Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was raised in Denver, Colorado, by his father, a Navy welder, who, by Chapman's account, was verbally and physically abusive, and his mother, a missionary and minister for the First Assemblies of God . Chapman subsequently joined a motorcycle gang that reportedly had a distaste for blacks, although Chapman, himself, claims not to be a racist. According to Chapman, another gang member, Donny Kirkandall, murdered pimp and drug dealer Jerry Lee Oliver, a crime for which Chapman and his entire gang was found guilty by a Texas judge.
In 1977, Chapman was sentenced to five years of hard labor, and he served two of those years, finally being paroled in 1979. Before his sentencing, Chapman had married, sired at least one child, and divorced a woman named LaFonda, and because of this fact, Chapman owed money for child support. The judge in charge of handling the child support case asked Chapman to catch a fugitive for $200, thus launching his bounty-hunting career. He moved to Hawaii, where he opened a bail bonding company named Da Kine Bail Bonds.
On June 18, 2003, he made news with his hunt and capture of cosmetics heir Andrew Luster, who has been convicted in absentia of poisoning and rape. However, he and his brother and a son were charged themselves by Mexican authorities of not handing over Luster to them. On July 3, 2003, they were declared "fugitives" by a spokesman for the Mexican Government, after not obtaining permission from the presiding judge to leave the country. Mexican authorities are currently working in conjunction with officials from the United States to have Mr. Chapman and his 2 other family members extradited to Mexico for sentencing.
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