The Untold Truth Of Beth Chapman

Beth Chapman, the late wife of Duane "Dog" Chapman and former co-star of Dog the Bounty Hunter, was one of the most memorable faces of reality television. Between her bleach blonde hair and no-nonsense attitude, she was hard to forget. Many fans continued to follow the Colorado native's journey on social media and via various television specials long after the hit A&E show ended in 2012, but public interest in the bail bondswoman spiked in September 2017, when she was diagnosed with stage II throat cancer. 

After going into remission, Beth's cancer returned in November 2018. The news came as a devastating blow to Duane, the couple's large gaggle of children, and countless viewers. Things took a turn for the worse when Beth was placed in a medically-induced coma due to complications stemming from her illness. She died on June 26, 2019, at a hospital in Honolulu, according to TMZ. She was 51 years old. In a heartfelt tribute to his beloved wife, Duane tweeted: "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."

There's no denying Beth was a fighter. The TV personality's miraculous spirit and story proved to be an inspiration to many. Learn more about her life in the untold truth of Beth Chapman.

Beth Chapman's father was a famous athlete

Not many people know this, but Beth Chapman's dad, Garry L. Smith, was a professional baseball player back in the day. "Her dad played first base for the minor-league team the Kansas City Athletics in the late fifties," Duane Chapman revealed in You Can Run but You Can't Hide. "He was one of the relentless competitors in the minor leagues." Too cool.

Sadly, Smith passed away in March 2006 at the age of 68 — just two months before Beth and Duane's wedding in Hawaii, meaning he sadly didn't have the opportunity to walk his daughter down the aisle. It goes without saying the loss hit Beth hard, especially since the two appeared to be very close. "To me he was my garage sale buddy, my burger joint partner, ice cream eater, green chili maker, and my best friend," she wrote in a heartfelt tribute on Facebook in 2016. "But mostly he is my dad and he's always with me!" 

Making lemonade out of stolen lemons

It might sound like a made up story, but Beth Chapman's meet-cute had a sour start. Here's what happened: In 1988, a 19-year-old Beth accidentally shoplifting a lemon while grocery shopping. "She was standing on line at the grocery store waiting to pay for the lemon when she received a page on her beeper from her boss, a Colorado state senator," Duane Chapman shared in his 2007 memoir, You Can Run but You Can't Hide. "Whenever he paged her, she had to respond right away. This was before cell phones, so she got out of line to use the pay phone, still holding the lemon. Store security nabbed her on the spot for shoplifting."

The incident wouldn't have been a big deal, but Beth was also got caught with her boyfriend's unregistered and unlicensed gun, which Duane claimed she'd taken for safety reasons. Store employees called the police, who ran a check on Beth and found she had a warrant out for her arrest due to unpaid parking tickets. Beth went to jail, and lo and behold, Duane was her bondsman. The bounty hunter was married to his third wife at the time, but Beth felt they'd be together one day. He joked in his book: "Beth loves to tell people that the minute she laid eyes on me in the office that day, she knew I would be her man."

It's a small world after all

It's no secret Duane Chapman was the love of Beth Chapman's life — a sentiment she professed numerous times. But before Duane entered the picture, she was married to someone else: Duane's old buddy, Keith A. Barmore. Small world, huh? The bounty hunter opened up about the interesting connection in You Can Run but You Can't Hide, explaining that he was dubious about the former couple's relationship from the start since he'd witnessed Barmore's reported bad behavior during their teen years. 

"Keith was no better as an adult than he was as a punk kid," Duane claimed. "He was a thief with a heroin habit. He would drink beer just to even out from the drugs. It just about broke my heart when I heard Beth was dating him. When I heard they got married [in 1991], I got physically sick. There couldn't have been two people in the world who were worse together than Beth and Keith." According to Duane, Beth was allegedly stuck in an abusive relationship: "Friends told me he was abusing her something awful." 

Luckily for Beth, she eventually found love with Duane, marrying him in 2006 (via Today). As the old saying goes, love works in mysterious ways.

Duane and Beth's courtship involved risky laisons

Speaking of Beth Chapman's ex-husband, she was supposedly unfaithful to Keith A. Barmore. According to Duane Chapman's claim in You Can Run but You Can't Hide, his attraction to Beth was apparently too strong to avoid infidelity"Truth be told, Beth and I were sleeping together the entire time I was married to Tawny and throughout her marriage to Keith," Duane wrote. "Beth used to jokingly threaten to take our motel bill to the office and show it to Tawny unless I promised to show up and spend more time with her. I always had Beth book the room in her name, just in case." 

Duane alleged it was Beth who was the pursuer in their relationship, writing: "Even though we were both married, Beth was still in hot pursuit of my affection. After she got her bond license, she began writing some pretty sketchy bail so I would have to chase down her guys if they skipped ... She was looking for high-risk guys to make sure she saw as much of me as she could." Beth did fess up to those "bad bail" claims in an interview with A&E.

The perks of fame, fortune, & fandom

For nearly a decade, Beth and Duane Chapman chased down Hawaii's fugitives on A&E's Dog the Bounty Hunter, before switching over to CMT to help train other bail bond agents in Dog and Beth: On the Hunt. Alongside their swift rise to fame, Beth accumulated a reported net worth of $2 million. "Honestly, we got very, very lucky," Duane told Fox 4 Now of their long-running reality TV success. So lucky, in fact, that the duo filmed one last show together prior to Beth's passing: WGN's Dogs Most Wanted

But fame and fortune wouldn't have meant much without their family and the ongoing support of their adoring fan base. It was the Chapmans' longtime bond with their audience that prompted them to be transparent about Beth's cancer diagnosis in the 2017 special, Dog & Beth: Fight of Their Lives. "I felt like our fans have been so loyal to us that we really owed it to share it with them," Beth told Too Fab. While looking back on their life together in May 2019, Beth told a church congregation (via Pop Culture), "We've had an amazing life. We had great fun and we are still having fun." 

