What Happened to Dog the Bounty Hunter – 2018 Updates

Duane Chapman, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, recently made headlines for his involvement lobbying against reforming the cash bail system in Idaho. The bail agent has been the face of bail enforcement infrastructure in the United States. However, his show with his wife ended this past winter. With his recent involvement in politics in mind, what’s next for Chapman?

Duane Chapman’s Criminal Past

Duane Chapman had a convoluted route to becoming a bail agent. Born in Denver, Colorado on February 2, 1953, Chapman was the oldest of four children, born to a mother who was a Christian minister. Not much is known about Chapman’s early life, but in 1976, he was convicted by the State of Texas of first-degree murder, and sentenced to five years in a state prison. According to case reports, Chapman claimed to have been sitting in his car when his friend shot and killed an alleged pimp while discussing buying cannabis.

Chapman's arrest photo from the 70s, leaving us to wonder how long he's had that hair style
Chapman’s arrest photo from the 70s, leaving us to wonder how long he’s had that hairstyle

While Chapman was serving his sentence, his first wife LaFonda filed for divorce and married his best friend. Chapman did field work for the prison, in addition to serving as the warden’s barber. When an inmate was attempting to escape, Chapman tackled him, which prevented the escapee from being shot at by guards. This, in addition to Chapman’s overall good behavior, led to him being paroled after only 18 months. Inspired by his tackle, Chapman decided to pursue becoming a bounty hunter once released.

Over the next few decades, Duane Chapman slowly built a reputation as a skilled bounty hunter, working in Colorado. He rekindled a relationship with his two sons from his marriage to LaFonda, eventually getting the elder, Leland, to work with him as a bail agent. Chapman married twice more, once in 1979 leading to three children, and again in 1992, leading to another three children.


Chapman met Alice Beth Barmore in 1986 when she was 19. Their relationship was tumultuous for a long while. Both of them married and divorced, other people. In 1995, they finally entered a long-term monogamous relationship, eventually leading to marriage. Beth ran a bail bonds office, so when their relationship became serious, they combined their businesses. Between them, they have an extensive family. Leland, Duane Lee II, and Lyssa all joined the family business when they were old enough.

Dog the Bounty Hunter

On June 18, 2003, Duane “Dog” Chapman became an overnight celebrity when he captured Andrew Luster. Luster was convicted on 86 charges of assault and rape. His crimes were so great that he was tried and convicted in absentia, without even being present for the trial. Chapman caught up with the fugitive in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He was working with what he called his “hunt team”: son Leland Chapman, and long-time colleague and friend Tim Chapman, who isn’t related to the rest of the Chapmans.

While returning to California from Mexico, to turn Luster over to federal marshals, Chapman, his hunt team, and Luster were all arrested by Mexican law enforcement and placed into custody. Once they confirmed Luster’s authority, they delivered him themselves to California, to face his 125-year sentence. However, bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico, so the three American bounty hunters were all charged with “deprivation of liberty,” essentially kidnapping Luster.

Initially, the team members were denied bail, but Beth brought media attention to the story, and the Mexican authorities set a bail, which was then paid. Under the advisement of their attorney, the team fled from Mexico. This made them international fugitives, bringing even more public attention toward Chapman and his business.dob-bounty-hunter-updates

In the wake of Luster’s arrest, A&E debuted a new series, Take This Job. The pilot episode, highly rated in part due to news about Luster, followed Duane Chapman and his wife across multiple “hunts” and arrests, including him wrestling with a 350-pound cocaine dealer. The episode was massively successful and led to A&E working with the Chapmans for a full show.

Dog the Bounty Hunter, which premiered on August 31, 2004, was everything a good reality show could want to be. Episodes usually focused on Dog and his hunt team chasing their fugitive and a tense arrest. Then, the last ten minutes focused on Dog giving an inspirational monologue to the person he’s arrested, what he called “collars.” Finally, the episode would close with Dog being with his family.

The show ran for eight seasons, though like most reality shows, it faced its share of controversy. Days before the statute of limitations on their kidnapping charges would expire, Duane Chapman, his son Leland and colleague Tim Chapman were arrested in Honolulu by US Marshals, on behalf of the Mexican government. The morning after their arrest, Chapman made an appearance in a media-packed courtroom to receive his bail sentence. The three were given ankle monitors and paid a collective $500,000 bail.

