A Complete Timeline Of Dog The Bounty Hunter's Relationships

The following article references suicide, addiction, and mental health struggles.

Since the debut of his self-titled A&E show in 2004, Duane Chapman, aka Dog the Bounty Hunter, has become a household name thanks to his unfiltered personality and wild adventures capturing fugitives with his family.

While "Dog the Bounty Hunter," "Dog and Beth: On the Hunt," and "Dog's Most Wanted" are primarily about Duane's intense line of work, the shows also give viewers a look at his personal life. In 2006, he married Alice "Beth" Chapman, and though they had their ups and downs, they stayed together until her death in 2019. Throughout their decades-long relationship, Beth served as Chapman's trusty, tough-loving sidekick on "Dog the Bounty Hunter," and together, the two built a business and brand that will remain cemented in American culture for years to come.

Prior to his lengthy relationship with Beth, the father of 12 was married four different times — and his fifth marriage would not be his last. There have been many ups and downs in Duane "Dog" Chapman's relationship timeline, but it looks like he's found love yet again. 

A teenage relationship ended in tragedy

Before Duane "Dog" Chapman established a career of hunting down and capturing bad guys, he was a criminal himself, which cut his first serious relationship short. In 1969, Chapman's first son, Christopher Hecht, was born. According to The Mirror, Chapman not only was in jail at the time of Christopher's birth, but did not know that his girlfriend at the time, Debbie White, was pregnant. It is unknown how much contact Chapman and White had during his time in prison, but given that she did not reach out to him about her pregnancy, it is likely they were not on good terms.

In 1978, White died by suicide, and Christopher was adopted by a couple not related to the family. Gloria Hecht, Christopher's adoptive mother, told The Sun in 2021 that Chapman did not get in contact with his firstborn until Christopher was in his late teenage years. According to Gloria, Chapman and Christopher do not get along, and she believes Christopher's struggles with addiction and the law are linked to his fraught relationship with his biological dad. As of 2021, Christopher was incarcerated for a prior menacing charge. When The Sun reached out to Chapman about where things stand with his son, he said, "I've helped Chris numerous times and will again when he is released from prison."

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If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Dog the Bounty Hunter's tumultuous first marriage

Around 1970, Duane "Dog" Chapman met La Fonda Sue Darnell on a trip to Denver, Colorado, according to Chapman's 2007 autobiography, "You Can Run, But You Can't Hide." The two dated for close to two years before officially tying the knot in October 1972. They moved around a few times before settling in Pampa, Texas, where Darnell was originally from.

Chapman and Darnell share two children: Duane Lee Chapman II (born 1973), and Leland Chapman (born 1976), per The Sun. The couple's marriage would not last much longer past the birth of their second son, as Chapman's criminal past reared its ugly head once again.

In 1976, the future "Dog the Bounty Hunter" star was arrested following the murder of a man named Jerry Oliver. According to The Guardian, one of Chapman's friends shot and killed Oliver during a marijuana deal gone wrong. Chapman was waiting outside Oliver's house at the time, and was charged with first-degree murder and sent to prison. He was released after a year and a half, and all of it was enough for Darnell to split from her husband of five years. In 1977, she filed for divorce and the two went their separate ways.

A rushed second marriage

When Duane "Dog" Chapman was released from prison in 1979, he was already divorced from his ex-wife La Fonda Darnell, and looking for a companion to take her place. As he recounted in his autobiography "You Can Run, But You Can't Hide," he met Ann Tegnell at a biker party in Colorado that same year, and the two hit it off.

According to Duane, the two left the party together that night. When he offered to drive Tegnell home after they'd been intimate, she revealed she was 17 years old. In an attempt to avoid any more jail time, Duane, who was on parole for his 1976 murder sentence, married Tegnell the next day. For the pair, who literally only knew each other for days, their connection was not a match made in heaven. "We didn't know each other at all. We were both so young and we probably wouldn't have gotten married if she hadn't been underage when we met," Duane explained in "You Can Run, But You Can't Hide."

