|Chip St. Clair|
August 1, 1975|
|Occupation||Motivational speaker, author, child advocate|
|Known for||Memoir, The Butterfly Garden: Surviving Childhood on the Run with One of America's Most Wanted|
Chip Anthony St. Clair (born August 1, 1975) is an American author and Motivational Speaker, best known for his inspirational memoir, The Butterfly Garden: Surviving Childhood on the Run with one of America's Most Wanted. Sought after as expert in child abuse, identity theft, and child protection by major media, St. Clair's work and his story has been featured on Dateline and Good Morning America among others. In 2004, St. Clair worked with legislators and helped to create and pass the Identity Theft Protection Act in Michigan. In 2005, St. Clair received a U.S. Congressional Record on behalf of his child advocacy work. Prior to founding his own organization, St. Clair was poised at the helm of the Michigan chapter of Justice for Children, where he made tremendous strides in aiding children caught up in the nation’s distressed child welfare system. He created legislative initiatives, community awareness programs, and internship programs that still resonate among victims, survivors, and key stakeholders in the child welfare community. St. Clair’s direct involvement in the chapter’s casework played a substantial role in the apprehension of two known child predators whose brutality toward children grabbed national headlines.
In 2007, St. Clair and his wife, Lisa, founded St. Clair Butterfly Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit that helps bring the creative arts and literature into the lives of children facing adversity. Universities and high schools across the country have now incorporated The Butterfly Garden into their curriculum, and St. Clair’s expertise in advocacy and his riveting lectures have become an integral part of the training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and DHS is several states. In April 2009, St. Clair was called upon by nearly 100 media outlets around the world to partake in interviews of behalf of Child Abuse Awareness Month. St. Clair continues to capture the hearts of audiences everywhere with his compelling story of hope, triumph, and the discovery of the true measure of strength each of us has when we can simply gain the courage to look within.
Most recently, film rights for The Butterfly Garden have been optioned.
St. Clair was born in Elkhart, Indiana, and grew up as an only child in a highly dysfunctional family, with an alcoholic mother and a maniacal and abusive father. He attributes his love and voracious appetite for literature as a sanctuary and source of grounding as a child. St. Clair moved over thirty times across the country throughout his childhood. In 1990, his family settled Southfield, and in his senior hear of high school, St. Clair met and began dating Lisa Muethel. St. Clair attended Michigan State University studying Astrophysics, later changing his major to Pre-Law.
On January 22, 1998 while celebrating his fiancée's, Lisa, birthday dinner at his parent's home in Auburn Hills, Michigan, St. Clair was rushed in an ambulance to the hospital with a dislocated shoulder after being brutally assaulted by his father during a dinner table disagreement. After being released from Crittenton Hospital, St. Clair learned his father was taken to Oakland County Jail for domestic abuse. Upon calling his aunt for moral support of his decision to bring charges against his father for the assault, St. Clair learned that the man he called Dad, the man he knew as David St. Clair was in fact a fugitive by the name of Michael Dean Grant – an escaped child murderer who had been on the run for nearly 26 years with the help of his mother, Leslie Eyvonne Weaver. St. Clair ultimately turned his father in to authorities, and shortly after learned his father was a possible child serial killer; the prime suspect in the deaths of at least 5 other children. In 1969, 18-month-old Jeffrey Balsley died in Michael Grant's care of Subdural hematoma, with bruises all over his body, one year prior to his conviction of Voluntary Manslaughter in the stomping death of 5-year-old Scott Ingersoll. In 2005, Grant was named a prime suspect of the notorious Oakland County Child Killer case. Michigan State Police went to the Miami Correctional Facility in Bunker Hill, Indiana where Grant was serving out his sentence to compare his DNA to that of the suspected DNA evidence from the Oakland County Child Killer. In St. Clair's memoir, The Butterfly Garden, he chronicles his life spent unknowingly on the run and of his struggle to not go down the same path as his father.
St. Clair married his high school sweetheart Lisa Muethel on February 14, 1999 and the couple have two Yorkshire Terriers - Juliette and Cheyenne.
The Butterfly Garden: Surviving Childhood on the Run with one of America's Most Wanted (2008) ISBN 0-7573-0695-0
The International Library of Poetry: Tumbling into Tomorrow, Helios and Terra, pg. 188 (2002) ISBN 0-7951-5143-8
St. Clair is Founder and Executive Director of the St. Clair Butterfly Foundation.
St. Clair is currently at work wrapping up a historical fantasy novel as well a follow-up to his memoir, The Butterfly Garden which will include major updates.
- Nominated Speaker of the Year by Olivet College, 2009
- Nominated Author of the Year by the Michigan Library Association, 2008
- U.S. Congressional Record on behalf of his child advocacy work, 2005