Reality TV Star Beth Chapman Revealed Some Devastating News In An Emotional Letter To Friends
Beth Chapman was someone that a lot of people knew from Dog the Bounty Hunter. She was not a famous celebrity, but she and her husband, Duane "Dog" Chapman, experienced many ups and downs throughout the years. More and more people started paying attention to Beth when she developed throat cancer, and she turned it into something good. Dog and Beth Chapman experienced the loss of a child, jail time, a custody battle regarding a grandchild, sickness, and much more.
Beth was born Alice Elizabeth Smith in Colorado and trained as a gymnast and ice skater. In 2004, Beth started out by doing a lot of office work on Dog the Bounty Hunter and other behind-the-scenes work.
She would also help Dog bring in the bounties. She and Duane have been featured on several different shows and have made a stable career out of their experiences.
Duane & Beth Marry
Beth Smith and Duane Chapman first met in 2016 when she was nineteen and he was thirty-five years old. She first met him when she was arrested after being accused of shoplifting.
When she was arrested, she was carrying an unlicensed gun and was wanted for unpaid parking tickets. Her father hired Dog to bail her out, and the two ended up getting married in Hawaii in 2006.
"Take This Job"
While filming their show Dog the Bounty Hunter, Beth and Dog were involved in the Luster Case. Due to widespread publicity around the case, the two were featured on the A&E TV series, Take This Job.
Take This Job is a reality show about people with offbeat careers. Dog's segment caught the attention of the network's suits, and A&E set out to create a series around Dog, his staff, and his life.
Dog The Bounty Hunter
Dog the Bounty Hunter aired on A&E from 2004 until 2012, and the series gave viewers a look into a career of tracking down criminals and the life of the Chapman family. The series took place in Hawaii and Dog's home state of Colorado.
The episodes featured many big cases and also gave fans a peek into the chaotic but loving home of the Chapmans. Beth was a big part of the show but was often behind the scenes.
Duane Lee Chapman
Duane Lee Chapman, known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, is a former bail bondsman, television personality, and bounty hunter. He has been married six times and has eleven biological children and one adopted child.
Dog was married to Beth up until her death, and the two appeared on several shows together, including Dog the Bounty Hunter, Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, and most recently, Dog's Most Wanted.
Dog Chapman Was Actually Found Guilty Of First-Degree Murder In 1976
Beth was arrested in her younger years due to shoplifting, but Dog also served time for first-degree murder. In 1976, Dog was convicted of murder and sentenced to five years in a Texas prison. He was waiting in a getaway car while his friend shot and killed Jerry Oliver in a struggle during a deal to buy cannabis.
He had no direct role in the murder but was tried for the crime under Texas law that anyone involved indirectly in a killing can be held responsible. He ended up serving eighteen months at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.
Dog And Beth: On The Hunt
Duane and Beth had another show, a Dog the Bounty Hunter spin-off, Dog and Beth: On the Hunt. The series aired from 2013 until 2015 on CMT.
In this series, Dog and Beth switched gears and helped other bail bond agencies that were on the brink of extinction. They trained them on how to create a sustaining bounty hunter business. There was a third spin-off titled Dog's Most Wanted.
Beth Saved The Show From Being Taken Off The Air
Three years after Dog the Bounty Hunter premiered, a phone conversation between Chapman and his son Tucker was leaked. In the conversation, Dog used a racial slur when talking about Tucker's girlfriend, and it was a huge story at the time.
A&E decided to take the show off the air, but with Beth's help, they were able to save the series. "After meeting with Dog and his wife, Beth, and hearing his side of the story, we realized that the controversy had unjustly spiraled out of control without context." ----- Roy Innis.
Beth Was President Of The Professional Bail Agents Of The United States
The Professional Bail Agents of the United States is a group that represents the country's fifteen thousand bail agents. Beth Chapman decided that she was running for president of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States.
After she became president, she was determined to combat efforts to change or eliminate the current system. She felt that the industry was under attack.
Beth Was Diagnosed With Throat Cancer
In 2017, Beth Chapman was diagnosed with throat cancer. She wrote a letter to her fans and stated, "As most of you know, I've spent a lifetime facing tests and challenges I didn't see coming and certainly never expected.
