In 2004, a show unlike any other was broadcast on A&E. Dog The Bounty Hunter followed the life and times of bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman and his family. The show gained instant notoriety, partly due to the unique style of the Chapman clan. With braids, with tattoos, and leather-clad, these folks were not your run-of-the-mill family. Dog, a reformed ex-con himself, found God and decided to give back to the community by helping petty criminals and fugitives turn their stories around.
The show offered an insider’s view of the bounty-hunting business, while also providing a pretty fascinating family dynamic for those of us who love trashy reality TV shows. The Chapman’s sucked us into their strange and wonderful camo-print- and bandanna-filled world and kept us locked there for 8 seasons. In 2012, the show was canceled by the network: Dog’s days had come to an end.
During the 8 seasons, fans were treated to chases, drug busts, motivational speeches in the back of Dog’s van, and plenty of sibling spats. Dog and his gang (which officially included 12 children, although only a handful appeared on the show, and sadly, two have died) became household names during the peak years of broadcasting, with millions of viewers tuning in regularly. The Dog years brought us some majorly entertaining and extraordinary moments. Let’s go on a walk down memory lane, and review 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Dog The Bounty Hunter’s Family
15. The Unique “Dog” Look
Duane Chapman is perhaps best known for his unique personal style. Long and often-braided blonde hair, necklaces, arm bands, and leather pants are just some of his signature pieces. Interestingly enough, Chapman has no Native American blood. His personal style, which includes quite an homage to Native style (the beads, braids, etc.) comes from his great aunt Ludmilla. Ludmilla arrived in America from Kiev, Poland in 1919 and sold Native hand-rolled cigarettes to make a living. While she was doing this, she would dress up in Native American clothing, and people just assumed she had Seminole or Cherokee blood. She kept this misconception going for years, and her young nieces and nephews inherited some of her fascination with Native accessorizing.
14. Leland Didn’t Know Dog Was His Dad
Leland is Dog’s second-born child; however, he didn’t have a relationship with him until he was eight years old. When Leland was just 7 months old, Dog was incarcerated, and shortly after, he and his first wife, Leland’s mother, La Fonda Sue Darnall, divorced. Leland was raised by his mother and stepfather and believed that his step-dad was his biological father for most of his childhood. A bit of a wild child, Leland got into trouble at a young age. His mother ended up placing him in foster care, but he would run away at age 13. When he was apprehended by authorities, he was given the choice to return to foster care, or go and live with his biological father. The choice was made to try it out with Dog, and a late but strong bond was formed between father and son.
13. Baby Lyssa Was Divorced By Age 24
Multiple relationships and divorces seem to be a family theme in the Chapman lineage. Lyssa is Dog Chapman’s ninth child, who was born to his third wife, Lyssa Rae Greene. Lyssa had her first child at the tender age of fifteen, and the child’s father was later arrested and incarcerated for sexually abusing a minor. He was 24 at the time that Lyssa got pregnant. In 2009, she married Brahman “Bo” Galanti, who was 14 years older than she was. They had one child together but split less than three years after they tied the knot. Lyssa has had her share of negative publicity stemming from aggression toward police officers, drinking and driving allegations, and criminal property damage. She’s estranged from her father and Beth and has published a memoir about her troubled childhood.
12. Beth Is Dog’s Fifth Wife
On the television show, Beth is Dog’s only love interest, but the truth is, he was married (and divorced!) four times before he settled into life with her. In 2006, the couple was married, four years after Dog’s previous divorce was finalized. Oddly enough, the pair knew each other long before they were married. They had a tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship that spanned a couple of decades and several marriages (to other people)! Despite having a total of fourteen children in their brood, only two of them, Bonnie and Gary, are the product of their union. Talk about not easy to track who’s who! Beth also has a son and daughter from previous relationships, including a marriage to Dog’s high school best friend. I need a map!
11. Duane Lee Jr. Also Had A Falling Out With Dog
One thing that Dog and Beth have no shortage of? Angry, estranged children. Dog’s eldest son, and longtime partner in crime at the Da’kine Bail Bonds, Duane Lee Jr, has allegedly not spoken to Beth and Dog since 2012. When filming of Dog The Bounty Hunter was wrapping up, Duane and Beth got into a big argument regarding his salary. He demanded an increase in pay, and Beth claimed that it wasn’t possible to pay him more and keep their business afloat. A huge family fight ensued, and Dog took Beth’s side, alienating son Duane Lee Jr. Tensions were apparently already high due to the fact that Dog and Beth were scheduled to start the filming of their new show, Dog & Beth: On The Hunt, and Duane wasn’t asked to join the cast. Little brother Leland was, which caused even more familial chaos.
10. Cecily Is The Youngest Bail Agent at Da’Kine
Born in 1993, Cecily Chapman is the third-youngest child in the Chapman brood. She’s the step-daughter (now adopted daughter) of Dog, born to Beth from her previous marriage (to Dog’s best friend!) At only 24 years old, she already has a Certified Bail Agent (CBA) recognition, and she’s been working with her parents at Da’Kine Bail Bonds for several years. During the Dog: The Bounty Hunter years, a young Cecily was often spotted in the office, playing and watching the going-ons. She was essentially born into the family business. She was a regular cast member on the A&E spinoff, Dog & Beth: On The Run, which was ultimately canceled in 2016 after airing for 3 seasons. Cecily is quite the social-media starlet; she has 50,000 followers on her Instagram account.