Despite having a less than ideal marriage, Duane and Tegnell had three children together. Their first child, Zebediah Chapman, died on January 31, 1980, shortly after his birth, per ET. The couple had two more sons, Wesley Chapman (born 1980) and James Chapman (born 1982), during their on-again, off-again relationship before splitting permanently in 1982, as reported by The Mirror.

Duane Chapman's odd third proposal

Following the divorce from Ann Tegnell, Duane "Dog" Chapman lost custody of his children and was trying to reconnect with his children with La Fonda Darnell. As he recalled in "You Can Run, But You Can't Hide," after the death of his newborn Zebediah Chapman, Duane traveled to Colorado Springs to track down Duane Lee and Leland Chapman. When he arrived in Colorado, however, he found another woman to call his wife.

In 1982, he met Lyssa Rae Brittain at a bar near Colorado Springs and decided he wanted to have a child with her. So, as he recounted in his memoir, he offered her a hefty sum of money to have a kid with him. Rather than write it off as an alcohol-fueled proposal, Brittain split from her then-husband, married Duane, and had three kids: Barbara Katie Chapman (born 1982), Tucker Chapman (born 1983), and Lyssa "Baby Lyssa" Chapman (born 1987), per The Sun.

As the foundation of Duane's marriage to Britain was spontaneous and arguably superficial from the start, the two started to drift apart. "Her dreams and mine were no longer headed in the same direction. She wanted to spend the rest of her life living in a secluded cabin in the woods. I wanted the bright lights of Hollywood," Duane shared in his autobiography. The two divorced in 1991, leaving the future TV star single once again.

Things with wife number four were rocky early on

Duane "Dog" Chapman met his next wife while he was still married to Lyssa Brittain. As he recounted in "You Can Run, But You Can't Hide," Duane and Tawny Marie Chapman's first interaction was strictly business: He nabbed her for narcotics possession in 1988. A few years later, he ended up bringing her on as a secretary, and their professional relationship soon turned sexual. While he wanted to keep things casual, Tawny wanted a serious relationship, and according to the television star, she apparently pressured him into marriage. In 1992, the two tied the knot, but as far as Duane was concerned, there wasn't much of a honeymoon period. "It was a disaster from the start," he wrote. Duane alleged Tawny started using again while they were together, and he was unfaithful. After his own mother's death, he struggled with depression and turned to alcohol and drugs. 

A budding affair with Alice "Beth" Smith also put a significant strain on Tawny and Duane. "Do you know the old saying, 'Keep your friends close and your enemies closer'? That is the perfect description of Beth and Tawny's relationship," he wrote. They would split in 1994 but legally remain married until 2002, per The Mirror

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Legal woes brought Beth Chapman into his life

Everyone recognizes Beth Chapman as Duane "Dog" Chapman's longtime wife and bounty-hunting sidekick. Long before starting a relationship and starring in their own reality TV show together, however, the two met one another when Beth was technically a criminal herself.

As Beth recalled on "The Rosie Show," it all began when she was accused of trying to steal two lemons from a grocery store. She was waiting in the checkout line when she found out she had to call her then-boss, a state senator. Duane wrote in "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." 

What's more, she happened to have an unregistered gun on her person, as well as a number of unpaid traffic tickets. So, she needed a bail bondsman. "I called [Duane] for a bond .... but he sent it out on the bus. So I wound up sitting in jail 12 hours," she recalled to Rosie O'Donnell. When it came time for Beth to come to Duane's office to fill out paperwork, she played hard to get, until he threatened to revoke her bond and put her back in jail. It was when Beth reluctantly met Duane at his office that it was love at first sight for the both of them. Beth remembered thinking, "Oh yes, he will be mine." 

The pair rose to fame with Dog the Bounty Hunter

There was no denying the chemistry that Duane "Dog" Chapman and Beth Chapman had when they met in 1988. The only problem was that Chapman was married to his then-wife Lyssa Brittain. Despite this, however, the two started a long-lasting affair, which Duane detailed in "You Can Run, But You Can't Hide." Looking back on the early stages of their relationship, he wrote, "Truth be told, Beth and I were sleeping together the entire time I was married to Tawny and throughout her marriage to Keith."

