Married for nearly 18 years to Sandra Dawn Thompson, during which he wrote what were considered his two greatest books "Hells Angels" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". During the marriage, Sandy's habit of partaking on drug and alcohol binges with her husband led to several miscarriages, and only one of her pregnancies produced a healthy child, now grown Juan Thompson. Eventually, the drugs put Hunter into a several years depressed state, fights broke out between the two, and Sandy took several beatings, some times of which she fought back and injured Hunter. When she told him she wanted a divorce, Hunter went ballistic, destroying some of her possesions and burning the manuscripts she had been writing. Sandy called the sheriff, a family friend, who sent a deputy up to her house to escort her into town. The deputy, naive to the situation, sheepishly asked Sandy if Thompson possesed any firearms, to which she truthfully replied: "Yes, 22 of them, and every one is loaded".