Chapman’s lawyers worked through the rest of 2006 to fight extradition. An open letter sent by 29 Congressmen to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice requested she deny his extradition. Mexican courts continued to argue for their right to try the three men, and public attention in the US delayed any action. The Hawai’ian State Representatives even passed a resolution requesting the Mexican President drop the extradition charges. In August 2007, the charges were finally dropped by the Mexican court system, as the statute of limitations had expired. That November, the US judicial system canceled the extradition request.

Another controversy hit Duane half-way through season 4 after an audiotape was released where Duane Chapman repeatedly used a racial slur while on the phone with his son Tucker. Tucker sold the tape, and the controversy led to Duane Chapman going on CNN’s Larry King Live to make an apology. Roy Innis, the chairperson on the Congress of Racial Equality, was one of the first people to contact A&E about the tape, requesting the show be canceled. However, Innis met with Duane, and after multiple extended conversations, publicly stated that he wanted the show back on the air.

Duane, himself, has done beyond his burden to make amends for the incident. He brought it up in interviews, without prompting, more than a year after the fact, to say that he should not be allowed to forget about the issue. Dog the Bounty Hunter continued to be popular after the hiatus, and when Chapman released his autobiography, You Can Run but You Can’t Hide, it was ranked #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Season 6 of the show brought on a fresh controversy, where Chapman alleged he had been shot at with a handgun while attempting to arrest Hoang Nguyen in Colorado Springs. Nguyen was eventually captured several hours after the incident, and charged with attempted murder for it. However, the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence and conflicting statements coming from Duane and the rest of his team. Later, Nguyen would file a suit of his own against Chapman and his hunt team for damaging his reputation and shooting him with pepper-spray pellets. Records for the case are closed but haven’t been updated since November 2011.

Dog and Beth: On the Hunt

By the eighth season of the show, tensions which had been building for years finally became too much for some of Chapman’s team. Leeland and Duane Lee Chapman both quit the show suddenly, severing ties in an episode which aired in early 2012. The show was also facing a suit from fellow bounty hunter Bobby Brown, who felt he had not been paid what he was due or that A&E had lived up to their contract.

As Dog the Bounty Hunter was ending, the Country Music Television (CMT) channel announced they were going to debut Dog and Beth: On the Hunt. The show wouldn’t have many of the family members that had worked with the couple on Dog the Bounty Hunter, and also had a slightly different format. Dog, Beth, their son Leland and his son Dakota would fly from their headquarters in Hawai’i to bail agent offices across America. There, they’d help train the bail agents, and teach the offices how to modernize their procedure.

In the finale of Season 3, which aired August 22, 2015, Dakota had a falling out with his father Leland, who subsequently moved to Alabama. This led to Duane and Beth leaving CMT, taking with them the production rights of Dog and Beth: On the Hunt. This had the effect of canceling the show, though CMT may not have agreed with the decision.

What is Dog the Bounty Hunting Doing Now in 2018?

Duane Chapman and his wife Beth have been making headlines for their involvement lobbying against bail agent reform. Beth Chapman was elected to serve as the president of National Bail Bonds Association. Also as of 2017 they have a new show called Dog and Beth On the Hunt which you can view on CMT on Saturdays at 9 EST.

dog-bounty-hunter-nowFrom there, the Chapmans worked to help end proposed legislation in Idaho. The bill would have prevented bail agents from wearing badges, and from keeping any bounty hunter without an Idaho-issued concealed carry permit from bounty hunting in the state. Duane Chapman, unable to own a firearm because of his felony conviction, objected most strongly to those facets of the legislation. In part, his appeal was that the law would encourage bail agents to rely more heavily on firearms, which he views as unnecessary.

It looks like Dog the Bounty Hunter, as a reality TV star, may be finished. But with his wife now the president of the National Bail Bonds Association, it doesn’t seem like Duane Chapman will be pulling back from the spotlight in 2017. It’s likely he will continue to act as a lobbyist for the bail industry, and perhaps later will do more to address felony gun ownership. As new developments take place in “Dog’s” life throughout 2017 we’ll update this article so check back throughout the year and see what Duane is up too.

 


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Morgan Sennhauser
Morgan Sennhauser is a thoroughbred millennial, who has focused on working against censorship and surveillance in Africa and the Middle East. Now living in North Carolina, Morgan spends his time advocating for minority groups in impoverished regions, and writing about related topics.

48 COMMENTS

  1. Well, first dog said when he was going through some of his own court cases after getting out of prison, he said that a judge asked him to go find bail fugitives. Now he is saying right after getting out of prison he started bounty hunting?

