Hollywood has brought us a fair amount of pretty good Bounty Hunter films. Movies such as, Dominoe, starring Keira Knightley was loosely based on the life of Domino Harvey, and helped to illustrate the rising popularity of bounty hunters in modern U.S. culture.
Famous movie stars have stepped into these roles, such as Steve McQueen, who played bounty hunter, Josh Randall in the weekly television series Wanted: Dead or Alive. If you’re over thirty-five, you’ll remember, Midnight Run starring Robert De Niro as the bounty hunter, and Charles Grodin as his prisoner.
Author, Janet Evanovich has written a book, which this year has come to life on the big screen in, One for the Money, starring Katherine Heigl as ‘Stephanie Plum,” the skip tracing bail bondsman. The film is not that accurate to the industry in general, but great to watch with a date.
There are also “real life” characters who star in real world lead roles, such as noted bounty hunter, Duane “Dog” Chapman (star of the TV series, Dog the Bounty Hunter). Dog’s career in bounty hunting began when he was in court disputing child support. When he told the judge he did not have the money to pay, the judge offered him a deal to bring in a fugitive in exchange for the judge to pay part of child support. This launched his entire career.
Bounty hunters are sometimes called “skip tracers,” however, this usage can be misleading. While bounty hunters are often called skip tracers, the term, “skip tracing” generally refers to the process of searching for an individual through less direct methods, such as what private investigators or debt collectors do. Quite different from the active ‘pursuit and apprehension’ of a defendant.
The term, “Fugitive Recovery Agent,” is an also widely term used for the more ‘hands-on’ specialty called “bounty hunting.” It’s a specialty craft and believe me, these guys and gals, are very good at what they do.
All of this talk about bail agents, bounty hunters, skip tracers, fugitive recovery agents, arrestees and movie heroes bring to mind that when you put us all in a basket, bottom line, we’re all human. We’re bound to make mistakes, pay for them, learn from them, act them out on the world stage and in the end, if we have any money left, we can go see a good movie. I’ll bring the popcorn.