Biography: Duane 'Dog' Chapman

Duane Lee "Dog" Chapman was born in Denver, Colo., on Feb. 21, 1953, to parents Wesley and Barbara Chapman.

His father Wesley was a welder with the Navy and his mother Barbara was a minister in the First Assembly of God.

The oldest of four children, Chapman was raised in a tough and poor environment. During his youth he lived in Texas and other parts of the United States and pursued an active life in crime. Chapman dropped out of school in the ninth grade and joined the Devil's Disciples motorcycle gang.

Chapman has been arrested 18 times for armed robbery. In 1976, he and other members of the Devil's Disciples were arrested for the murder of a local pimp and drug dealer. Although Chapman insisted that a fellow gang member had acted alone in killing the man, he was found guilty for his alleged role in the murder.

In 1977, he was sentenced to five years of intense labor. While serving time in a Texas state penitentiary, Chapman turned to Christianity and swore to reform his life (his nickname is "God" spelled backward). After only two years behind bars, Chapman was given parole.

Prior to his arrest, Chapman had fathered at least one child, and after his release from prison, he still owed child support to the mother. The judge controlling the child support case offered to pay $200 toward the debt if Chapman caught a fugitive for him.

Chapman earned his first bounty by tying the wanted man up with his belt, and cemented a career as a bounty hunter and bail bondsman by capturing as many as four fugitives per week.

Chapman made headlines in June 2003 when he captured Andrew Luster, heir to the Max Factor cosmetics company, who was convicted in absentia of poisoning and rape. However, Mexican authorities charged Chapman for failing to hand Luster over to them.

After not obtaining permission to leave the country, the government declared Chapman and his crew fugitives from justice on July 3, 2003, and attempted to have them extradited to Mexico for sentencing.

The capture of Luster, meanwhile, catapulted Chapman to celebrity status and led to his own reality television show on A&E called "Dog the Bounty Hunter."

On Sept. 14, 2006, Chapman, his son Leland Chapman and associate Tim Chapman were arrested by United States marshals and jailed in Honolulu, Hawaii, on behalf of the Mexican government. Under Mexican law, bounty hunting is a crime.

All three were charged with felony restraint involving the 2003 capture of Luster and faced up to four years in Mexican prison if convicted. Chapman was released on $300,000 bail after spending the night in a federal detention center.

Chapman believes that his arrest was due to a prisoner exchange program between the Mexican and American authorities. According to Chapman, the federal agents sold him out by trading him in for a convicted Mexican drug lord.

Chapman's name once again made headline news on Oct. 11, 2006, following the revelation of a letter dated Sept. 26, 2006. The letter was reportedly a request to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to deny the extradition to Mexico, sent on Chapman's behalf by 29 Republican congressmen.

During his life, Chapman has been married five times and has several children and grandchildren. On May 20, 2006, he married his girlfriend of 16 years, Beth Smith (aka Alice Barmore, aka Alice Elizabeth Smith). The couple has two children together and resides in Honolulu. They also own their own bonding business Da Kine Bail Bonds, which operates in Honolulu, Maui and Denver.

In July 2007, a judge in Mexico cleared Chapman of all criminal charges. An appeal, however, was pending.

After the charges were dropped, Chapman said he would continue his job as a bounty hunter in the United States, but not in Mexico.

On Aug. 7, he released his book "You Can Run, but You Can't Hide."