In 1981, L'Heurueux formed Culprit along with guitarists Kjartan Kristoffersen and John DeVol, bassist Scott Earl, and drummer Bud Burrill. Their song "Players" was included on Shapnel Records' 1982 compilation albumU.S. Metal Vol. II, and a year later their debut album, Guilty As Charged, was released. Culprit continued touring and working on some new tunes for potential release over a two-year period during which L'Heureux would work on a part-time basis with guitarists Owen Wright and Michael Winston, bassist Tim Wolfe, and drummer Chris Gohde in the band Mistrust. When things fell apart with Culprit and the band broke up, he became a permanent member of Mistrust, whose debut song "Running for My Life" was included on Restless Records' compilation album Pacific Metal Project. A year later, they released their debut album Spin the World through C.O.M.A. Records and began touring with artists such as Alice Cooper, Stryper, and Loudness. Mistrust continued performing shows and writing music over a two-year period before calling it quits in 1988.