Dogged Pursuit

Grateful to be safely home in Hawaii, Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman and associates reveal why they really fled Mexico after taking down Andrew Luster

Wednesday - July 23, 2003

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Grateful to be safely home in Hawaii, Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman and associates reveal why they really fled Mexico after taking down Andrew Luster

Dogged Pursuit

Fugitive and convicted rapist Andrew Luster is finally off the streets and locked away in prison where he can no longer entice young women into his sadistic world of handcuffs, drugs and sexual assault. The notorious cosmetic heir is now just another sexual predator behind bars, but the intense publicity sheen that has covered the worldwide manhunt since last January shows no signs of fading.

If anything, interest in Luster’s sadistic criminal activity and six-month run from the law took on a fresh new glow last month following his stunning capture in Mexico. Authorities found handcuffs, ropes and video equipment in Luster’s Puerto Vallarta motel room. They also found marijuana and GHB, the “date rape” drug, and a piece of paper with pick-up lines written in Spanish.

Hollywood couldn’t have scripted a more dramatic finale, but it’s working on it. A made-for-TV movie about the case was in final production last month but reportedly had to be halted so the ending could be rewritten to include the capture.


Luster, the 39-year-old great-grandson of cosmetics tycoon Max Factor, fled California last January in the middle of his trial for 86 counts stemming from the rapes of three women who were incapacitated with GHB. At the time, he was free on a $1 million bond.

Police searches of Luster’s California home turned up graphic videotapes of Luster having sex with women who appeared to be either asleep or unconscious.

The Three Amigos: Tim, Dog and Leland Chapman
The Three Amigos: Tim, Dog and Leland
Chapman

After his disappearance, the jury convicted Luster in absentia, sentencing him to 124 years in prison. He has since been returned to California and is now at the Salinas Valley State Prison, where he’ll be eligible for parole in 104 years.

Meanwhile, as Tinseltown renews its faith in life being stranger than fiction, the tale has taken yet another turn. Suddenly, the high-profile villain is being upstaged by a lesser known hero.

With Luster caught and incarcerated, the story film producers and book publishers are now salivating over is the astonishing ordeal endured by the three bounty hunters who took Luster down.

Duane “Dog” Chapman, arguably the most famous bounty hunter in the world, had been tracking Luster since the criminal jumped bail in January. The veteran bloodhound who claims he has made over 6,000 collars in his 25-year career, pulled out all of his tricks for this one, including appearances on CNN and national television programs such as America’s Most Wanted, where he taunted Luster and solicited assistance from the public in his manhunt.

It paid off. Last month he received a tip from a couple who had just returned from vacationing in Puerto Vallarta where they felt certain they’d seen Luster. Though the couple notified the FBI that same day, it was Chapman who moved on the information first.


With his son Leland and associate Timothy Chapman, he tracked Luster’s car to the beach resort and located the hotel where the fugitive was staying. Most media accounts, initially gleaned primarily from local authorities, have since reported that around 5 a.m. on June 18, the trio, accompanied by a two-man film crew, apprehended Luster at a taco stand just outside the Hotel Los Angeles.

In the days immediately following the arrest, reports were sketchy and varied. On June 19, Court TV reported that Chapman and his team had actually seized the fugitive heir, who’d been using the alias David Carrera, in Zoo Bar, near the intersection of avenues Mexico and Honduras. The report says the Chapmans used mace and handcuffs to subdue Luster and that they then piled into two trucks, a Chevrolet Suburban and a Chrysler Voyager, and fled.

By the next day, June 20, the international media was all over the event. They reported that local merchants who witnessed the scuffle alerted local police who then intercepted the

 

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