Reality TV is garbage programming that is geared towards the lowest common denominator, and we can't get enough of it. It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from, most people have found a reality show that they binge-watch for days on end, leading us all to question why we are doing so. The shows are incredibly ridiculous, and they showcase people who have no business being on television in the first place. There isn't a single unique or interesting thing about the people who are featured on reality television, yet we can't stop watching their latest antics. Each year brings with it a new reality show that takes the world by storm, but few reality shows have been as popular or as successful as Dog the Bounty Hunter.
Starring Duane Chapman and his family, Dog the Bounty Hunter was a reality show that focused around Dog and his family tracking down criminals in Hawaii. The show produced a number of memorable moments, and it took the world by storm upon its release in August of 2004. All in all, Dog the Bounty Hunter would air 246 episodes over the course of 8 seasons, making it one of the most successful reality shows in recent memory.
Plenty of drama unfolded in front of the camera while the show was still a fixture on television, but few people know the true story and secrets behind Dog the Bounty Hunter. Today, we have 15 of Dog the Bounty Hunter's darkest secrets for your viewing pleasure.
15 The Mexico Incident
Centering around Dog and his team tracking down criminals in Hawaii, Dog the Bounty Hunter did an exceptional job in showing viewers the amount of hard work and determination it takes to be a successful bounty hunter. Tracking down these criminals can prove to be a daunting task for inexperienced bounty hunters, but Duane Chapman's experience in his field aided him greatly in the process. He made national news when he headed down to Mexico to capture a criminal by the name of Andrew Luster. What Chapman didn't realize, however, is that bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico, and the hunt would be on for him and his crew to serve time in a Mexican prison.
Duane Chapman and his crew would spend time behind bars before he was able to pay the necessary amount of money to bail them out. His decision to cross into Mexico and perform illegal activities left a huge smudge on his bounty hunting career.
14 The Bar Brawl
While going out and partying, plenty of people can get overly rowdy, leading to a series of events that most people will wake up regretting the following morning. Dog entered a bar in Colorado in search of a man who was wanted for jumping bail, and what was soon to follow was something that no one in the room had expected. The scene quickly escalated as Dog and the owner of the bar were having a war of words. Unbeknownst to Duane Chapman, one of the members of his crew would come to blows with a patron in the bar, leading to all hell breaking loose.
Duane and the owner of the bar decided to step outside to handle their conflict. Instead of just using their fists, the owner of the bar allegedly threw a plant at Dog which prompted him to bust out his taser in order to neutralize the situation.
13 Wrong Place At The Wrong Time?
Long before Duane Chapman had turned his life around and became Dog the Bounty Hunter, he was a troubled young man who found himself facing a lengthy prison sentence. As Dog was waiting in the car for his friend to get done making a drug deal, the situation escalated between the two, prompting Duane's friend to kill the drug dealer in the process. Due to him being at the scene and being friends with the man who pulled the trigger, Duane Chapman would be arrested and convicted of first-degree murder.
Little did he know that his time in prison would be the catalyst to him turning his life around. Duane saw an inmate getting ready to attempt an escape which would have led to him eating a barrage of bullets from prison guards. Duane put a stop to the situation before it escalated which landed him in good favor with the guards. He has stated that this moment was instrumental in him realizing that bounty hunting was his life's calling.
12 The Racist Tirade
There is nothing like a racial tirade to put an end to an incredibly successful career. We have seen times when a performer is caught using racial slurs, prompting those in the media to call for their head on a silver platter. There's no room for racism in our world, and when a tape leaked that had Dog the Bounty Hunter using racial slurs, all hell quickly broke loose. Duane was having a conversation with his son when he made the foolish decision to use racial slurs towards his son's wife who is black. It is alleged that his son was, in fact, the one to leak the tape to the media, and the controversy did Duane Chapman no favors in furthering his career.
Even though he has made an incredible amount of money in his lifetime, you have to think that Duane Chapman would give anything to go back to that day and take back what he said.
11 The Lawsuit
There's nothing like a little bit of he-said-she-said to spark a lawsuit. The line of work that Duane Chapman finds himself in comes with an incredible amount of risk each and every time he heads out to the field. In this particular instance, Duane Chapman made the accusation that Hoang Nguyen, a criminal that they were chasing after, had unloaded several shots that were intended to hit Duane and his teammates. Unfortunately for Dog, the situation would not end up in his favor. Charges would eventually be dropped when it was deemed that there was insufficient evidence.
