‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ Recently Met a Son He Never Knew He Had – Here’s What We’ve Learned So Far!

Duane Chapman, best known as ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter,’ has made a career out of hunting down criminals and fugitives. He rose to fame when A&E gave him his own show – Dog the Bounty Hunter, which ran from 2004 to 2012 – and has since had shows on CMT and, most recently, WGN America

When he’s not hunting down fugitives, he’s hunting down – his children? Well, in this case, yes! On Monday (June 26), Chapman took to his Instagram to reveal some exciting news. Already a father of 12 children to five different women, Chapman recently discovered a 13th child that he knew nothing about. 

Not much is known about his secret son, other than his name is Jon and he looks a lot like his father – Chapman shared a photo of Jon and his wife, Jodi. We also know Jon’s birthday is on June 26, which was the reason for the Instagram post – Chapman was wishing his newfound son a happy birthday. 

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In the caption, ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ expresses the importance of Jon’s birthday falling on June 26. For those that don’t remember, Chapman lost his wife, Beth Smith, to throat cancer in 2019 – she died on June 26. Four years later, Chapman is learning of his new son, whose birthday lands on that same day.

“For the last four years, this day was a terrible reminder of one of the greatest losses of my life. But God redeemed this day when I discovered my son Jon, who I just met recently, was born on this day. So now instead of sorrow, this day has a new meaning,” Chapman wrote alongside the photo of Jon and Jodi.

While he doesn’t provide a lot of details about Jon and how they came to meet, he uses it as an opportunity to promote and market his upcoming book – Nine Lives and Counting. According to Chapman, ‘the whole story of Jon is told in my new book,’ which is set for a release on April 16, 2024. 

“For anyone who has suffered a terrible loss please know God restores and redeems. Happy birthday son, love you both,” he said – in honor of both his newfound son, Jon, and his late wife, Beth. While he still struggles to cope with his late wife’s death, he has since remarried and is now with Francie Frane

Does ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ Really Have 13 Children?

‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ welcomed 13 children between 1969 and 2001. He first became a father at just 16 years old with a woman named Debbie White – though he didn’t know it at the time. It wasn’t until years later, when White committed suicide, that he learned Christopher Michael Hecht was his child. 

He welcomed two sons with his ex-wife, La Fonda Sue Darnell Duane Lee Chapman II in 1973 and Leland Blane Chapman in 1976. He then had three kids – Zebadiah Chapman (died at 30 days old), Wesley Chapman, and James Robert Chapman – with ex-wife Anne Tegnell between 1980 and 1982. 

Between 1982 and 1987, he welcomed three more kids – Barbara Katie Chapman (died in a car accident in 2006), Tucker Dee Chapman, and Lyssa Rae Chapman – with ex-wife Lyssa Rae Brittain. At this point, he had nine children with four different women, but he didn’t stop there – he kept going!

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He married Beth Chapman in 2006, but the couple already had two children – a daughter, Bonnie Joanne Chapman (b. 1998), and a son, Garry Chapman (b. 2001). He also adopted her daughter, Cecily Barmore-Chapman, and most recently found out about his 13th child, which came as a surprise.

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