Beth Chapman was an American-Italian bounty hunter, best known as the wife of Duane Chapman aka Dog the Bounty Hunter. The 51-year-old battled the aggressive form of throat cancer, which was first diagnosed in September 2017. Amidst her health struggles, she was excited to return to her new show, Dog’s Most Wanted, alongside her husband and their team of professionals, The Dirty. While fans are mourning her death, we have brought some lesser-known facts about her.
1. Youngest Licensed Bail Bondsman
Beth became a licensed bail bondsman, the youngest in the history of Colorado, at the age of 29. This record has been broken by her step-daughter Lyssa Chapman (Baby Lyssa), who got her bail license at the age of 19.
2. Love at First Sight
Beth (born October 29, 1967) was 19 years old when she met Duane for the first time in 1988. At the time, she was working for a lawmaker. After walking out of a grocery store with a lemon when she got a call from her boss, she was arrested for “shoplifting” and was also charged for unpaid parking tickets. She also got herself in trouble by carrying an unregistered and unlicensed gun, which she had taken from her drunk boyfriend and Beth’s father called Duane to bail her out of jail. Beth refused to go to his office for paperwork until he threatened her to put her back behind the bars. But, once they saw each other, they were smitten by each other.
3. Former Relationships and Children
Beth was first married to Keith A. Barmore, with whom she shared a daughter, Cecily (born 1993). She was also the mother of a son, Dominic Smith (born 1985), born with her ex-boyfriend. With Duane, she shared Bonnie Chapman (born 1999) and Garry Chapman (born 2001).
In 1995, Duane got himself into drug addiction as a way to cope with his personal problems and went to live near his sister in Denver. He wrote in his memoir,
“One day, we were both standing in the alley behind the houses on bail bonds row. It was like a scene from a movie. I looked at her and she at me. By the time Beth got to the back of the alley, I was already by her side. I grabbed her and put the most passionate kiss on her.”
Afterward, he along with his kids moved into Beth’s house. But, he was still unable to escape addiction, and she wasn’t going to let that stand. By 1997, he battled with the addiction and won. Thanking Beth for backing him in those tough times, he said,
“If Beth hadn’t saved me, I’m not sure I would have survived those years.”
5. Dog’s Fifth Wife
Before Beth, Dog was married to La Fonda Sue Honeycutt (1972–1977), Anne M. Tegnell (1979–1982), Lyssa Rae Brittain (1982–1991) and Tawny Marie (1991–2002). Though Beth and Dog knew each other since the late 80s, it was only in 2006 when they tied the knot officially. It was just a day after Dog’s daughter, Barbara Katy Chapman died.
Beth's Final Words
Beth passed away on June 26, 2019, at the age of 51 after she lost her two-year-long fierce battle with stage 4 throat cancer that had transferred to her lungs. She was placed in a medically-induced coma a few days before her death. According to her husband, she spent her final hours worrying about her family. The family said that they were aware that the mourning day would come but they didn't expect it to come so fast.
Duane burst into tears while stating that the love of his life was just asking the well-being of the family members before taking the last breath.
"When she had an attack I didn't know anything to do but to say 'in Jesus' name' and hold her," he said. "And when I said 'in Jesus' name' she said, 'Say it again, say it more.' "- Duane 'Dog' Chapman
The family is planning memorials in both Hawaii and Colorado (Beth's hometown) where they have homes. All members of the family paid tribute to her through social media and aren't still over this huge loss. Hours after she died, Duane "Dog" Chapman lovingly stated, "Beth isn't dead, she's sleeping." He wrote an emotional message on Twitter stating that she hiked the stairway to heaven.
Rest in Peace, Beth. You will always be remembered.