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. St. Clair's 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, he received a U.S. Congressional Record on behalf of his child advocacy work. Prior to founding his own organization, St. Clair was Regional Director 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. His 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 501(c)(3) 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 incorporated The Butterfly Garden into their curriculum and St. Clair’s advocacy work and his lectures have become an integral part of the training for law enforcement, prosecutors and DHS in several states. In April 2009, he participated in nearly 100 media interviews worldwide for Child Abuse Awareness Month. He continues to speak to audiences worldwide 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. He briefly studied astrophysics at Michigan State University, and is currently working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts through Penn State University's online degree program.
Film rights for The Butterfly Garden had been optioned a couple of times, but due to lack of funding, rights are now currently available for purchase.
St. Clair was born in Elkhart, Indiana, and grew up as an only child in a highly dysfunctional family, with a maniacal and abusive father and an uncaring alcoholic mother. 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 in Southfield, and in his senior year of high school, he met and began dating Lisa Muethel.
On January 22, 1998, while celebrating his fiancée Lisa's birthday dinner at his parents' home in Auburn Hills, Michigan, St. Clair was rushed in an ambulance to the hospital with a dislocated shoulder after being pushed down some stairs by his father during a dinner table disagreement. After being released from Crittenton Hospital, St. Clair learned that his father had been taken to Oakland County Jail for domestic abuse after being reported to the police by Muethel. Upon calling his aunt, Christine Clark, 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 that his father was a possible child serial killer and the prime suspect in the deaths of at least five 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 3-year-old Scott Ingersoll. In 2005, Grant was named a prime suspect in the notorious Oakland County Child Killer case. Michigan State Police went to the Miami Correctional Facility in Bunker Hill, Indiana, where Grant was serving his sentence, to compare his DNA to that of the suspected DNA evidence from the Oakland County Child Killer. In St. Clair's memoir, 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 Lisa Muethel on February 14, 1999, and the couple have no children.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
Prologue for I Said No!: A Kid-to-Kid Guide to Keeping your Private Parts Private, Boulden Publishing (2008)
St. Clair briefly studied astrophysics at Michigan State University, and is currently working toward a BFA through Penn State University's online degree program. He is co-founder of the St. Clair Butterfly Foundation. St. Clair continues to foster his writing career and is currently working on several fiction and non-fiction projects.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