I've been dealt my share of unexpected blows over the course of my almost 50 years but nothing as serious as the one I heard from my doctors two weeks ago when they uttered those dreaded three words: 'You have cancer.' I have what is referred to as a T2 Tumor in my throat that is blocking my breathing. My doctors are suggesting immediate treatment and surgery before the disease progresses."
Her Beloved Dog Reportedly Passed Away While She Was In California Receiving Treatment
Beth loved her fur babies and was very upset because her beloved dog passed away while she was in California going through treatment. She stated that she had been begging her friends and doctors to let her go home and see her precious baby.
She said that she was sick with grief because her baby waited for her to come home, but she never did. She was distraught over losing her precious Delilah.
The Couple Raised 12 Children Together
When Dog and Beth were married, they became a blended family and had two biological children, Bonnie Joanne and Gary Chapman. Beth had two children from a previous relationship, Dominic Davis and Cecily Barmore-Chapman, whom Dog later adopted.
Dog came into the marriage with nine children from previous marriages. His children are Duane Lee Chapman II, Christopher Michael Hecht, Leland Chapman, Wesley Chapman, J.R. Chapman, Tucker Dee Chapman, and Lyssa Rae Chapman.
She Was The Youngest Woman To Ever Receive A Bail License In Her Home State
Beth Chapman was the youngest woman to ever receive a bail license in Colorado. However, her stepdaughter, Lyssa Chapman, broke that record when she became a bail bondsman at the age of nineteen.
It is not a normal job for a teenager to have, but in the Chapman family, it's the family business. Beth worked in the bail bond business up until her death.
A&E Special "Dog & Beth: Fight Of Their Lives"
Dog and Beth Chapman also were involved with an A&E special titled Dog & Beth: Fight of their Lives." In the show, Beth and her husband chronicled her illness, treatment, and their very large, blended family's faith.
It was a two-hour special. Beth stated, "You know, we've just shared everything, and it's a mistake to try and hide things from your fans." They let their fans in on her whole journey.
Days Of Hope
Just a few months after being diagnosed with throat cancer, Beth had hope for the future. Beth was declared cancer-free and went to social media to share the amazing news.
She showed photos of her surgical scars from her tumor removal. She wrote that she was revealing her worst battle scar but knew that things would be getting better in 2018 and that she was getting a second chance.
Taking A New Path
Sadly, her cancer came back with a vengeance and quickly spread. However, this time around, she chose not to get chemotherapy. She gave a live-streamed speech from The Source Church in Bradenton, Florida.
She stated that this was an ultimate test of faith and that it was her ultimate lesson. She stated chemotherapy just wasn't for her.
Dog and Beth Chapman were crime fighters, and they successfully captured one of America's most-wanted fugitives, Leonard Trujillo, Jr. Trujillo was suspected of multiple offenses, which included armed robbery.
His record is horrendous, but he wasn't able to run anymore. The couple was able to bring him to justice along with several other criminals.
Duane's Daughter Died In A Car Accident The Night Before Their Wedding In 2006
One day before Dog and Beth were married, tragedy struck. Duane's daughter from a past relationship, Barbara Katie Chapman, died in a car accident. Barbara and Scott Standefer II were in a stolen SUV that crashed into an embankment.
"There is no clue as to why they left the roadway. There are absolutely no skid marks on the road. They just went off the road, hit an embankment, and launched." ----- Jeremy Stone. Barbara's mom stated, "Barbara had gotten herself into a terrible mess. She was trying as hard as she could to put her life back together."
An Upsetting Custody Battle Involving One Of Their Grandchildren
Barbara Chapman's death also brought more pain and struggles. Her young son went to live with his biological father, Travis Mimms. However, it was alleged that he was physically abusing the young boy.
As a result, Duane and Beth fought for custody of their grandson and were awarded temporary custody of the nine-year-old. It was a very tense custody battle and was really tough on both Dog and Beth.
Stages Of Cancer
There are four stages of cancer and, in some cases, even a fifth stage. Stage 1 is when the cancer is localized to a small area and hasn't spread. Stage 2 is when the cancer has grown but still hasn't spread. Stage III is when the cancer has possibly spread to lymph nodes or other tissues.