9. Who Is Dakota Chapman?
This family tree just keeps growing and growing! Dakota Chapman is Leland Chapman’s son and Dog’s grandson. He’s the eldest child of Leland and his first wife, Maui. The pair divorced in 2005 after 10 years together. Leland would move on to remarry, in 2016, his second wife, Jamie. Born in 1995, Dakota is only 22 years old. Like almost all other members of the Chapman clan, he also got his certification to become a bailsman and was a regular cast member on the A&E show Dog & Beth: On The Run. He was “removed” from the show after season 2. Internet speculations point to a family disapproval of Dakota’s then-girlfriend, Arvie, who was two years younger than him. Apparently, the age difference caused a major point of contention among the elder dogs.
8. Leland Has A Dramatic Love Life
Leland’s current wife, Jamie Pilar Chapman (née Worley) is a tattoo model, makeup artist, and war widow. The pair has been married since 2016, but rumors have been widely circulated that he still carries a torch for ex Lynette, with whom he has a five-year-old daughter, Leiah. Since getting together with Jamie, the pair has had some pretty heated (and social-media publicized) fights. Regularly deleting and re-following each other on Instagram and Facebook indicates that the duo has some way to go in terms of relationship security. Jamie has often been referred to as a “doormat” on social media and Dog blogs, with many speculations that Leland is unfaithful to his wife and not really all that into her. Talk about dramatics!
7. Dog Was Incarcerated For A Murder He Didn’t Commit
Duane “Dog” Chapman’s story starts with a bang. In 1976, a botched drug purchase resulted in a murder. Dog, who was in his friend’s car while the altercation went down, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to five years in prison. Though he wasn’t guilty of the crime, the conviction would follow him for the rest of his life. He’s still not allowed to own a firearm and is banned from traveling to some international countries, namely the U.K. Although he was sentenced to five years behind bars in a Texas penitentiary, he was released after 18 months served. During his time locked up, his first wife, LaFonda, divorced him and got together with his best friend (do we see a pattern here??)
6. Beth Underwent Quite The Transformation
Beth Chapman has undergone a major physical transformation. There have been speculations that she underwent gastric bypass surgery and also that she’s had several cosmetic procedures done. The result is a completely different-looking Beth! Now that the famed pair is retired from television, they’re working as lobbyists for the bail bonds industry — that, and enjoying the fruits of their labor aboard yachts and on sandy beaches around the world. Beth is quite active on social media and posts regular photos of their lavish lifestyle — and more than a few bikini photos, too! While Beth is looking great, Dog seems like he could use a bit of a refresher. Maybe a haircut?
5. What Happened to Tim “YoungBlood” Chapman?
Remember Tim “Youngblood” Chapman? Although he wasn’t a blood relative of Dog’s (just a coincidence that he’s also a Chapman!), he became like a brother to Duane. A key character in Dog The Bounty Hunter, Youngblood was part of the team for most of the years of filming, taking a short hiatus after Season 5 to take care of his children and repair family “damage” that came about after one of his arrests. He’s been no stranger to legal trouble. His first arrest was during the famed Andrew Luster chase in Mexico, although charges against Tim, Leland, and Dog were later dropped. In 2008, he was arrested for uttering terroristic threats and then again for indecent exposure. Yikes. He was acquitted of all his charges in 2009 and has stayed out of the limelight ever since.
4. Dog Has His Share Of Enemies
With his pit bull-esque personality, it’s no surprise that Dog has amassed some enemies over the years. His “tell it like it is” attitude is not appreciated by all. In fact, in 2012, he and his family were the subjects of hate mail and death threats that were ultimately investigated by the FBI. The threatening emails were partially released to the media and included very savage language that targeted Dog, Beth, and their children. Although it was a big news story back in May 2012, the follow-up was not made very public, but clearly, the family recovered from the shock of the threats, and they seem to be doing well five years on. Fans speculate that the threats came from an ex-convict whom Duane had met in prison. Perhaps, jealousy or spite led to the nasty threats.
3. Dog’s Daughter Died The Day Before His Wedding To Beth
In a very sad twist of fate, Duane’s 23-year-old daughter, Barbara Katy, lost her life in a car crash in Fairbanks, Alaska the day before Dog and Beth were married. Due to the already-planned wedding, which took place in their home state of Hawaii, the couple decided to continue with the ceremony despite the sad news. Many of the wedding guests didn’t know about the tragedy until they arrived to celebrate the nuptials. Dog made a speech to break the terrible news and pay tribute to his daughter. Barbara was the full sister to “Baby Lyssa” and had some troubles with alcohol and drugs leading up to her untimely death. She allegedly was trying to get her life back together, but sadly, it was a little too late. She and a friend were both killed in the crash, which occurred in a stolen SUV.
2. Dog and Beth Were Awarded Temporary Custody of Their Grandson
When Dog’s daughter Barbara passed away tragically, she left behind an infant son. The little boy was in the custody of his father, Travis Mimms, when an unsettling tape recording surfaced. The tape recording allegedly proved that the grandson was being physically and emotionally abused by his father. When the recording was brought to the courts, Dog and Beth gained temporary custody. Dog claimed that he didn’t want to take the boy away from his father permanently but that he wanted Mimms to seek help for anger-related issues. The case escalated when Mimms regained custody and took out a restraining order on the Chapmans, completely limiting their access to their grandson. All of this drama transpired in 2011.
1. Fans Believe Lynette Is Leland’s True Love
Although he’s been married to wife Jamie since 2015, diehard fans believe that he never truly got over his ex, Lynette Li. Lynette and Leland were engaged right before he met and hooked up with Jamie. According to some reports, he cheated on Lynette, and she refused to take him back, although he tried desperately to make amends. This is why many people believe that his marriage to Jamie was just done out of convenience or, perhaps, persuasion. His marriage has proven tumultuous, with public fights, Facebook and Instagram arguments, and allegations of infidelity running rampant. Some claim that he’s secretly still meeting Lynette on the side. She is, after all, the mother of his five-year-old daughter. He and Jamie have no children together so far, but he’s a Chapman, so it wouldn’t be surprising if more were on the way.
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