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Did Dog The Bounty Hunter Kill Someone?

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I have a friend who has stopped drinking, hopefully for the rest of her life. She still calls herself an alcoholic.

So is Dog The Bounty Hunter a murderer?

Does it matter if he’s given up murdering, if he once has murdered, and did he have a non-murdering sponsor who gave him a coin for every year he didn’t kill someone?

Well it turns out that Dog The Bounty Hunter has a few things in his past. I mean he’s got nine years of that TV show to answer for. The one in which he courts his larger than life wife with his larger than life hair, while hunting down criminicals with his henchmen who look like they’ve chosen their clothes on the run from the fetish club to the paintballing meetup group.

On the show, he is portrayed as a physically imposing man with a heart of gold – who acts as judge, jury and psychotherapist to the people he chases in Hawaii who have forgotten to go back to jail while out on bail. He hunts them down, and rather than treating them with the violence that you might expect from his bulbous biceps and his gay-biker leather getup. He sees that the fugitives are troubled people who have to go to prison to sort them out.

And what gives Dog this weighty insight? Is it the fact that he himself was banged up in 1976 for 18 months when a friend of his shot a drug dealer? That’s what happened.

In Texas of all sweaty hellholes, Dog was waiting by a car when his friend went inside to buy weed, and ended up shooting a dealer. By association Dog was guilty too – which sounds a lot more like modern legislation speaking historically. I’m sure murderers in the 1970s don’t get out after 18 months, even if they are chairman of the prison library book club, and personally arrange the warden’s wife’s flowers every day.

So perhaps Dog isn’t a murderer in the same way that my friend is an alcoholic, allbeit a reformed one. Perhaps he was an accessory to a murder (sounds like a manslaughter to me at best from the limited information I have), in the same way as the murderer’s Timex watch was. And maybe he’s spent his life doing good since then.

Still, we have over 240 episodes of Dog the Bounty Hunter to forgive him for, and the very fact that he wanted to appear on UK Celebrity Big Brother (he was denied entrance due to him being a reformed murderer in Texas) should preclude him from being on Celebrity Big Brother. In the same way that any one who wants to be in politics should be banned from politics.

Verdict: Dog is a murderer, but a friendly one.

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Hans Wolfgang Eisenhardt

I was honoured to have met Great Uncle Wolf back in 2003, and he told me a bit of his amazing story. It was captured in other places – in a book written by his son Peter, and also in Nithsdale at War by Isabelle C. Gow.

They both tell the story so well, and here is my synopsis. Wolf was born in 1927 in Dresden, dropping the (IMHO) interesting name “Ottomar”. His life became caught up in the whirlwind of war and his mandatory presence in the local Hitler Youth program eventually led to him figuring out that he had better volunteer to be in the air force before being conscripted into the SS.

He trained in what is now Gdansk, and he was stationed near Dresden, being present during the horrific bombing of February 13th  and 14th, 1945. From there he was sent to the Western Front, and on 10th April 1945 found himself surrounded by tanks and flamethrowers in Holland when a nearby soldier surrendered.

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After 20+ years of foresting, you know you’ve made an impact – the Blackwood Estate

As a prisoner of war he ended up first at Kempton Park Racecourse and then learned that the war in Europe had ended. Nevertheless he was put to work in East Yorkshire and then to York. In 1948 he was free to choose his destiny – to return to a shattered Dresden under Russian occupation, or to stay.

He chose to stay and moved to Scotland, where he first worked as an interpreter and then as a farmer in Auldgirth, where he met Mary Boyse whom he married in 1949 at the United Free Church manse at Closeburn Village. He went to live on the Blackwood Estate as a forester.

The Blackwood Estate is immense – over 1200 acres of which over 500 acres are woodland. As well as the huge 10 bedroom house, there are 8 cottages on the grounds – one of which Wolf and Mary lived in. Wolf continued his tenure for two decades, becoming head forester.

In 1971 he went to work for Jardine and Malcolm in Dumfries as he had a keen interest in hi-fi and music. He retired after a further two decades of service there, and I met him a decade later. He passed away in 2014.

 

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Guide to the Southern Upland Way

It was in 2003 that I completed the Southern Upland Way – way before there were any handy dandy websites telling you where to go and how. It was more about photocopying a page out of a book and buying a map and figuring it all out.

The challenge of doing all this without support was part of the appeal. To think that I could now just buy a guide and follow the instructions takes away some of the appeal. I’d still get the vertically upward flying rain and the blisters I suppose.

I’m thinking of the Southern Upland Way for two reasons:

1. I felt like I was going to die of hypothermia again today – a feeling I haven’t had since my coat proved not to be waterproof on the cross Scotland walk and I was wet, cold and exposed with no heat source, save for a few matches I found in a shelter along with some discarded trousers which became mine. The coat that failed today was the red coat I bought eleven years ago to replace the leaking one. It has finally and catastrophically failed, leaving me wet on a bicycle in Nottinghamshire.

2. I went to the funeral of Hans Wolfgang Eisenhardt this week – a man who it was my true pleasure to meet when I did the walk all those years ago.

So, in summary, my advice about the Southern Upland Way is to complain a great deal and protest non-stop. Here are my posts from the walk:

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