    Then Beth said that they were “suspending” the new tv show on CMT so that she could run for president of the PBUS. So which is it?

    Finally, I think everyone would like to know what he think he can do to “address felony gun ownership.” As a felon himself, he can’t legally have access to any firearm. But what exactly can he do to get guns out of the hands of other felons?

    • Plenty and Dog works with a crew who are all allowed to carry Firearms. Beth was elected President of PBUS and is successfully fighting bad legislation in multiple states including Idaho and Hawaii. Google does wonders

      • Plenty? Please name some suggestions that he has made..
        It’s funny, dog usually tells everyone that if you need a gun to capture the skip, then you should call a cop. But you are saying that he has a “crew” that carries firearms.
        So which is it? Do as I say or do as I do?

        • lol ikr. its because of them that more states are placing stricter regulations on bounty hunting, so far about 8 its illegal with more coming apparently. I’ve had bounty hunters at my door looking for fugitives that didn’t live here anymore and I can assure you dog and company are very over dramatized.

  2. I believe just because you went to prison and received a felony “YOU CAN’T OWN A GUN” This is bull!!! It should depend on the seriousness of the charge. If you went to jail for murder or robbing a bank, rapist, pedifile, etc “NO” if that gun was in your hand and you threaten or pulled the trigger or you threaten to harm a life than “NO” you shouldn’t be allowed a gun but if you went to prison on a boggiest charge such as marijuana… “YES” you should have your gun ownership reinstated. So many people went to prison on a simple marijuana charges and are now being release but the charges are still standing firm which is not allowing people their rights back and there are others charges that don’t constitute losing their rights to carry or have their guns. Laws need to change to where they need to recognize the crime that was committed and only that should be what determines the right to bare arms again…

  3. Hell I know many cops that shouldn’t bare arms for they are more dangerous than some felons..

    • Damn right! I know a stuff ton of corrupt police officers that greatly abuse their power to carry a badge and a weapon! But when you’re poor or you’ve been in any type of trouble with the law, your credibility, well I should just say “what credibility, right?”

  4. i wish dog and beth would go back and see where people the help i love to see if they stayed on the good side of the law our went back to his there old wayes

      • ROTFLMAO, I read that post and I was like, wtf is that guy trying to say, and next thing up is your comment, whoo hah, sometimes ya gotta just say it how it is sista, jesus, still laffin.

      • LGBT? I expect more from someone in our community. How mean of you to put someone down for spelling mistakes. Why don’t you look below. It’s far worse that a girl can’t spell the name of Duane’s son, when its right above, in the article over and over again. That’s just lazy, and, dumb. Spelling his name as…LeeLand. LoL

    • I was thinking the same thing. Also thought it would be awesome to see Leeland start his own reality show on his bounty hunting, he is so good-looking!!! AND he does great work.

      • Without Leeland, Mr Chapman wouldn’t be able to catch a one legged dog. And Beyond that, Felons SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO Bounty hunt. -=period=-

        His actions in Mexico proved he is a law breaker, and law breaker felons should not have the ability to break into someone’s home without a warrant like the police must have. I have a big problem with murderous racist felons being allowed to have bounty hunter credentials.

        • More and more states are passing more rigorous reforms on bounty hunting, its been illegal in about 8 states with more apparently to follow.

        • Sam green… It was a bogus charge in Mexico he was just doing his job he was arrested for no good reason — he captured a guy that had done over 100 rapes maybe he should a left a guy like that to visit your relatives… you obviously don’t know what the hell you’re talking about

    • Rather than talk stuff abt your english…I’d like to help ya quickly. When *there* means ownership, as in *their* business. You spell it with an “e” and “i.” *There* means-its over *there* on the table. Also, do not use the letter “e” in “ways.” It is spelt-WAY OR WAYS. But there is no letter “E” in the word way. Even if you add “s.” I hope tht helps a little bit.

      • Thank you!! I see this stuff every single day on the internet. I am enrolled in college and you would be shocked by how many students I see misspelling words they should have been spelling correctly since elementary school. I have always wanted to be a freelance writer and my low self-confidence level held me back. That is, until I started seeing the same mistakes appearing in articles that were written for websites such as “Forbes” and “The New York Times”, suddenly, my chances of getting an article submitted seem so much better and it’s thanks to writers like this! I appreciate that someone other than myself feels compelled to correct these people, I thought I was only being a snobby fool, but you have proven me wrong, my friend:)

      • Spelled not Spelt,unless you’re you’re making Spelt Bread lol,sorry for the correction,but I cannot stand the way things are these days!! Nobody wants to spell out the words just abbreviate them.