Stage IV is when the cancer has spread to other organs and areas of the body. The stage of the cancer tells you where the cancer is located, its size, and if it has spread at all. Stage IV cancer is often terminal.
A&E Canceled Bounty Hunter Again
A&E, for the second time, canceled the show Dog the Bounty Hunter and took it off the air. His controversial run on the network came to an end in 2012 after negotiations completely broke down.
After eight seasons, the show's run ended, and creative differences were the biggest reason for the cancellation. However, the Chapmans returned to television and continued with their show on CMT.
Beth And Dog Saw Each Other While Both Were Married To Other People
Duane and Beth first met in 1988, but they danced around their feelings for a very long time. Beth stated that she was the other woman through three of Duane's marriages.
The two finally got themselves figured out in 1995 and enjoyed a period of bliss and the birth of their two children, Garry and Bonnie. The two were very happy together and were later married at the Hilton hotel in Hawaii.
Throat Cancer: Michael Douglas
Another well-known person that was diagnosed with cancer was Michael Douglas. He was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma (throat cancer) in 2010. The doctor found a tumor at the base of Douglas' tongue.
He went through chemo and radiation treatments and was later declared in remission. Since his cancer journey, he has become an outspoken advocate for raising awareness about oral cancers and how it has been linked to HPV.
Andrew Luster Case
In 2003, Dog gained attention by capturing serial rapist Andrew Luster. Luster was an heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune and was hiding under an assumed name in Mexico. He was accused of raping several women and videotaping the assaults.
Dog was able to capture Luster and bring him in. He was found guilty and sentenced to a fifty-year prison sentence. However, Dog and his family were not paid for their work because they were also arrested while in Mexico for illegal detainment.
Throat Cancer: Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer is another star that was diagnosed with throat cancer. In 2017, he revealed he had been battling the disease for two years and declared it in remission. He had gone through radiation and chemotherapy treatments and had a tracheostomy.
The tracheostomy impaired his voice, but it didn't slow him down in Hollywood. In fact, he has three films in the works and has promised that he doesn't plan to stop acting anytime soon.
Leonard Trujillo Jr. Case
As said earlier, Dog and Beth made headlines when they caught Leonard Trujillo Jr. He was one of the most wanted men in America in 2019, being accused of first-degree assault, armed robbery, bank robbery, and other charges.
The team managed to track Trujillo down in Rocky Ford, Colorado. The capture of Trujillo was aired on Dog's Most Wanted, which was Dog's most recent reality television series on WGN America.
Throat Cancer: Dave Mustaine
Megadeth lead singer, Dave Mustaine, was also diagnosed with throat cancer in 2019. He was forced to stop touring and start treatment, going through chemotherapy. He was declared in remission in February and said it was because of his support system that he was able to make it through everything.
Mustaine has been known for his hard-hitting vocals and was worried that his career might be over. However, he is planning a tour, where he will also raise awareness about the disease.
Felix Adriano Chujoy Case
Another significant case was the Felix Adriano Chujoy Case, which began at Felix's mother's restaurant, Inca's Secret. He and his mother were charged with a labor trafficking scheme and were both accused of harboring illegal immigrants at the restaurant.
Chujoy was always wanted for witness tampering and making and distributing meth. Dog was angered because law enforcement didn't enter Chujoy's arrest warrant into the National Crime Information Center database after he was indicted. The error gave Chujoy a big head start ahead of Dog.
The Death Of Her Beloved Father
Sadly, in 2006, Beth Chapman lost her father just two months before her wedding. She was distraught because he wouldn't be able to walk her down the aisle. They two were very close, and he actually worked with Beth and Dog as a bail bondsman.
Beth even named her son after her father. She stated, "To me, he was garage sale buddy, my burger joint partner, ice cream eater, green chili maker, and my best friend. But mostly, he is my dad, and he's always with me!"
Throat Cancer: Bob Denver
Bob Denver is another actor who was diagnosed with throat cancer. He went to the doctor who discovered an unusual growth around Denver's voice box.
He was told he had stage 4 hypopharyngeal cancer but didn't qualify for chemo because of his preexisting heart condition. He had surgery and a six-week course of radiation, but his disease didn't respond to the treatment. Sadly, he passed away in September 2005.