Furthermore, it is said that Duane and his team had stories that didn't line up with one another. To complicate matters even more, the entire situation was filmed, and Duane Chapman lied when he said that he would be willing to hand over the video evidence. Nguyen would eventually launch a lawsuit against Duane Chapman and his team, which had a negative impact on Duane's public image as well as his reputation in the industry.
10 Household Woes
With the knowledge that Dog the Bounty Hunter lived a deviant lifestyle prior to turning things around, it should come as no surprise that things in his household weren't exactly all that grand. His personal life has been well-documented by himself and other members of his family, and when his daughter, Lyssa, released her book called Walking on Eggshells, she made sure to spend a great deal of time talking about what it was like being raised by the most famous bounty hunter in the world. If you couldn't tell where this entry is going, it wasn't a positive experience whatsoever, and you have to feel bad for her and her siblings for what they were forced to deal with growing up.
She talked and great length about the substance abuse that was going on behind the scenes, including an allegation that Dog the Bounty Hunter was addicted to crack cocaine. Lyssa has publicly accused Dog of heinous crimes in the past, although her claims have been proven false.
9 The Motorcycle Club Days
Growing up as a white kid with a piss poor attitude and a penchant for getting in trouble, most people at home would not be shocked to learn that Duane Chapman was once part of a motorcycle gang. In fact, Duane has publicly stated that when he was younger, it was his dream to eventually become the president of the Hell's Angels. Even though there are straight-laced bikers who get a bad rap for their perceived lifestyle, there have been a number of people like Duane Chapman who have helped give motorcycle riders a negative perception to the outside world.
Duane was no stranger to getting in trouble and going to jail for a number of different crimes when he was younger, and he always seemed to be up to no good when he was a member of a motorcycle gang. We are just thankful that Duane was able to turn his life around before continuing down the terrible road that he was on.
8 Lying About His Heritage
Dog the Bounty Hunter has shown an immense amount of pride and the fact that he is Native American. He has publicly spoken about it in great length, and his native American roots are the basis for his hair and fashion style. Despite what Duane Chapman has relayed to the public, there's a group of people who believe that Duane Chapman has been lying about his Native American heritage all these years. It has been alleged that Dog the Bounty Hunter's mother was the daughter of a Polish immigrant who had come to the United States when he was still a teenager. If this were true, it would mean that Dog the Bounty Hunter has been lying about his ethnicity to the public all these years in an attempt to capitalize in something that he is not.
It's one thing to learn about other people's cultures, but completely robbing people of their culture and trying to pass it off as your own is a truly despicable act.
7 Dropping Out Of School At 13
This entry is a perfect example of the type of lifestyle that Dog was forced to live while he was growing up. We already touched on the fact that he was a troubled young man who spent a great deal of time in a motorcycle gang before being charged and convicted of first-degree murder, but it seems as though his problem started before that. At just 13 years of age, Duane Chapman made the decision to drop out of school and live a life of crime. It is sad to learn that such a young kid made this truly awful decision, and it was a catalyst for the next several years of his life that he spent getting into trouble and raising hell.
Because he was only 13, his decision to drop out of school may be directly related to the fact that he lacked a positive role model in his life. Even though things would eventually work themselves out in the end, Duane Chapman's decision to head down a dark road when he was just beginning puberty could have had catastrophic results.
6 Sued By Family
Not only has Duane Chapman had a criminal take him to court, but he has also had a member of his own family sue him. For a brief period of time on the show, Duane Chapman's nephew, Justin, was a member of his team. Justin would unfortunately suffer a brutal accident that would lead him getting part of his leg amputated. He had seen better days, and the accident and subsequent exit from the series is what allegedly caused him to fall into a state of depression and drug abuse. Justin alleged that Duane Chapman and his company still owed him money for appearances on the series. Not only was he still owed money, but Justin also claimed that Duane Chapman used his accident as a means of publicity to help boost the show's ratings.