The pair's relationship withstood two of Chapman's marriages, one short-lived girlfriend, and even the period when he struggled with drug use. Finally in 1997, Chapman and his children officially moved in with Beth, and the two teamed up professionally. It took a few years before Da'Kine Bail Bonds would be a well-known establishment, but the 2003 capture of Max Factor cosmetics heir Andrew Luster helped to launch the Chapman's into the media, as reported by ABC News. In 2004, the pair's show, "Dog the Bounty Hunter" premiered on A&E and immediately garnered huge viewership for the network. The show spanned eight seasons from 2004 until it was canceled in 2012, though it inspired several spin-off shows, including "Dog and Beth: On the Hunt" and "Dog's Most Wanted."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Beth Chapman was diagnosed with cancer

Duane "Dog" Chapman and Beth Chapman went through a lot since they started their relationship and subsequently got married in 2006. Nothing would prepare either for a startling diagnosis Beth would receive. In September 2017, the "Dog the Bounty Hunter" star learned she had Stage 2 throat cancer, as reported by ET. At the time of her diagnosis, Beth wrote a letter to fans (via Us Weekly), which read in part, "My life has never been easy, and I surely don't expect it to start now. Still, I've never been a victim and I won't let cancer beat me."

Beth underwent surgery to remove a tumor not long after her diagnosis, and in November 2017 she was deemed cancer-free, per People. Nearly a year later, however, she had to have emergency surgery to remove another tumor, but the cancer spread aggressively to her lungs. On November 29, 2018, Beth took to Instagram to share an update with fans, writing, "Another bend in the Road yet not the End of the Road."

On June 26, 2019, just a few short months after her emergency surgery, Beth died as a result of cancer. Duane broke the news on Twitter, writing in part, "Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side." 

His friendship with Moon Angell sparked rumors

Not long after losing his wife and bounty-hunting partner Beth Chapman, Duane "Dog" Chapman sought comfort from his dear friends and family, including Moon Angell. According to People, Angell had developed a close bond with the couple after she was brought on as a personal assistant in 1998. 

In December 2019, romance rumors came to a head when Duane's daughter Lyssa Chapman claimed on Twitter that something was going on between Angell and her dad. "Any person who moves in on a man weeks after losing his wife, who you were supposed to be a 'friend' to, Is the lowest scum on the planet," she wrote. The following month, The "Dog the Bounty Hunter" star addressed his relationship with Angell, telling Radar, "​​She has just been so good to me. I'll get really emotional and find myself getting into a dark hole and she will tell me to suck it up. So it's been good having her by my side."

Rumors grew stronger when the two had an interesting exchange on "The Dr. Oz Show" in February 2020. While discussing the loss of Beth and coping with grief, a tearful Duane turned to Angell and proposed. Angell appeared shocked at the question and assured Duane that the two were platonic, to which he chalked the whole exchange off as a test to convince viewers that the two were not in a relationship. Whatever was or wasn't going on, they never took things further.

Dog the Bounty Hunter found love again

Following the death of Beth Chapman, Duane told Us Weekly that he would never tie the knot again. Though he did not plan on getting married for a sixth time, he predicted Beth would not be his last romantic relationship. "I have to have the companionship," he shared. "I don't do single s***."

Evidently, Duane changed his mind about marriage when he met Francie Frane, a woman who lost her husband to cancer shortly before Beth died. As the two shared with ET, Duane wanted to hire Frane's late husband for a home-related project, but ended up connecting with his widow over their similar experiences. They immediately realized they could lean on one another. As Chapman shared with TMZ, "I'm allowed to speak about Beth, I talk about ... her husband that passed, and we cry and we hold each other." 

By March 2020, the two started dating, and in May of that year Duane took their relationship to the next level and proposed. While many fans have criticized his decision to move on from Beth, Duane explained to People, "If Beth was here, and saw Francie and saw how she was raised, her morality and this and that, Beth would say, 'Big daddy, don't lose her.'" The pair married in a private ceremony in September 2021 and frequently share their adventures on social media.