Duane, 66, announced her passing on Twitter, writing, “It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain. Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”
Beth was first diagnosed with stage 2 throat cancer in November 2017. She underwent successful surgery, but doctors months later told her the cancer had returned. Although she began chemotherapy in December 2018, Duane told Us Weekly at the time that she wanted to explore alternative therapies instead.
“Beth will not take anything the doctors want to give her. Even the doctor told me he doesn’t want her to have seizures if the pain is that bad, but she won’t do it,” he said. “She takes over-the-counter pain meds. She will not take anything prescription.”
Beth wrote on Instagram in February that she was testing out CBD and THC-based therapies and alleged that chemotherapy was “poison.”
Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman and Beth Chapman attend the Vettys Presidential Inaugural Ball at Hay-Adams Hotel on Jan. 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Beth died at 51 in June 2019.
In April 2019 she was admitted to a hospital in Hawaii with “serious breathing issues,” but recovered.
Then, this last weekend she was rushed again to the ER and placed in a medically induced coma. Sources told TMZ that Beth was having trouble breathing due to her throat cancer and described the incident as a “choking emergency.” Her family, including daughter Bonnie, reportedly traveled to Hawaii to be by her side.
On Monday, Duane posted a photo of Beth’s hand in a hospital bed, noting her signature manicure was intact.
In January, Beth celebrated becoming a great-grandmother after her grandson, Dakota, welcomed his first child. She began chemotherapy the same month.
Beth hinted in May 2019 that she had stopped chemotherapy treatments for her throat cancer, telling People, “Chemotherapy is not my bag, people. Sorry, that’s not for me. So for me, this is the ultimate test of faith. This is my ultimate lesson. And it will either be taught to me or to you. And I am fine with taking the hit for everyone else. Because I think I know another guy who did the same thing.”
Beth and Duane’s love story spans several decades. She first met Dog when she was 19 to his 35 back in 1988 when she got into trouble with the law: She’d accidentally stolen a lemon from a supermarket while carrying an unregistered, unlicensed gun in her pocket, all while having warrants for her arrest for unpaid parking tickets. She initially refused to go to Dog’s office to file paperwork to get out of jail, but when she finally did, it was love at first sight, she said, joking to Rosie O’Donnell, “Let the stalking begin!”
In Dog’s memoir, “You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide,” he admitted the feeling was mutual, but he was married at the time and believed Beth was too young for him. She began getting herself into more and more trouble to be around him, including serving six months behind bars for “borrowing” a car from a dealership to follow him around. By the time she was released from prison, Dog was dating his secretary, Tawny Marie, who’d go on to become his fourth wife.
Beth was undeterred and says she even got her bail license — at the time, becoming the youngest person ever in Colorado to do so — to win Dog over. It sort of worked: She married his close friend, Keith Barmore, but she and Dog kept “seeing each other.” “I was the other woman through three wives. Two wives, and one really good girlfriend,” Beth admitted.
Duane’s mother died in 1995 and he’d separated from his wife in 1994, leading him to spiral into drug abuse and health problems. He eventually moved to Colorado to be near his sister, and while he and Beth tried to keep away from one another, fate brought them together, he recalled 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,” he wrote. “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.”
They would go on to welcome daughter Bonnie Jo and son Garry.
In 2003, “Dog the Bounty Hunter” premiered on A&E, launching the couple into reality stardom. After several years together building their bail and bounty business, Duane proposed to Beth in 2005 in Las Vegas, where they almost tied the knot but were too late to the courthouse. They ended up marrying in May 2006, but the wedding was bittersweet: The day before their big day, Duane’s daughter, Barbara Katy Chapman, died in a car accident near her Alaska home.
Beth Chapman wife of Bounty Hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman kiss under an archway of roses near the waterfall at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Waikoloa, on the Big Island of Hawaii, May 20, 2006. The couple married after several dramatic years together and remained together until Beth’s death in June 2019.
As for what made them finally marry, Dog wrote in his book “Where Mercy Is Shown, Mercy Is Given,” “Our youngest children had begun to ask us why we weren’t married, and Beth was being referred to as my ‘life partner’ or ‘sidekick.’ Those descriptions weren’t fair to her, either. In my heart, I always knew Beth would be my forever wife. It was time to make it official.”
Duane previously told Fox News of his wife’s cancer battle, “Faith is probably the No. 1 thing in our lives, no matter what we’re faced with … Through this cancer episode, we had to drum up as much faith as we could. And the Bible talks about having faith as small as a mustard seed,” he said. “And that’s not much … And I thank God that we had at least that much faith to get her through that.”
Beth is survived by Dog, their children Bonnie Jo and Garry, her daughter Cecily, several grandchildren and a great-grandson, as well as son Dominic Davis from a prior relationship.
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah, Stephanie Nolasco and Julius Young contributed to this report.