"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, trying to get pictures and quotes. The captain tells them that he will address the media after the autopsy.

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
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Victim's golden butterfly brooch.

After the cut-scene, 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. There are clues around the body. Talk to the coroner, then inspect the body to find:

  • Strangulation marks made by a specific rope on her neck.
  • Marks on Chest indicates stomping.
  • Look at left hand for missing ring.
  • Look at right hand for missing watch.
  • Inspect the purse for victim's name tag and some money.
  • Look at the footprints on the ground on the other side of the tree.
    • 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. Note: Ray Pinker can be found near the crime scene Police Studebaker Commander. If you can't tell the difference between him and Donnelly, look at his tie color. It is the same suit but Donnelly wears a green tie and Ray a red tie. However, there is no clear interaction with him except him saying: "I won't be able to help you with this".

Just before returning to your car, there should be a Chrysler Airflow parked just behind two spectators, standing off to the side.

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 the mother. After the cutscene, look in the bedroom for:

  • Under the window is a pair of size 8 shoes. There are 2 of them. Pick up any one of them.
  • On the dresser is an Elgin watch case.
  • Also on the dresser is a ring case.

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

Note: Using Truth instead of Doubt 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 Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Footprints at crime scene Lie Size eight work boots
Alibi for Hugo Moller Lie Husband's Alibi
Missing persons report Doubt
Movements of Victim Truth
History of violence Lie Butterfly Brooch

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 cut scene where she points to him burning more things in the fire.

  • After speaking with the woman, cross the street and enter Hugo Moller's Chrysler Airflow parked there. Doing so will unlock it so you can progress towards the Auto Fanatic Achievement. Exit the car and continue to proceed towards Mr. Moller.

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. Your partner gives Mr. Moller to another police officer, you then need to go to the nearest police telephone, there's one in the house or on the street, to acquire the address for Belmont High School.

You will receive a message from the coroner over the police radio to come see him.

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 says 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.

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 fightscene. 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 and brought to central booking.

"Why bother with 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:

  • A bloody rope (same as markings on neck).
  • A bloody green jumpsuit with the initials H.M. in white stencil print on it.
  • And a bloody tire iron from a Chrysler.

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 (Interrogation Room 2)
Question Response Evidence Clue/Location/P.O.I/Lead/Objective
Disposal of evidence Truth
Access to braided rope Doubt
Access to Tire Iron Lie Bloody Tire Iron
Victim's Vehicle recovered Lie Overalls

NOTE: 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 at this point (Charging him at this point in the case will prevent a five star case rating).

Interview Eli Rooney (Interrogation Room 1)

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

After you finish interrogating him, Charge him with first degree murder.

When Cole charges Eli Rooney, Captain Donnelly (and the DA) are pleased and Phelps will receive a high case ranking (5 stars).

Don't charge Hugo Moller: If Cole charges Hugo Moller, Donnelly will berate him for his actions and lose faith in Phelps, resulting in a low case ranking (3 stars).

Note: 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. Or make sure Cole is sitting down and the option to charge or leave interrogation with Rooney is on the screen. Then select to charge Rooney to get right cut scene. 

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 Donnelly.

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."


  • 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 recieving 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 Donnely 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 the 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 repurcussion.
  • During the interview with Michelle Moller if you pick truth the game at first will play as if you choose the wrong one but the game play as if you choose Doubt but despite that the marks it as wrong.

Video Walkthrough

LA Noire - Walkthrough - Mission 9 - The Golden Butterfly (5 Star)38:50

LA Noire - Walkthrough - Mission 9 - The Golden Butterfly (5 Star)

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