Trouble In Love From The Jump
Before Beth and Duane found love together, Beth was married to a man named Keith Barmore. The two share a daughter together named Cecily. However, in a Twitter comment, she stated that her ex-husband was a heroin addict.
Keith and Duane were actually childhood friends, and he said that Keith was a thief with a heroin habit and that he had been told that Keith was abusing Beth.
Throat Cancer: George Harrison
George Harrison was a legendary member of the popular band The Beatles. He was an avid smoker throughout his entire life and was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1997.
He went through radiation treatment, and it was successful at first. However, his cancer returned in 2001 in the form of lung cancer. At the age of fifty-eight, Harrison died from the disease in November 2001.
Her Grandkids Were Involved In A Serious Accident
Years after Barbara was killed in a car accident, Beth's grandchildren were involved in a serious accident. Beth's stepdaughter, Lyssa Chapman, was in a serious accident with Beth's grandkids in the car.
Pictures from the scene show a deployed airbag and debris all over the road. It was a very scary sight, especially considering small children were in the car. Thankfully, they all walked away from the crash and survived.
The Christopher Nuanes Family Case
One of the notable episodes of Season One of Dog the Bounty Hunter was about the hunt for Christopher Nuanes. Nuanes had violated the terms of his bond for drug possession.
In addition, Nuanes' mother, Bernadette, and his step-father, Joe, had also violated their own jail bonds. Dog didn't catch Nuanes during the episode but later he did take him down in a fight, where Dog was almost stabbed with a crack pipe.
Family Arrest Leads To Heartbreak
Beth Chapman had a sweet, soft side, and that showed when one of Duane's stepchildren, Nicole Gillespie, was arrested for suspicion of second-degree robbery in 2015. They learned of the news through Crime Stoppers.
They released a joint statement saying, "It's always difficult and disheartening when someone you knew as a child grows up and chooses a life of crime. That is the case with Nicole Gillespie, who has been accused of robbing the Territorial Savings Bank on Bishop Street on Sept. 3. We have not seen 'Nickie' in over 10 years. Watching her on CrimeStoppers left us all shocked and heartbroken.
She Was A Native Of Denver
Most of the Dog the Bounty Hunter episodes, and Dog and Beth: On The Hunt episodes, were filmed in the couple's gorgeous adopted home of Hawaii. However, both Doug and Beth got their start in Denver, Colorado.
They kept a home in Colorado throughout their years together. They spent time in both Colorado and Hawaii during their marriage, and it was in Colorado where Beth received her bail agent license.
Throat Cancer: Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen was a rock star and claimed that he began smoking and drinking at just twelve years old. In 2000, he was diagnosed with tongue cancer, and part of his tongue was removed.
He was declared in remission in 2002 but was later diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014. He also suffered from brain cancer as well. Sadly, he succumbed to the disease in 2020.
Disturbing Death Threats
In 2012, Beth's life took a scary turn after she and her family received death threats via email. The emails were from an unidentified perpetrator and were explicit in nature, discussing rape, torture, and murder against the Chapmans.
They even received a couple of messages regarding the kids, such as "Your children looked nice today" and discussing their plans to watch the children bleed. They handed the emails over to the FBI to be investigated.
She Kept Up Her Glitzy Look Until The End
Beth Chapman almost never was out in public without her signature big, blonde hairdo, full makeup, heels, and nice clothes. Even when she was tracking down bail jumpers, she always looked top-notch. In addition, she was a huge fan of elaborate nail art and was often donning tiny gems and bold colors.
None of that changed in her last days in the hospital. Her daughter posted a photo on Instagram showing her holding her mother's hand and showing Beth's bedazzled nails.
She Tried To Instigate The Boycott Of A Radio Station
Beth Chapman tried to instigate the boycott of a radio station, and many thought she was being petty. However, the radio station was allegedly making light of her cancer. They were also asking listeners to call in with the worst stories they could recall about the Chapman family. The family does have a very interesting history but kicking someone when they are already down seems very wrong.
