STEVE INSKEEP, host:
On Fridays, we listen to StoryCorps, the oral history project that gives people the chance to record their stories and share them with one another, as well as with us.
A StoryCorps mobile recording booth recently stopped in Austin, Texas, and that's where Danny Ray Terry and Rick Kincaid found it. Here, Terry learns about the 11 years that Kincaid spent as a bounty hunter.
Mr. DANNY RAY TERRY: How many folks do you figure that you picked up?
Mr. RICK KINCAID: There was probably 300 or 400 people that I've chased down and locked up. Most of what bounty hunting's about is just a matter of finding' 'em. They don't want to go; but once they get caught, they usually pretty easy to get along with. We built up a good reputation as some real hard-nosed bounty hunters. Some fellers would find out we were chasing 'em, they just go put theirself in jail.
Probably one of the more funnier bounty hunts that I ever did, that wasn't a very high paying job. It became a matter of principle to catch this young feller. He really wasn't in all that much trouble and I think I was only getting about $300 to pick him up, but every time we'd go to his house, he'd take off out that back door and hit them woods, and we just couldn't catch him.
After three or four times of going out to this young man's house to pick him up and he always ran on us, we decided one night, well, we were going to get him. So we went to Wal-Mart and bought some cup hooks and went over by my uncle's house and picked up an old net and we strapped that thing around the front porch of his house and beat on the back door and he took off out the front and got tangled up in that net and we got him in jail about three o'clock in the morning, and, you know...
Mr. TERRY: One of the easiest catches that you've had, huh?
Mr. KINCAID: Probably so. Yes, sir.
Mr. TERRY: What about one of the toughest catches you've had? What would you have to say that was?
Mr. KINCAID: I was on a $100,000 jump bond. And when we started chasing the old boy, it was aggravated kidnapping. However, once we got the job and signed the contract to find him, we come to find out that he was a big-time methamphetamine drug dealer.
So, we figured out that then that we were up against a little bit more than what we had originally bargained for. And, actually, the night that we got him, the sheriff's department was supposed to hit the house about the same time I did. I went in first and, unbeknownst to me, they were about 10 minutes behind me.
We didn't know that that was a drug lab and I walked right in the middle of it and they took me down and began to beat me pretty good. They broke my jaw and knocked out a couple of my teeth with some old pliers and then they began to pull the teeth out as I wouldn't answer questions. Of course, I really couldn't answer the questions; I was in too much pain.
So, I was sure proud to see when the sheriff's department finally did break in there and get me out of that. And that was the night I retired from bounty hunting. I walked down the road to where my wife was sitting in a van and told her that that was about as close to death as I wanted to get.
INSKEEP: That's Rick Kincaid with his friend Danny Ray Terry. This conversation and all StoryCorps interviews are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The recording booths are currently in Canton, New York and Ames, Iowa and you can learn how to record your StoryCorps interview at npr.org.
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