Dog the Bounty Hunter: How Did He Get Famous?

by Samantha Whidden

He’s been on the hunt for Gabby Petito’s fiance, Brian Laundrie, for several weeks now, but observers in the case are wondering one thing – how did Dog the Bounty Hunter get famous in the first place?

According to The Sun, Dog the Bounty Hunter (real name Duane Chapman) hit the spotlight in 2003, when he captured Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Mexico. The media outlet noted that Factor had fled the U.S. while in the midst of his trial. He was charged for drugging and raping several women. Meanwhile, Luster was convicted in absentia on 86 counts. This includes multiple rape charges connected to assaults in 1996, 1997, and 2000. 

Dog the Bounty Hunter captured Luster in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with his hunt team. The team consisted of his son Leland and associate Tim. A year after Luster’s capture, A&E announced Chapman’s hit bounty hunter series.

After the show ended in 2014, Dog the Bounty Hunter appeared on the series Dog and Beth: On the Hunt with his former wife and business partner, Beth Chapman, on CMT. He also had a series Dog’s Most Wanted, which premiered on WGN America in late 2019. 

Dog the Bounty Hunter Actually Went to Prison in the 1970s

According to the New York Post, Dog the Bounty Hunter and three accomplices broke into the home of alleged drug dealer Jerry Oliver. One of the accomplices, Donald Kuykendall, shot and killed Oliver while they had a struggle. 

Dog the Bounty Hunter was originally sentenced to prison for five years. But he only served two years at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Although Oliver’s family remained quiet over the years, they allegedly spoke out in 2018. An anonymous man who claimed to be Oliver’s uncle stated in an online post, “This crime left my family very devastated. And his daughters never recovered from his death.”

The anonymous person went on to add, “The ‘DOG’ might be making money just from always mention[ing] how he got started catching criminals. [But] my grandmother lost a Son. My mother lost a Brother, and I lost [an] Uncle who cared very much about his girls [and] sons. Just know GOD knows DOG is still part of a murder plot.”

Former FBI Special Agent Says Dog the Bounty Hunter Could Actually Sabotage the Search For Brian Laundrie

During a recent interview with the New York Post, former FBI special agent, Matthew Young, stated that Dog the Bounty Hunter could actually sabotage what law enforcement is doing. “Often, it’s not helpful to help law enforcement techniques and operations. 

Former Texas bounty hunter, Rick Kincaid, also told the media outlet that he doubts that Dog the Bounty Hunter has 100 leads. He then said in his own 11-year career, he has caught 300-400 suspects. The fellow bounty hunter noted that Chapman would actually have capture one person per day for more than 27 years to reach his alleged 10,000 total.