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Adios, Duane: DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER Cancelled
All good things must come to an end. And now, so must Dog the Bounty Hunter.
After eight (8!) seasons of the hit reality show, A&E have passed on a ninth season of their cameras following professional bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman and his family of lovable fugitive-recovery agents as they go about recovering fugitives and wearing their sunglasses indoors. It was a good run, folks, and it certainly lasted longer than anyone really could have imagined, even in this age of ur-celebrity. Apparently, “creative differences” were the reason the show has come to an end, though the loads of “behind-the-scenes controversy” probably also began to harm more than it helped.
But rather than just go negative and dip into my bag of mullet jokes, I thought I’d give something else a go. Last month, while talking about something else, I squabbed a bit about how a few years ago the only books on bounty hunting I could find at my local public library were the ones that Dog had written (notice how I refrained from putting quotation marks around that last word. Restraint, thy name is Callaway). What I didn’t mention was that, as disappointing a development as that was, I forged ahead and continued my research into the topic and came up with a couple of good resources. So for those of you interested in crime, crime fiction, and/or in books that will make you look a little nutty if you read them in public, I present to you a miniature crash-course in fugitive-recovery research.
The subtly titled Bounty Hunter by Bob Burton was first published in 1984, and as far as I can tell, it was pretty much the only real handbook of the modern era for some time. Burton himself has been cited as an expert in fugitive-recovery matters by the news media for some time, and he definitely strikes me as guy who knows what he’s talking about. Also, the introduction to the book is by Ralph “Papa” Thorson, a bounty hunter himself whose exploits were made into the 1980 Steve McQueen movie, The Hunter. A quick read if a little dry, Bounty Hunter is definitely a good place to start.
Next, we have The Seekers by Joshua Armstrong and Anthony Bruno. Armstrong runs a group of bounty hunters, called (oddly enough) The Seekers. Armstrong could be considered the anti-Dog, as the guy genuinely comes off as a very spiritual man, one who believes in his work and its importance more than how much money it can make him or if he ever gets his face on a T-shirt. This does mean that the guy can still come off a bit holier-than-thou every now and again. But while I was reading it, it really did begin to feel like a crime-fighter training manual, the sort of thing I imagine Public Enemy’s S1Ws studying intently in S1W School.
No Dogs allowed.