How Beth Chapman confronted her cancer battle

Beth Chapman approached her cancer battle with a positive attitude in 2017. "My life has never been easy, and I surely don't expect it to start now," she said (via Radar Online). "Still, I've never been a victim and I won't let cancer beat me." This outlook continued when her cancer returned the following year. While the Chapmans traveled the country for "experimental treatments," they spent much of their time at home in Hawaii in 2019. 

"I value every single day," Beth told the Star Advertiser. "Even though the outlook is grim, I just don't want to live it like that ... I'm a strong fighter, big-time survivor, and I'm gonna fight this as vigorously as it's fighting me." She told Hawaii News Now, "I think that faith and fear void each other out, so you have to pick one."

Determined not to let her illness slow her down, Beth continued to work alongside her doting husband and filled her social media accounts with endless inspirational posts. "I am so amazed by Beth's strength," Duane Chapman told the Daily Mail. "She has told me repeatedly that if these are her last days on earth she wants to spend every moment with me on the hunt, living life to the fullest and enjoying the time we have left together."

Beth Chapman wasn't afraid to stand up for herself

Beth Chapman was never one to shy away from a battle. It's a character trait she demonstrated in February 2019 when she accused a Hawaii Power 104.3 radio station host of mocking her cancer fight. It's not quite clear what was allegedly said, but Beth seemingly implied that the host in question had encouraged listeners to send in bad stories about Beth and Duane Chapman in exchange for Eminem tickets. 

"How LOW do you have to be to talk bad about a woman fighting lung cancer," Beth tweeted in response. "Giving away Eminem tickets for your worst story about us? Really." The reality TV star went on to encourage her followers to call the station's advertisers, arguing that it was the best course of action because "advertisers don't like [controversies] and they hate phone calls about stations that are acting this way." Meanwhile, Beth's followers commended her efforts, with one fan writing: "You go Mrs Dog. Nobody messes with you." Indeed.

Beth Chapman was open to different cancer treatments

Chemotherapy uses strong chemicals to kill fast-growing cells and is a common way to treat cancer. While Beth Chapman tried this treatment to cure her cancer, she reportedly came to reject this strategy over time. "Chemotherapy is not my bag, people," she allegedly said during a church service speech in May 2019 (via People). "Sorry, that's not for me. So for me, this is the ultimate test of faith. This is my ultimate lesson."

We can't say for certain what other treatments Beth tried in replacement of chemo, but it's possible she considered CBD and THC, two natural compounds found in cannabis. Our theory rests on an Instagram post shared in February 2019, in which Beth posted photos of an informational booth about CBD and THC. "The real medicine behind the plant is very interesting the healing qualities are vast," she wrote in the caption. "We need to all be far more open minded to new treatments ... We no longer need to poison patients to get them well."

Although some people might have found this take controversial, Beth Chapman ultimately reserved the right to make her own decisions about her health.

Beth's relationship with Duane's daughter was strained

Fans of Dog the Bounty Hunter probably already know that Beth Chapman and stepdaughter Lyssa Chapman didn't always get along. It's not exactly clear what sparked their alleged feud, but it might have had something to do with Lyssa reportedly opting not to visit Beth after she had a tumor removed from her throat in late 2017. According to Entertainment Daily, the daughter of Duane Chapman defended her actions in the comments section of an Instagram post that November, citing the responsibilities of a "move" and "house and dog sitting" at the time. She added, "I stand by my decision to stay with my family. And not let the cancer eat away at my home as well." 

Sadly, the pair's reported feud continued into May 2019, when Beth accused Lyssa of icing her out. "I'm very disappointed today," she tweeted, claiming that Lyssa failed to "acknowledge me on Mother's Day yet texted some of my friends wishing them a HMD." Ouch. The former reality star also complained that Lyssa left her out of her granddaughter's graduation ceremony, writing, "I would have moved a mountain to be there." 

Despite the apparent bad blood, Lyssa sent out her support on social media when Beth was placed in a medically-induced coma a month later, sharing a snapshot of the two on Instagram and tweeting out, "#KeepFightingBeth."

Beth Chapman's final days

In the days leading up to her death in June 2019, Beth Chapman was rushed to the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii and placed under a medically-induced coma (via Hawaii News Now). According to TMZ, she'd suffered a "breathing issue" that became "a choking emergency." Not long after, Duane Chapman asked fans to pray

"She was surrounded by family and Dog was there, holding her hand" at the time of her death, a rep for the Chapman family told People. As funeral arrangements were made in both Honolulu and Colorado, The Blast reported that Beth's body would be cremated, according to her wishes. "You kind of try to remember that you're celebrating life, but right now we're mourning the death," Duane told Hawaii News Now. "For a few years we knew this day would come. It came really unexpected, really fast ... We didn't prepare." Duane also shared some of her final words (via Radar Online): "One of the last things she said [was], 'It's a test of my faith.' She had faith and that was it."

Fans, fellow celebrities, and loved ones took to Twitter to mourn her loss. Our thoughts are with Beth Chapman's loved ones during this difficult time.