Beth said on social media, "How low do you have to be to talk bad about a woman fighting lung cancer? Giving away Eminem tickets for your worst story about us? Really? I think it's so gross and without taste that @power1043 makes fun of us every day. They make jokes about my cancer. They blocked me so I couldn't see the hateful s**t they are saying. It's every day; why would folks in Hawaii need them to spread hate? When radio hosts go too far, should they be held personally liable? Should they be able to bully a person to death? I think the laws are pretty clear about invoking a person to anger or to depression."
An Unnerving Hotel Heist
In 2017, Beth was dealt another personal blow when she was robbed while staying at the Luxe Hotel in Los Angeles. Dog and Beth had put more than five thousand dollars in their hotel safe, but it was missing when they returned to their room.
Law enforcement stated that there was no forced entry, which means it was most likely an inside job. The interesting part is that the couple's luggage and jewelry weren't stolen, just the cash. It is unknown if there were ever any suspects.
Her Family Feud During Cancer Treatment
While Beth was in the middle of her cancer treatments, there was also feuding going on. Beth had asked Duane's daughter, Lyssa, to spend time with her in L.A. while she recovered from surgery. However, Lyssa stated that she couldn't make it, so Beth talked to her daughter, Cecily.
"A family member was in need, and some true colors came through." Lyssa then went on social media to vent about the situation, making the situation worse.
She Seemed To Be Done With Chemotherapy
When Beth was first diagnosed with cancer, she followed her doctor's treatment plan, which included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. "The treatments are going well, but they certainly take their toll on her. It hasn't been easy, but they are keeping a great outlook, and Beth is one of the strongest women I know." ----- Andrew R. Brettler.
However, in 2019, she decided to stop chemo treatments and stated, "Chemotherapy is not my bag, people. Sorry, that's not for me."
She Explored Alternative Therapies
When she was first diagnosed, she stayed involved in their bounty-hunting business and actively dictated the terms of her treatment. Duane stated that Beth wouldn't take anything the doctors tried to give her. She didn't want any prescriptions and would only take over-the-counter pain meds.
She did explore alternative cancer therapies, such as cannabis-based CBD and THC treatments. She talked about how patients need to be more open to other treatments and that we need to stop poisoning patients in order to get them well.
She Had An Emergency Procedure
In 2019, Beth was rushed to the hospital in Hawaii because she was having serious breathing problems. The doctors drained almost four liters of fluid from her lungs.
Duane stated that it has been a daily struggle for Beth, but she declined to give an update on her health. She later made a statement saying that people have to choose if they will cry or laugh, and they choose to laugh. She just wanted to live as much as she could.
She Was Placed Into A Medically-Induced Coma
Sadly, just a couple of months later, Beth's health took a turn for the worse, and she had to be placed in a medically-induced coma and was admitted to the ICU in Honolulu. She was struggling with another breathing issue, and it had become a choking emergency.
She had already lost her voice before the incident and was still struggling to breathe. After she was hospitalized, Duane asked fans for their prayers on Twitter and her daughter Bonnie stated that she was still in a coma but was getting good care.
Beth Wasn't Too Broken Up About Losing Her Hair During Chemotherapy
While Beth was going through chemotherapy, she never seemed bothered about losing her hair. Many people going through chemo lose their hair and will choose to wear wigs.
They wear wigs to stay warm but also for their own vanity. Beth always seemed determined that everything would be ok. She would say that hair does eventually grow back and didn't seem bothered to have to wear a wig.
Beth Struggled With Cancer For A While
When she was first diagnosed with cancer, she tried to do everything her doctors suggested. She also always tried to stay as positive as she could. However, when the cancer came back, she found it devastating and found it harder to stay positive.
Beth thought they'd beat this particular problem. She fought it with everything she had, just like she did with all of the struggles she had in life.
Beth Chapman Died
Beth was placed in a medically-induced coma because of complications stemming from her cancer. Just days later, things went downhill, and she passed away on June 26, 2019.
Duane posted on social media, "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. She was surrounded by family." At her memorial, Duane said, "When she had an attack, I didn't know anything to do but say 'In Jesus' name' and hold her. And when I said 'In Jesus' name,' she said, 'Say it again, say it more.' I hope to God there's a God. If there is, I'm going to see my honey again."