Denver, CO

Opinion: Dog the Bounty Hunter, legendary among homeless, moving to Florida

David Heitz

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DogTheBountyHunter.com

Before becoming homeless in Denver in 2018, I had never heard of Dog the Bounty Hunter. In fact, I did not even realize bounty hunters still existed.

But that all changed one day when a man who claimed he was an associate of Dog’s showed up at the homeless encampment where I had been staying. I remember the man carried pepper spray or mace; I can’t remember which. He wore a uniform identifying himself as a bounty hunter.

This man had tracked me down after other homeless people told him I had an altercation with a man Dog’s people might be looking for. A man had punched me in the face outside Network Coffee Shop. The man who punched me did bear striking resemblance to the person Dog was looking for.

I have no idea how the search for this man ever turned out. Still, I was flattered to be asked if I could help find him.

For a day or two the experience elevated my popularity in the homeless encampment where I stayed, across from Salvation Army Crossroads homeless shelter. According to men at the shelter, Dog and his people long have used tips from the homeless community to find wanted people.

Last I recall, Dog’s wife died last year. I wondered what he has been up to since then.

Dog moving to Florida

A representative of Dog’s, Jennifer Willingham, explained that Dog soon will be selling his Colorado home and moving into a home he owns in Florida. “He loves Colorado, but the altitude does not love him,” Willingham said in an email. Dog originally is from Denver.

Dog also has remarried after losing his first wife, Beth, to throat cancer. He explains how he met his new wife, Francie Frane, during a church fundraiser that was broadcast online.

“I’m a name dropper and the name I drop is Jesus,” he says during video taken at The Source Church in Bradenton, Fla.

Dog also gave speech during the “Opening the Heavens” conference in Omaha earlier this month. “During the event, Dog the Bounty Hunter referred to President Joe Biden as ‘little Hitler’ and ‘that freak,’ suggesting that Biden could die by suicide once a conspiracy perpetrated by his administration to steal the 2020 presidential election is revealed,” according to the website ChurchLeaders.com.

Nuptials lost previous spouses to cancer

Dog’s real name is Duane Chapman. His new wife also lost her previous spouse to cancer. “When Dog and I were at the lowest point in our lives, God picked us up from the ashes,” Francie said during The Source event. “No matter what you are going through there is nothing beyond his reach.”

Dog said he prayed to find a new spouse after Beth died. “I said, ‘I need a woman….’ If he did it for Adam, he’ll do it for me.”

Dog noted that his name is “God” spelled backwards. He said he was given the nickname Dog for being loyal to a friend.

Accused of ‘racist, homophobic’ language

Last year, a television producer sued Dog for breach of contract. “In court documents, seen by The Sun (and confirmed to Newsweek by Chapman's team), the bounty hunter is accused of making racist comments, using homophobic language and carrying an illegal taser while filming in Virginia,” Newsweek reported. “The filing alleges that Chapman also used a taser to intimidate his way into someone's home.”

Newsweek reported, "Dog is very confident that the fictional claims will be dismissed, and he then will pursue claims against (Michael) Donovan for malicious prosecution." Donovan is the President and CEO of Unleashed Entertainment.

Book coming out soon

For now, Dog’s representative said the former reality TV star has a book coming out soon for which there will be a media tour. In the meantime, he is enjoying spending time with his wife.

“It’s not the physical,” Dog said of his love for Francie during The Source appearance.

“You’re so cute,” she replied.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here.

Denver, CO
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