  5. Any one with half a brain knows the show is a bunch off BS like most TV reality shows. Real professional bounty hunters for one are not convicted felons and real bounty hunters do not run around dressed like the circus is in town and they keep a very low profile and work closely with police witch makes there job a bit easier? And they do not have TV shows???Wouldn’t waste a minute watching that BS..

    • Where did you find that information, what does having felonies in your past have to do with your ability to be a bounty hunter? Seems to me it might give a person a little more insight into the mentality of the element their pursuing. Granted, he is a little larger than life, and so are Beth’s boobs btw, but it’s all part of the personae. He catches criminals and he has his own show and he pretty much single handidly promoted bounty hunting to a whole new level. Seems like he’s doing something right so I think he’s earned the right to dress in whatever means floats his boat.

      • Well stated! Brian’s comments are about his feelings, not facts. He’s clearly biased and so close minded that he can’t possibly imagine an ex-felon being on the right side of the law legally, AND making a career of it. Sorry Brian, but “Dog” Chapman is a REAL BOUNTY HUNTER!

    • Ive had bounty hunters at my door looking for people that no longer lived here. I can assure you Dog and crew are very over dramatized. They got sued by a man here in Colorado Springs they had captured. The guy got injured, the DA said their case was a mess, There were too many inconsistancies in Dogs story plus they couldn’t hand them the footage they claim they had so charges against the man they caught were dropped. There’s about 8 states where bounty hunting is illegal. More and more states are places tougher regulations on bounty hunters and more states doing away with them all together.

  6. Dog still smokin the crack. lol did you catch the measurements beth posted on wiki, she thinks her waste is 28 and her hips 32 when in reality she looks like a stuffed pig, still. oink oink oink.
    Dogs sons quit him, baby lissa back in trouble being a drunk again and Beth needing this job to put groceries on the table since dog smoked the other money from a and e up. What a losing duo dug and beth are.

    • I will put you on our prayer list. I feel your pain and whatever is happening, or has happened in your life to cause this much hatred (pain), it does get better; but only if YOU want it to. God Bless you.

      • Last Saturday night dog was wandering around in a crack stupor. Cops were fans so he got a ride home. Beth stayed in the bar and let dog asunder loose. The family are all missed at miss piggy.

  7. Before his murder conviction Dog was arrested 18 times for burglary, 18 times. What a low life scum for sure. He’s a caught on tape by his son racist who then acts like he’s reformed and god fearing. Off camera it’s drug time and a big time cussin racist. Scum and family.

    • People can change. It’s rare, but I believe he is not how he was when he was into drugs and other sundries.

    • Thank G-D there is forgiveness or we would all be on our way to hell. And when G-D forgives HE NEVER reminds us of our past ever again, only the devil does that! So, who u workin’ for?

  8. I love the show, especially as they pray and ask God for protection. Dog had a Damascus moment in Jail and saw Jesus! I love how God turns bad situations into something wonderful

  9. WOW just WOW. what a bunch of hateful people on here. They should put themselves and life stories on tv so the rest of us can judge them for mistakes made in the past and what kind of BS they do to get through life. Lordamercy! Why so much hate in this world and the USA these days????

  10. Quite a few years ago my son and I started watching Dog the Bounty Hunter on Netflix or Amazon Prime (Can’t Remember exactly) but we watched every episode from beginning of the series to the end. It was such a great show because it could make you nervous, laugh, see how an everyday dis functional family works (makes your own not feel like the worst, lol). But most of all I loved the lessens Dog would give to the bond jumpers and to his own kids. I hope he keeps a book of his words of wisdom if not for the world at the very least for his kids. I truly hope he and all of his kids can work through their differences and get back on TV to really help the bail bondsman and the fugitives, especially those who are addicts! God bless all the Chapmans!! xoxoxo

  11. They wanted to be in charge of there adult (men) and women children they wanted to have a life ,but they didn’t want there kids to have a life…not the whole family is split up,what a shame….Sorry for the family ,I hope your all doing well in your life..God Bless..

  12. I am so pleased to hear that Beth’s throat cancer/tumor didn’t spread… More well wishes on her health improvement from our family… I will miss watching ya’ll on TV, but health and family are so much more important <3

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