of the most popular stories we’ve ever had on This American Life, with fascinating details you can’t fit into a one-hour radio show. Pete Crooks was set up as a mark in this true-life caper, until he out-detectived the detectives. His chatty, lively account of what happened is a jaw-dropping tale of ambition, crime, and reality TV."—Ira Glass, Host of public radio’s This American Life“Journalist Pete Crooks has very carefully reported a tale of people who believed that reality television was the fastest pathway to the fame they so desperately wanted . . . A unique insight into a house of cards constructed to lead to media fame—and to discover more sinister behavior that was occurring just behind the curtain, when the cameras weren’t shooting.”—Joe Kenda, retired police detective and subject of Discovery Television’s Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda“The Setup is most certainly a riveting real-life thriller. But the book is also much more than that . . . This deeply-layered crime and corruption story is the ultimate ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ scenario for a celebrity-obsessed culture. Once I started reading, I could not put The Setup down.”—Louise Fletcher, Academy Award-winning actress in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest“A true crime story about a delusional suburban detective trying to sell a reality show about soccer moms? Yes, you are going to laugh a lot but because Crooks treats his subjects respectfully and like the fallible humans we all are; the absurdity isn't mean-spirited. 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