"Mommy always wore her Golden Butterfly."
―Michelle Moller

The Golden Butterfly is a Homicide case in L.A. Noire.


Cole is in the detectives' desk room with Rusty when James Donnelly calls him about another murder. Cole and Rusty head out to the crime scene to find that Donnelly is trying to fend off the swarm of reporters who are trying to get pictures and quotes. The captain tells them that he will address the media after the autopsy.

Persons of Interest


  • Investigate Crime Scene
  • Interview Hugo Moller
  • Question the Neighbor
  • Take Hugo Moller into Custody
  • Inspect the Incinerator
  • Return to Central Morgue
  • Investigate Belmont High School
  • Apprehend Lurker
  • Call Central
  • Return to Central for Interrogations
  • Charge a Suspect with Murder

Detailed Walkthrough

Crime Scene

"Run along, boys, and let these officers get to work. We have God's work to do here and it can't be delayed."
―James Donnelly

Victim's golden butterfly brooch.

After the cutscene, you make your way up the hill to be met by the first cop on the scene. He takes you to the crime scene and body while describing what he saw.

When you arrive at the crime scene, the coroner is under the pepper tree. Talk to the coroner and then inspect the area to find the following clues. Ray Pinker can also be found near the crime scene, but there is no clear interaction with him except him saying: "I won't be able to help you with this."

Stencil Details

Rope pattern

Found by examining the victim's head/neck.
Description Distinctive ligature mark around throat of body
Clue White.png Clues Rope pattern

Missing jewelry

Discovered by closely examining both of the victim's hands.
Description Missing jewelry evident from marks on body
Clue White.png Clues Missing jewelry

Small men's footprints

Found by examining the stomp marks on the victim's chest or footprints near the body.
Description Small men's footprints leading to body
Clue White.png Clues Small men's footprints

  • Inspect the purse for victim's name tag and some money.

NOTE: Not inspecting the footprints will eliminate one line of questioning later in the case but will have no impact on obtaining a five star rating.

Once the crime scene is clear, your partner and you return to the car, and your only available destination is the Moller residence.

Moller Residence

When you arrive, walk up to the door and knock. You meet Michelle Moller, the victim's daughter, home alone as her father has gone out looking for her mother. After the cutscene, look in the bedroom for clues.

Stencil Details

Size eight work boots

Found on the floor below the window in the bedroom.
Description Men's work boots, size eight
Clue White.png Clues Size eight work boots

Missing watch and rings

Discovered by examining both jewelry cases on the bedroom dresser.
Description Rose gold wedding band, matching engagement ring, gold Elgin watch
Clue White.png Clues Missing watch and rings (Updated)

Once these have been inspected head back into the living room to sit and chat with the daughter.

Interview Michelle Moller

Inform Michelle her mother is dead and continue on to interrogate her about her father, mother, and their relationship.

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Missing watch and rings Truth Good Cop
Last contact with victim Doubt Bad Cop Clue.png Husband's alibi
Location.png Belmont High School (?)
State of parents' marriage Doubt Bad Cop Clue.png Butterfly brooch

Note: Using Truth instead of Doubt on the second question will still get you the "Husband's alibi" clue, but the question will be marked as incorrect.

"Hey! What gives?"
―Hugo Moller

After you finish questioning her, Hugo storms in and demands to know what is happening. You will then interrogate him.

Interview Hugo Moller

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Footprints at crime scene Lie Accuse Size eight work boots
Missing persons report Doubt Bad Cop
Alibi for Hugo Moller Lie Accuse Husband's Alibi
History of violence Lie Accuse Butterfly Brooch
Movements of Victim Truth Good Cop

As you leave, the woman across the street waves you down. When you meet with her, she tells you that the night before, she heard screams from the house and then the wife left and never returned. She also tells you that the husband had been burning things in the incinerator in his backyard, which sends you into a cutscene where she points to him burning more things in the fire.

You will then need to chase down Mr. Moller and tackle him. Once caught, you return to the backyard. Check the incinerator for a bloody shoe in the fire.

Stencil Details

Bloody shoes

Found being burned by Hugo Moller in his backyard incinerator.
Description Size eight men's shoes, stained with blood
Clue White.png Clues Bloody shoes

Your partner gives Mr. Moller to another police officer. You then need to go to the nearest police vehicle or telephone (there's one in the house or on the street) to acquire the address for Belmont High School. You will also receive a message from the coroner over the police radio to come see him at the Central Morgue.

Central Morgue

"Phelps, Rusty. Thanks for coming."
―Malcolm Carruthers

At the morgue, he has three ropes laid out for you to compare to the strangulation marks. The last rope (the braided one) is the rope you are looking for. Your partner tells you that it is used for mooring boats, and the coroner mentions that Pinker said it is sometimes used in bell towers in churches.

The coroner also informs you that Deidre Moller does not appear to have been sexually assaulted.

Evidence that can be found at the morgue:

  • The shoe print plaster casts next to the rope adds the question about the "size 8 shoes" to the Rooney interrogation.
  • Check out the body to stop the evidence music. Leaving the autopsy room will also stop the music.

Use the coroner's phone to get the address for Belmont High School, if you haven't already. When you check for messages, the operator will inform you that the green 1946 coupe belonging to Deidre Moller was found in the parking lot at Belmont High School. As you drive, you will get a radio message about a lurker at the High School.

In some cases you won't receive this radio message, and will instead get a different cutscene at the high school, where the janitor mentions a man has been hanging around the playground trying to befriend children.

Belmont High School

Make your way to the High School where you begin to speak to the janitor about the car. As you look over, you notice the lurker as he begins to run away. Chase him down until you either tackle him in the middle of his getaway, have a small fist fight with him when he's cornered or move close to Galloway and make him fight him.

NOTE: BUG. If you are not close enough when Rusty comes around the corner you may not be able to attack Eli or defend yourself during the fight scene. If this happens go near Rusty and have him fight Eli.

You are automatically transported back to the high school parking lot where you find the butterfly brooch on him and he gets picked up by LAPD officers and brought to central booking.

"Why bother with the paperwork, Eli? I'm gonna take out my gun and I'm gonna count to five. Let's see how fast you can run now."
―Rusty Galloway

Search the trunk of the car for the following evidence.

Stencil Details


Found in the trunk of Deidre Moller's car.
Description Green work overalls, stained with blood, stenciled with initials 'HM'
Clue White.png Clues Overalls


Found in the trunk of Deidre Moller's car.
Description Length of rope, stained with blood
Clue White.png Clues Rope

Bloody tire iron

Found in the trunk of Deidre Moller's car.
Description Tire iron, stained with blood
Clue White.png Clues Bloody tire iron

Call Central at a gamewell and interrogations will be set up for both suspects.

On the way back to Central to interrogate the two witnesses, your partner suggests that you charge Rooney for the crime even if he didn't do it, because even though Hugo Moller probably murdered his wife in a fit of uncontrolled rage, he's not an "immediate danger" to anyone, whereas the pedophile Eli Rooney has been lurking around Belmont High and poses more of a danger.

Central Police Station

Interview Hugo Moller

Note that you can still get a five star rating if you completely skip interviewing Hugo Moller and go directly to Interview Room 1, to interview Eli Rooney and charge him instead.

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Disposal of evidence Truth Good Cop
Victim's Vehicle recovered Lie Accuse Overalls
Access to braided rope Doubt Bad Cop
Access to Tire Iron Lie Accuse Bloody Tire Iron

As you have only just asked the coroner to type the blood on his shoes, question 'Disposal of evidence' can not yet be confirmed or denied.

Leave the interrogation. Charging him at this point in the case will prevent a five star case rating. Donelly will berate Phelps for his actions and lose faith in him.

Interview Eli Rooney

Question Response Response (Remaster) Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Footprints at crime scene Doubt Bad Cop
Place of employment Doubt Bad Cop
Access to braided rope Truth Good Cop
Motive for Moller murder Doubt Bad Cop

After you finish interrogating him, charge him with first degree murder. Captain Donelly (and the DA) are pleased and Phelps will receive a high case ranking.

In some cases, interviewing both suspects will get you the Moller cutscene/ranking, even if you charge Rooney. If this happens, replay the case and skip Moller's interview. Interview Rooney and charge him right away. 

If you fail both interrogations, Hugo will run out of the station house and flee in a vehicle. You will then have to pursue him. He will eventually have his vehicle disabled when hitting a street trolley. You will charge him, and anger Donelly.

Case Briefing

"The Henry case hasn't even landed on the DA's desk and already we have our next victim. Another white female, beaten and dumped in the grass at the end of Hill Street. Details are scarce until we see the crime scene, but it sounds as though there are superficial similarities to the Dahlia and Henry murders. Captain Donelly will expect speed and discretion."

Case Notes

  • "Eli Rooney can expect a warm welcome from Captain Donelly and the District Attorney."
  • "While Hugo Moller stares down a murder charge, Michelle Moller contemplates life as an orphan."


  • Two rare vehicles, Ray Pinker's Studebaker Commander and a Chrysler Airflow, can be found parked at the crime scene. The Airflow is parked just behind two spectators standing off to the side. A second Airflow is parked at the Moller residence.
  • At Belmont High School, the hidden novel "School for Murder" can be found on the northeast set of bleachers at the school's athletic track.


  • In the crime scene, the man wearing a blue suit, red and white tie, and green pants is Game Informer's journalist Dan Ryckert, who visited the studio for a story during production. He is seen in the thumbnail in the video below.
  • If the player heads straight to Belmont High School after arresting Hugo Moller (instead of going to the coroner's) they will see an alternative cutscene showing Eli Rooney spying on two girls in the parking lot. Phelps and Galloway will spot him, and a chase ensues. After capturing Rooney, a second cutscene will play showing Rusty receiving a call on the car's radio about the victim's automobile being found, and the player will then proceed to interview the janitor and check the trunk of the car. When speaking with the janitor, instead of Phelps asking about who the suspected child molester is, he will comment on having already met Rooney, and ask the janitor if the man is known to have a violent past. Going through this series of events and skipping the trip to the coroner's can still earn the player a five star rating if they successfully conduct the interview with Rooney and charge him with the murder.
  • Regardless of how this case ends, the opening of the next case, specifically the comments made by Captain Donelly about the prior case's outcome, remains the same.
  • The husband of the victim, Hugo Moller, is based on and voice acted by actor Greg Grunberg. Greg Grunberg played Matt Parkman in the TV show Heroes.
  • The green car in the Belmont High School parking lot owned by Deidre Moller is registered under the name of "MRS. HUGO MOLLER". This can be heard when Rusty reports to KGPL after chasing Eli Rooney.
  • At the initial crime scene, finding Deidre Moller's name tag will trigger a cutscene where Phelps asks Patrolman Gonzales to run the name by R&I to find her home address. If the player chooses to follow him, the conversation between Gonzales and the operator can be overheard. In it, R&I tells the officer that there were multiple calls to the LAPD for Domestic Disturbances. Despite the fact that this is key information, it is not relayed by the patrol officer back to Phelps, you must still obtain it later from Moller's daughter, Michelle.
  • At the crime scene, Pinker can be killed without repercussion.
  • If you drive to the school before going to the central morgue, the question "Footprints at crime scene" will go down to the last line in the notebook when Phelps questioned Rooney. In contrast, this question is on the first line of Phelps's notebook.

Video Walkthroughs

LA Noire - Walkthrough - Mission 9 - The Golden Butterfly (5 Star)
LA Noire Remaster - Case 11 - The Golden Butterfly (5 Stars)
L.A. Noire Part 8 The Golden Butterfly
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