Duane "Dog" Chapman has been a bounty hunter for more than 27 years. He was made famous in 2004 when TV cameras began following his exploits on a reality show called "Dog the Bounty Hunter."
His new book, "You Can Run but You Can't Hide," which goes on sale Tuesday, gives the reader a look into the gritty, dangerous world of bounty hunting.
Read the book's first chapter, "I Am Dog."
My name is Duane Lee Chapman. My friends call me Dog -- Dog the Bounty Hunter. For more than twenty-seven years, I have made a living hunting down more than seven thousand fugitives. I wear that honor as proudly as my shiny silver fugitive-recovery badge that hangs around my neck.
In the old days, there weren't enough lawmen for all the criminals on the loose, so sheriffs posted hefty rewards to capture crooks on the run. Legends of the Wild West, like Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp, and Billy the Kid, all made their living hunting bounties. Now, I might not be as famous as some of those guys, but I am the greatest bounty hunter who ever lived.
A lot of people think of me as a vigilante. It's true, my recovery tactics are far from conventional, but I rarely fail at finding my man. For me, failure has never been an option. To get attention or be noticed in this world, and believed, loved, and trusted, you had better be extraordinary, especially nowadays. In my life, extraordinary stuff happens all the time.
Bounty hunting is not a game. It's definitely not for the meek or faint of heart. I don't do it to prove I'm a tough bastard or smarter than some other guy. I do it because I have been there. I have been the bad guy. I know firsthand how messed up the system can be. Despite it all, I still believe in truth and justice.
To be certain, bounty hunting isn't your average nine-to-five job. But then, I'm not your average guy. I have had guns pointed in my face so many times I've lost count. I've survived having the trigger pulled more than once or twice. I have been stabbed, scratched, beaten up, and hit with every imaginable (and unimaginable) weapon of choice -- chains, boards, tire irons, golf clubs, and crowbars. I've been tossed through windows, pushed through walls, and shoved through doors. Does that make me a tough guy? You bet your ass.
I was born in Denver on February 2, 1953. My parents were Wesley and Barbara Chapman. Mom was half-Chiricahua Apache, which gave her beautiful thick, long, dark hair and a medium skin tone. Her eyes were an expressive chocolate brown that spoke from a stare without ever having to utter a single word. She had a way of looking into you, not just at you. Mom taught me to see people for who they are, not for the color of their skin, their race, or religion. She was a devout Christian who lived her life according to God's word. She instilled those same beliefs in me from the day I was born.
I have always been proud of my Indian heritage. I never once gave a second thought to my mixed background or to how others might see me as being a little different. I've always had a pretty distinguishable look. Hell, it makes me easy to identify in a lineup.