A Unique Role Of a 19 Years Old Girl Who Turned Duane Chapman's Life Upside Down
Duane "Dog" Chapman might be a famous reality TV star with his own show but his life has been riddled with stumbling blocks. Over the course of his life, Chapman has experienced many struggles including running away from home and losing his wife. Duane Lee “Dog” Chapman is the oldest of Wesley and Barbara Chapman's four children. His mother was a pastor in the Assemblies of God church. She tried her best to steer him in the right direction and instill Christian morals. Unfortunately, her efforts were in vain as Chapman went on to join a motorcycle gang called Devils Disciples and run away from home at the age of 16.
Time behind bars
In 1976, Chapman was convicted of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to five years in a Texas prison. He had been convicted for his involvement as the getaway driver in a drug deal. Chapman waited in a getaway car for his friend who shot and killed a 69-year-old drug dealer after their cannabis deal went south.
As a result of his involvement in the incident, Chapman served a year and six months at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. During his time in custody, Chapman did fieldwork and became the warden’s barber. Chapman was released in January 1979. However, his conviction means he can not own a firearm or travel to the United Kingdom.
From Duane to Dog
One thing we all want to know is how Duane ended up getting his infamous nickname, Dog the Bounty Hunter, in the first place. Apparently, his time in prison was what pushed him into the life of bounty hunting. But, it wasn’t because of all the time he was spending around criminals. Instead, it all comes down to his prison behavior. Since he was good during his time locked in, Duane was let out of prison earlier. However, bad luck struck as it was during this same moment that Chapman found out he owed his ex-wife thousands in child support.
Chapman was extremely upset over the realization, as he wasn’t capable of paying it off at the time. Alas, when it came to his judge, Duane truly got lucky. In order to pay off his debt, the judge suggested bounty hunting as a method to get the money he was looking for. It might not seem like a huge deal, but ex-prisoners rarely get the chance to do so. Thanks to his good behavior, Duane managed to find a solution to the problem.
Becoming a father for the first time
Long before he ended up in prison, Chapman had a fling with Debbie White. Their teenage romance led to the birth of his first child, Christopher Michael Hecht. However, Chapman had no idea Hecht existed. Debbie never told Chapman she was pregnant and after she committed suicide their son was adopted. Chapman was eventually reunited with his son years later with the help of Debbie's mother.
Losing his first wife to his best friend
On April 1, 1972, Chapman married his first wife, La Fonda Sue Honeycutt. However, their marriage was short-lived. While he was incarcerated, Honeycutt filed for divorce on October 27, 1977. She went on to marry his best friend. Chapman and Honeycutt had two boys, Duane Jr., and Leland Chapman. When they got divorced, Honeycutt got custody of the children. However, when the boys were in their teens, Chapman gained custody of them again.
Other marriages and divorces
Two years after his divorce, Chapman married Anne M. Tegnell on August 22, 1979. They were married for three years before they divorced in 1982. They had three children, Zebediah Chapman who died shortly after birth, Wesley Chapman, and James Chapman together. Then in 1982 Chapman and Lyssa Rae Brittain tied the knot. They got divorced in 1991. They had three children together: Barbara Katie Chapman, Tucker Dee Chapman and Lyssa “Baby Lyssa” Rae Chapman. Chapman’s fourth marriage was to Tawny Marie in 1992. It lasted just two years before they filed for divorce in 1994. The divorce was finalized in 2002.
Finding the right girl at the wrong time
Finally, in 1988, it seemed that Chapman's fate had changed. He met the 19-year-old Beth after she was arrested. At the time he was 35. Duane revealed in his memoir, "You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide" that she was caught shoplifting a lemon on her way out of a grocery shop. She also had an unregistered, unlicensed gun in her pocket and an outstanding arrest warrant for unpaid parking tickets.
Her father called Duane to bail her out of jail. However, Beth refused to go to his office to do paperwork and he was forced to threaten her to comply.nHowever, at the time of their meeting, Duane was still married. He decided to avoid her but Beth did not agree with his plan. She eventually began stalking him to be close to him.nHer determination to win him over earned her six months in jail for stalking. When she was released, Daune had separated from his wife but was dating his secretary and went on to marry her. Beth went on to marry Daune’s old friend, Keith Barmore.
When his mother died, Chapman began using various substances to numb the loss. He also suffered multiple health issues and even separated from his wife, Tawny Marie in 1994. He began dating another woman who according to him aided him in worsening his drug habit. He eventually reached out to Beth when he hit rock bottom and she helped him get rid of his girlfriend. However, he then kicked Beth out as well and moved to Denver to be near his sister.
Falling In Love & Tying the Knot
Finally, as fate would have it, the pair were brought back together. While still struggling with his addiction, Chapman moved into Beth's house and by 1997, he managed to get clean. Together they then started their bail bonds business. In 2005, Chapman popped the question to Beth in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the couple did not make it on time to get a license and could not get married in "a tacky Vegas chapel that night." Finally, on May 20, 2006, the couple tied the knot. She became Chapman’s fifth wife.
However, like most of Chapman's life, their wedding was bittersweet as Chapman's 23-year-old daughter Barbara Katy Chapman was killed in a car accident the day before the ceremony. After consulting with a minister and the wedding party, Chapman decided the wedding should take place as planned. The couple broke the news of their loss at the reception.
Unfortunately, Duane’s bad luck didn’t stop with his “happily ever after.” In 2012, the Chapman family were targeted with numerous death threats through email, which led to an FBI investigation. The threats were very graphic and included sexual assault references to Duan’s jailtime. RadarOnline posted one of the upsetting messages:
"I'm going to murder you. I'm going to come to Hawaii and murder you and your family in cold blood. You are next on my list and are the bane of society. I will deliver you to God."
During this time, the family released a statement saying,
"The Chapmans are taking these threats seriously and are very concerned about the safety of their family. Duane Chapman said that when the person responsible is found, he will prosecute to the full extent of the law for the threats made against his family. A referral of the case has been made to the FBI in Honolulu."
Losing the love of his life
Unfortunately, their 35-year-long love story came to an end earlier this year. Beth passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was first diagnosed with throat cancer in early 2017. After multiple surgeries, remission, and relapse, she decided to forego further treatment. His daughter Bonnie, 20, reportedly opened up about her mum's illness and passing in a Q&A session on her Instagram Stories.
One of the questions asked was whether she thought Duane would “someday remarry.” In response, Bonnie said:
“Nope, he found his soulmate. No one can replace her in his heart. Their love was one of a kind, it made me believe love truly exists.”
A Coma That Led to the End
Although many fans hoped that Beth was doing better, things went south in June 2019. She was placed in a medically-induced coma at the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu. Apparently, the reality star had another emergency where she couldn’t breathe properly. A few weeks before that incident, Beth had explained that just making that speech at the Source Church had been very rough. Meanwhile, Duane only asked for prayers from their fans on Twitter. Their daughter, Bonnie, also requested get well wishes but also updated a bit about her mother’s condition. She explained that Beth was still in a coma and being watched carefully.
Saying Goodbye Is Always Hard
Unfortunately, Beth never woke up from her medically-induced coma, and on June 26, 2019, she passed away. She was only 51 years old. Duane Chapman confirmed the news on his Twitter.
A rep from the family told People that the reality star was surrounded by her family during her last moments. We send our condolences to the Chapman family and to everyone who loved Beth. Let us know what you liked best about her. See you next time!