We know them as the eccentric family from Hawaii, who go off in pursuit of criminals who break parole: Dog the Bounty Hunter. But Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman revealed his sensitive side when memorializing his dearly loved wife, Beth Chapman, last week. Following a long battle against Throat Cancer, Beth Chapman passed away on 26 June. Shortly before her death, Beth revealed her decision to record the final days of her life as a tribute to her fans.
Speaking to an American TV channel shortly before her death, Beth explained the decision to record such a personal and difficult time:
“We have been on TV for almost 15 years now and we’ve shared almost everything, the death of my father, the death of our daughter, his [Dog’s] arrest in Mexico, the subsequent extradition by the American government.
“We have just really shared everything and I think that it’s a mistake to try and hide things from your fans.
“Otherwise it’s going to unfold on the tabloid cover and not in the way that you want to.
“So for us it was about controlling the message and putting our story out there the way it’s meant to be put out there.”
The show Dog the Bounty Hunter first aired in the 2000s, featuring Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman and his family. The reality show followed Dog’s attempts to catch criminals who renege during bail. Each episode, Dog would catch the offender and teach them some great life lesson before returning them to the authorities.
The show has never been too far from controversy. Dog’s passion for returning those who’ve broken the conditions of their bail to re-offend stems from his own reformed character as an ex-convict. The show was dropped from A&E after a telephone recording of Dog using offensive racist language was leaked to the media.
Perhaps the Chapmans’ management of negative publicity lies beneath Beth Chapman’s decision to record the final days of her life? Dog and Beth remarked they wanted to share everything with their fans to control the way their upsetting family news is presented by the media.
The family have lived in the public eye since Dog the Bounty Hunter‘s early success. Their public following continued to grow when Dog and his wife, Beth, were given a second show Dog and Beth: On the Hunt in 2013.
Beth was rushed to hospital in Hawaii after passing out due to breathing difficulties. Following a diagnosis of stage 2 throat cancer in November 2017, Beth underwent a 13-hour surgical procedure in an attempt at saving her life. The surgery is part of the footage that will be included within the show Dog’s Most Wanted to mark her battle with cancer.
As the family waited on Beth’s condition, Dog also posted a tribute to her on Twitter. He photographed Beth’s rhinestones manicure with the caption:
“You all know how she is about HER NAILS!!”
As Beth’s condition worsened, family and close friends gathered at her bedside. Dog, a professed born again believer, took to Twitter to ask his fans to pray for his wife:
“Please say your prayers for Beth right now thank you love you”.
Dog has previously reflected on how his family’s faith has helped them during Beth’s battle against cancer. He told Fox News:
“Faith is probably the No. 1 thing in our lives, no matter what we’re faced with…
“Through this cancer episode, we had to drum up as much faith as we could. And the Bible talks about having faith as small as a mustard seed.
“And that’s not much… And I thank God that we had at least that much faith to get her through that.”
After Beth passed away, aged 51, on 26 June, Dog memorialized his wife in Hawaii. He gathered mourners together to give Beth a ‘paddle-out’ send off. Family, friends and fans paddled out to sea on surf boards before forming a circle and laying flowers in the ocean.
Beth had requested a Hawaiian style memorial as Dog reported that Hawaii was her favourite place:
“She said, ‘Please Hawaiian style … please do this right’.
“She loved Hawaii and she loved people. The people mostly she loved.”Duane “Dog” Chapman, speaking about his late wife, Beth
The full story of Beth’s battle against throat and lung cancer will form part of Dog Chapman’s new show Dog’s Most Wanted. American fans can expect to tune in late 2020 to share in Beth’s story.