Duane 'Dog' Chapman on dangerous busts after Beth's death: 'I'm not afraid to die anymore'

Beth Chapman lives on in Duane "Dog" Chapman's new television show, Dog's Most Wanted. Ahead of its premiere, the reality star opened up to TV Insider about how his mindset has shifted following the June death of his wife.

"I always did this job to make her proud," Chapman shares, with the writer noting how "his steely composure" breaks. "I just thought on every arrest how proud she would be."

Beth Chapman, who passed away last June, and Duane Chapman pictured in 2017. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

In the new series, the Dog the Bounty Hunter star chases after more dangerous fugitives, like attempted murderers and sexual assault criminals. With higher-profile targets comes an increased risk in safety, but Chapman says Beth's death gave him a newfound sense of peace during filming.

"I'm not afraid to die anymore," he reveals, adding that, when he’s about to knock down a door in a bust he now says to himself, "Here I come, Bethy." Chapman imagines his wife in a garden in heaven, saying, "Big Daddy, it took you a long time."

He continues, "I told my camera crew after she [passed], 'If something happens to me, you'd better get that shot.' They're like, 'Boss, we will.' I'm not afraid to die now, because I know where I'm going and who I'll get to see again."

Beth died after battling throat cancer. In a trailer for the show, she tells her family that despite only having a 50/50 chance of survival, she wants to keep working. Her death and the impact it has had on her husband is documented in the upcoming series. Some moments were hard to watch during the editing process, says Chapman. But according to the TV star, he very much felt her presence after she passed.

In one instance, Chapman explains how he and his team lost a felon in an unfamiliar neighborhood, "and I stopped for a second as I was running and said, 'Beth, please. Where is he?' All of a sudden, I heard [fellow hunter] David and [Chapman's son] Leland yell, 'We're on him again, boss.' I told David, 'Oh my God, she's watching.' David said, 'We have an angelic drone.' I feel her all the time."

The premise of the new show was "exciting" for the Chapmans. "Beth and I noticed it was more exciting and dangerous and gratifying to take out these kinds of fugitives," he explains. "So this [show] is a lot crazier."

Dog's Most Wanted premieres on WGN America on Sept. 4.

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