Chip St. Clair has been capturing the hearts of audiences everywhere with his compelling story of hope, triumph, and the true measure of strength each of us has when we can simply gain the courage to look within. He began sharing his story nationally in 2002, having been featured by major television outlets such as Good Morning America, Dateline, and the Huffington Post, and most recently in a documentary series on OWN as well as Investigation Discovery, now airing in syndication worldwide. As founder and executive director of the St. Clair Butterfly Foundation, St. Clair’s work often places him in the media spotlight as he fights relentlessly for tough legislation aimed at combating identity theft and protecting children. In 2005, Chip St. Clair was honored as the recipient of a U.S. Congressional Record for his ardent child advocacy.
With his beginnings shrouded in mystery, Chip St. Clair believed he was the only son of David St. Clair, a troubled Vietnam war veteran with a propensity toward violence, and Leslie Weaver, an alcoholic wife and mother who was imminently preoccupied with soothing her husband's explosive rage. As a young boy, Chip found solitude in poetry and literature - Dickens, Dumas, Twain, Harper Lee, and Tolkien offered brief respite into a world more beautiful than his own. As a teenager, a darkness began to consume him, forcing Chip into a grim solitude; a weary, bleak existence reflected in his macabre etchings, poetry, and oil paintings. It wouldn't be until he crossed paths with sixteen-year-old Lisa Muethel that his life would take a dramatic twist. Her unwavering love for him pulled Chip from the brink of darkness, and provided the foundation of strength Chip would rely upon when he uncovered the brutal truth about his father - David St. Clair was not a traumatized war veteran at all, but Michael Grant, a fugitive child murderer, one of America's most wanted, on the run for nearly three decades. After turning his own father in, Chip then began to embark on a journey that took him beyond the boundaries of impossibilities, to the very precipice of hope, love, and self-discovery.
His compelling story is chronicled in his memoir The Butterfly Garden: Surviving Childhood on the Run with One of America's Most Wanted (HCI, 2008). Universities, high schools, and juvenile detention facilities all across the country have incorporated his memoir into their curriculum, and St. Clair's expertise in advocacy and identity theft, as well as his riveting lectures have become an integral part of the training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and DHS is several states.
In 2007, Chip and Lisa founded the St. Clair Butterfly Foundation, a non-profit that helps children heal through traumatic experiences using therapeutic programs based in the creative arts. St. Clair's mission is to eradicate the notion that children of sordid backgrounds are defined by their surroundings and destined to continue a cycle of suffering.
Today, Chip is a guest teacher for his innovative creative writing curriculum, lectures across the country, and is shopping several new book projects, where he looks to offer readers of all ages the same inspiration and enjoyment he found in books as a child. In addition, Chip co-wrote the screenplay adaptation of The Butterfly Garden which is currently in film development.
- U.S. Congressional Record for ardent child advocacy