In Touch Weekly caught up with Justin's whereabouts in 2017, and they said that he seems to be in a good place in his life. Hopefully, he was able to reclaim some of the money that was allegedly owed to him.
5 Attempting To Buy A Criminal’s Animal
This has to be one of the oddest entries that you are going to find on our list, and if it's true, it shows you the exact type of person that Dog the Bounty Hunter truly is. Back in 2015, it was alleged that as Dog and his team were handcuffing and getting ready to haul off the criminal, he had made an offer to the man to buy his Great Dane for $1,000. The situation as a whole is as bizarre as it sounds, and Dog and his lawyer were quick to refute the criminal's story. Not only did the victim make these allegations towards Dog, but he also threatened to sue him for trespassing and getting him to sign the release papers.
The story gets even stranger when the man's family posed for a picture with Duane Chapman's wife as the situation was unfolding. Talk about a weird time to take a family photo with a celebrity. With the amount of money that Dog the Bounty Hunter has, we are sure that he went on to find another Great Dane to purchase.
4 A Falling Out With His Children
Dog the Bounty Hunter sure does seem to have a lot of problems with people he ends up getting close to. At some point in his life, it seems like he ended up having a problem with each and every one of his children. His racial outburst that we covered earlier led to massive amounts of tension between he and his sons, and this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of Dog having problems with his children. Dog’s sons have since started their own practices and gotten away from their father. His daughter, Lyssa, has also probably spoken out against him, and she had even accused him of r*pe while she was growing up.
People outside of their inner circle obviously don't have all the details, but the one common factor in each and every one of these fall-outs is Duane himself. Now that he has been out of the spotlight for some time, we sure hope that he has worked on his personal life and improves his relationships with his kids.
3 Three Failed Marriages
Duane Chapman has lived a very interesting life that has seen him have a total of five marriages that has produced a total of 12 children. He and his current wife have been married since 2006. But prior to their union, Duane Chapman had taken part in four failed marriages. On more than one occasions, he was divorced and married in the same year. During his prison sentence for first-degree murder, Dog was served divorce papers from his first wife, La Fonda Honeycutt. His life was already in a dark place, and receiving these divorce papers had to be a real kick to the groin. His second marriage lasted for 3 years, and he would enter his third marriage the same year. A similar situation would happen 9 years after this marriage wherein he was divorced and married in the same year.
Just like his strained relationships with his 12 children, the only similarity that all five of these marriages have had is Duane himself. He and Beth have now been married for 11 years which is the longest marriage that he has ever taken part in.
2 Substance Abuse
Viewers of Dog the Bounty Hunter often noticed that many of the people Duane Chapman and his team would track down were drug abusers. The state of Hawaii has become notorious for having a problem with methamphetamine abuse, and the drug has been running rampant on the islands for far too long. The drug itself has ruined the lives of countless individuals and families, and Duane Chapman has done an exceptional job in trying to clean up the streets of Honolulu. But, before he was the most famous bounty hunter in the world, Duane Chapman was alleged to be a crack cocaine abuser who was the head of a highly-dysfunctional household.
He has had multiple children speak out on his past drug abuse, and you can see the wear and tear that it has had on his body. People who abuse hard drugs are typically easy to spot, and it appears as though Duane Chapman's past drug abuse has affected his appearance.
1 Failure To Pay Out
Oh look, it's another entry about Dog the Bounty Hunter being sued. Has there ever been a point in time in the last 15 years that Duane Chapman and his family haven't found themselves in court? It takes a whole lot of people to make a reality show run like a well-oiled machine, and the cash incentive that comes with being part of a successful show is more than enough to keep people working ridiculous schedules. Bail bondsman Bobby Brown sued the network back in 2011 alleging that he was due an incredible amount of money for his participation on the series. Bobby Brown has alluded to the fact that he was responsible for 40 episodes of the series, and he had only been paid $6,000 during a period where the show had raked in over $400 million.
Brown alleged that he was also instrumental in Duane Chapman and his team being able to find and take down suspects. Putting in over 50 hours’ worth of work for each episode and only being compensated $6,000 would piss off a lot of people, and if this is true, we can't really blame Bobby Brown for suing the company.
Sources: Intouchweekly, Hollywoodreporter, People, CNN, Onepercenterbikers