Beth Chapman, Wife of Dog the Bounty Hunter, Has Died

Beth Chapman with husband Duane Chapman at a 2012 street festival celebrating a new Dog the Bounty Hunter retail store. Click to see the complete slideshow.
Beth Chapman with husband Duane Chapman at a 2012 street festival celebrating a new Dog the Bounty Hunter retail store. Click to see the complete slideshow. Christopher Morgan
Moments ago, Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman revealed the death of Beth Chapman, his beloved wife and co-star on his various reality-TV shows.

Like Duane, Beth spent much of her early career in Colorado and maintained deep ties to the state.

"It’s 5:32 in Hawaii," Duane tweeted on June 26. "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."

This announcement followed news that Beth had been placed in a medically induced coma amid a fight against cancer.

On June 23, Duane tweeted a story from Hawaii News Now about his wife being admitted to the intensive-care unit at Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, their current base of operations.

In a separate message, he wrote, "Please say your prayers for Beth right now thank you love you."

Although television viewers have always known Beth and Duane as a couple, she was a successful independent private investigator in the Denver area long before cameras began recording her deeds. Westword editor Patricia Calhoun notes that during the paper's early days, in the l980s, Beth was an important source for numerous stories on a wide variety of topics, and she kept the lines of communication open even after fame came knocking.

Witness her conversation with us in 2012, when she and Duane threw a block party in Edgewater in honor of Denver Dog's House, a retail store dedicated to their assorted enterprises.

click to enlarge A portrait of Beth Chapman. - CHRISTOPHER MORGAN
A portrait of Beth Chapman.
Christopher Morgan
The timing of the celebration didn't seem especially auspicious, since A&E had just canceled Dog the Bounty Hunter after eight seasons. But there was no keeping the Chapmans down. County Music Television quickly grabbed the rights to a similar program, Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, which aired from 2013 to 2015.

Another comeback was in the offing: In recent months, the couple had been creating episodes of a new series, Dog’s Most Wanted, for WGN America. But Duane wasn't too busy to jump into the search for a Florida teen whose obsession with Columbine led to school closures across metro Denver in the days leading up to the twenty-year mark since the April 20, 1999, attack on Columbine High School.

An April 17 press release noted that the Chapmans sprang into action upon receiving a call about the initial school lockdowns from their eighteen-year-old son, Garry, who lives in Colorado.

"Now it’s personal," Duane was quoted as saying. "They’re in my neighborhood, threatening my son, my family and my community. She is extremely dangerous. We need to find her and bring her in."

The teen was subsequently found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

As all this was happening, Beth remained busy despite a diagnosis of throat cancer first announced in 2017. She posted several items on her own Twitter account in the week prior to her hospitalization. Her subsequent health crisis followed the May 2016 death of Duane's sister, Jolene Kay Chapman, who lived in the metro area.

In addition to Garry, Beth leaves a daughter, Bonnie. Services are pending.

Update: This post was updated on June 26 to reflect the death of Beth Chapman.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts