|Plot details follow, read at your own risk.|
- "I keep myself to myself."
- ―Herbert Chapman
Herbert Chapman is a character in L.A. Noire. He is a person of interest in "The Gas Man" case and later a suspect in "A Walk in Elysian Fields", acting as a secondary antagonist for the early Arson cases.
- "The guy's a freak. He loves fires. He's the kind of guy that we'd like for a lot of things, but we don't really have any credible evidence to pursue him with."
- ―Herschel Biggs
Chapman was a known pyromaniac who notoriously interfered in the affairs of the Arson Squad of the LAPD and Los Angeles Fire Department. Although never having actually caused any fires, Chapman monitored fire radio chatter and observed scenes of fire incidents. His presence was a constant nuisance and hindrance to the efforts of Albert Lynch, Herschel Biggs, and Lachlan McKelty. Chapman was given warnings and on some occasions arrested for misdemeanors, but the LAPD could never charge him, nor find any strong evidence linking him back to the arsons committed. According to McKelty, the Arson Squad of the Police Department had been trying to nail Chapman for years.
Events of L.A. Noire
- "Phelps, the guy across the street... I've seen him before. He likes fires."
- ―Albert Lynch
After hearing about the Sawyer house fire, Chapman arrived at the scene, but was recognized by Lynch and Biggs. Chapman instantly became a suspect, and was apprehended by Detective Cole Phelps. He was arrested under suspicion of causing the fire, but was released, as there was no evidence linking him to the fire. Chapman worked as a waybill for Elysian Fields Development, handing out promotional flyers to holdouts. Leland Monroe framed Chapman as a scapegoat for the Morelli house fire.
- "(Herschel Biggs: Hold it, Phelps. There he is. He's coming out of the laundromat. Aw, shit, he sees us!) Chapman: Cops. Again!"
- ―Chapman recognizing Phelps and Biggs arresting him previously
Cole Phelps and Herschel Biggs went to his house to arrest him. In the trunk of his van, they discovered a box of .45 ACP rounds, promotional flyers and a box of mosquito coils. The detectives then spotted him across the street outside a laundromat. Chapman drew a gun and attempted to escape by hijacking a tram, but he was eventually stopped when Phelps and Biggs derailed the trolley. Chapman was ultimately killed in a shootout with Phelps and Biggs. Phelps said he couldn't imagine Chapman and Leland Monroe working together. Biggs agreed, but said that the evidence was good for Chapman, especially due to his firearm.
- "Nice work, gentlemen. You put yourself at considerable risk stopping that trolley and probably saved a lot of lives. Anyone else but you, Phelps, and you'd be up for a bravery award. We've had our eyes on that slippery son of a bitch Chapman for as long as I can remember. I couldn't be happier than to wipe him off the scoreboard."
- ―Captain McKelty to Phelps and Biggs
Captain Lachlan McKelty applauded both Phelps and Biggs for stopping the trolley and killing Chapman, and possibly saving a lot of lives. He then told them that the Arson Squad of the Police Department had their eyes on Chapman for as long as he could remember and was glad that Chapman's crime scene interference spree was finally over for good.