"Look at him now, boys. Ain't nothing like a little fear that'll make a paper man crumble."
He is shown to be very psychotic and violent (as shown when he "rewards" his son by giving him his first beer, upon learning he had killed Mike Hanlon's dog). Butch would often beat his son and wife on a daily basis. In 1956, Butch's wife eventually left him, after nearly being beaten to death by him. A few years later, Butch begins dating Rena Davenport.
He was also shown to be very racist towards William Hanlon and his family and would call William a variety of racial slurs. He even went as far as to kill all of William's chickens and to draw a Swastika on his property. Sheriff Sullivan supported Will's perspective, and brought Butch into the police station to suggest that he pay $200 for the worth of the chickens because that way Will wouldn't press charges. Butch laughed and said that "no jury would find him guilty of killing a nigge*'s chickens." Sheriff Sullivan agreed, but pointed out that he would be found guilty of a hate crime because of the Swastika. Butch realized he was right, and sold his prized Mercury to pay Will Hanlon, an action that made him hate the man even more. Butch's war against Will Hanlon only stopped when William pointed a rifle at him and threatened him.
Butch had fought with the US Marines at Tarawa in World War II, though not much is said about how the war drove Butch to become abusive and alcoholic. Henry's friends try to avoid Butch's presence, not only because he would force them to help with Henry's chores but also because of his often-psychotic behavior. When one of Henry's friends dropped a bushel of vegetables he'd picked in one of their fields, Butch began to beat the boy severely, flashing back to and screaming about his combat days when he'd fought the Japanese in the Pacific. Butch also kept a samurai sword that he'd claimed to have seized from a dead Japanese soldier and would often lay it in his lap while sitting on his porch. Henry's friends would often worry that Butch would use it in a violent manner. In truth, Butch had bought the sword from a curio shop in Hawaii before returning to the States.
After a violent rock fight in late July of 1958, Henry's sanity slowly deteriorates, not only from It's influence, but also his father's as well. In late August, Butch was killed by his son, who stabbed him in the throat while he was sleeping with a switchblade provided by It.
Upon returning to home from the sewers, Henry was eventually convicted for Butch's murder (as well as the rest of the killings that occurred throughout the summer) and had been arrested by the cops, who had been waiting for him.
He is not seen in the miniseries, but rather briefly mentioned by Henry when he gets detention for insulting Ben Hanscom in front of the class, claiming that his "old man will tan his hide" for this incident and while harassing Mike mentioning him and his dad hate blacks.
2017 Film Adaptation
In the 2017 film adaptation, Butch is portrayed as an alcoholic cop rather than an insane ex-marine. Although he shows none of his racism or crazed personality from the book, he is still portrayed as abusive towards his son, Henry. In this adaptation, though, his abuse is of a different angle, using his physical abuse to bully Henry into submission and behaving and not being above emasculating him in front of his friends. He and his partner were helping Mrs. Ripsom of searching for Betty Ripsom as she went missing not knowing she was eaten by IT. He is first briefly shown when Henry starts to bully Bill Denbrough and his friends; Eddie Kaspbrak, Richie Tozier and Stan Uris, outside of their school, but stops when he sees Butch standing there, watching him. In a deleted scene, he has beaten up Henry for losing his knife. As he is smoking and drinking beers, he asks Henry where is he going, Henry replied to him "Out with the guys." and asked Henry to buy him another beer before coming back home. His abusive nature is then shown when he catches Henry shooting various objects with his gun out in his front yard. He walks out, stopping him from attempting to shoot a nearby alley cat. He takes the gun from Henry, steps away, and shoots to the ground in front of Henry's feet, causing Henry to jump and flinch. He then mocks Henry in front of his friends, calling him a "paper man." Later that day, after Henry gets his switchblade back from Pennywise, Butch is killed when Henry walks back into the house to find Butch asleep in front of the TV, where Pennywise provokes him to stab Butch in the neck.
In It: Chapter Two, after being washed out of the sewers in a flash flood, Henry returns home to find the police at his house, wheeling out Butch's body on a stretcher. Enraged by Butch's murder and Henry's apparent nerve in returning to the scene of the crime, Butch's police partner violently arrest Henry for Butch's murder. Having gone completely insane, Henry is locked up in an insane asylum for his crime.
- "Why don't you go get me another beer."
- ―Butch to Henry (deleted scene)
- "What the hell is going on here?"
- ―Butch to Henry when using his gun
- "You're cleaning my gun, huh?"
- ―Butch to Henry when using his gun