What do you know about the most badass bounty hunters in history? From Boba Fett in “Star Wars” to the Terminator in, well, “Terminator,” bounty hunters are, without a doubt, totally cool. Unfortunately, all those awesome bounty hunters are just works of fiction, right? After all, no reasonably sane person would risk life and limb chasing after dangerous criminals for a living. Well, as it turns out, not only do real, famous bounty hunters exist, but they’re awesome enough to give any fictional merc a run for their money. Now, whether you find them awe-inspiring or terrifying, here are 15 of the most badass bounty hunters in history that would make even Boba Fett swoon.
The Dunn Brothers
No, not the coffee brand. The Dunn Brothers were a gang brothers who ran a boarding house in Pawnee, Oklahoma and occasionally dabbled in bounty hunting as well as some more shady business such as cattle rustling and robbery.
They are best known for killing two members of notorious criminal Bill Doolin’s outlaw gang the “Wild Bunch” and collecting the $5,000 bounty for each. The oldest of the Dunn brothers, Bill, also aided Deputy U.S. Marshall Heck Thomas in tracking and putting down Bill Doolin himself, ending the Wild Bunch once and for all.
Thomas Tate Tobin
Thomas Tate Tobin was a frontiersman, trapper, and bounty hunter active in the mid 19th century United States. He’s known to have taken part in the Mexican-American War, most specifically in the Taos Revolt where he narrowly avoided death.
In the early 1860s, he became a bounty hunter after singlehandedly putting an end to the reign of terror brought on by the notorious Mexican outlaws, Felipe and Julian Espinosa, whose heads he brought back in a sack. He never collected the whole reward of $2,500 for the job, but he did go on to bring in a number of other Mexican and Native American outlaws in the years following.
Nicknamed the “Dry Wolf”, Millard Gardner was a Texan police chief and bounty hunter during the prohibition era United States. He was known as a sort of boogeyman to bootleggers and moonshiners at the time.
Gardner raided a number of speakeasies and moonshine sills and set a record for the thousands of gallons of illegal alcohol he confiscated and poured out. A medical issue required him to retire from bounty hunting in 1927, but the legends of the Dry Wolf continued to live on for some time after his retirement.
Originally getting his start in professional wrestling, David Schultz AKA “Dr. D,” gained notoriety in 1984 after striking a reporter twice in the head during an interview after they implied that pro-wrestling was fake.
The event had a notable effect on the wrestler’s career and he eventually left it behind to pursue a new line of business—bounty hunting. Schultz’s time as a bail recovery agent took him as far as Puerto Rico and even Egypt, and by the time of his retirement he had made over 1,700 arrests and worked closely with both the FBI and DEA.
There are few men with as quite as varied a life as James Kirker, an Irish immigrant to the United States who over the course of his life found work as a soldier, mercenary, merchant, and privateer, as well as a number of other odd jobs here and there.
His most infamous and well-known dealings, however, was when he spent a number of years as a scalp hunter for the Mexican government, charged with hunting down, killing, and scalping Apache raiders in Mexico, as well as taking women and children prisoners. He excelled at this. At one point, he became so successful that the nearly bankrupt government branded him a traitor and forced him to flee the country because they could not afford to pay him for his work.