Television personality and bounty hunter Duane Chapman was married to his late wife Beth Chapman for 13 years. If Beth had not been arrested for a petty crime, the couple wouldn't have met.
Power couple Duane and Beth Chapman are best known for their reality TV series such as the "Dog and Beth On the Hunt" from 2013 to 2015 and the 2017 series "Dog & Beth: Fight For Their Lives."
Their union came to an end after Beth, 51, succumbed to cancer in 2019, a sad time for fans who admired the couple's love story. In a 2011 "The Rosie Show" interview, Beth relived how she met Duane.
Duane and Beth Chapman share a kiss during their wedding ceremony at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Hawaii, on May 20, 2006. | Photo: Getty Images
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
Beth shared that she first called Duane after being accused and arrested for shoplifting inside a grocery store while carrying her ex-boyfriend's gun. Duane worked as a bondsman at that time. She added:
"I called him [Duane] for a bond, and he went out and posted my bond, but he sent it out on the bus."
It seemed that Beth had argued with her then-boyfriend before her trip to the grocery store. She recalled keeping her ex's gun in her pocket because he was shooting it off and looked ridiculous using it.
Duane and Beth Chapman at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Photo: Getty Images
Beth's father was responsible for promptly telling her to seek Duane's assistance in ironing out her ordeal at the jail, where she ended up spending 12 hours doing nothing.
At that time, Beth was 19 while Duane was 35.
Having spent hours in jail, Beth was apprehensive about meeting Duane after making her wait. However, she soon received a call from Duane informing her that she needed to visit his office to get some paperwork done.
A CHANGE OF HEART
Feeling unenthusiastic, Beth told him she was not in a hurry to visit his office. With Duane's insistence, she heeded his request and had a change of heart she finally saw him in person. Beth said:
"He came walking out there, and I said, 'Oh yes, he will be mine. Let the stalking begin.'"
At that time, Beth was 19 while Duane was 35. In his 2017 memoir "You Can Run, but You Can't Hide," Duane wrote that he knew he was too old for Beth, but his romantic feelings for her had grown.
Duane suppressed his growing romantic feelings for Beth and avoided her like he avoided a bad cold. He also avoided Beth because he was still married to Lyssa Rae Brittain at that time.
But as much he avoided Beth in many ways possible, she would appear out of nowhere. Duane later realized that Beth stole a vehicle from a car dealership to tail after him.
Beth was accused of car theft after an automobile dealer reported a missing vehicle. After a six-month probationary period, she spent six months in Jefferson County jail, as she refused to learn from her mistakes.
Duane also shared in his memoir how Beth's imprisonment helped him earn more money than he could have imagined. He also said Beth was the one who helped him send criminals to jail.
Beth changed her life after realizing she didn't want to spend another lifetime in prison. In 1991, she was released from jail. Duane called quits with Lyssa that same year.
Unfortunately, Beth learned that Duane dated and married his secretary Tawny Marie in 1992. With Duane's new marriage, Beth looked for love in another man.
A COMPLEX RELATIONSHIP
Beth dated Duane's best friend, Keith Barmore, which broke the famous bounty hunter. Keith, a man with a vice, was abusive to her throughout their rocky marriage.
Tawny Marie and Duane appeared to have a rocky marriage as well. Having a troubled relationship, Duane turned to Beth for comfort, which led to an illicit affair.
Despite being committed to their respective partners, Beth and Duane slept together. After ending his marriage to Tawny Marie in 1994, Duane moved to Hawaii with his children and ailing parents.
In 1995, Duane's mother passed away, leaving him devastated. He became addicted to drugs when he began dating a woman who also abused substances.
Beth tried to help Duane get out of his toxic relationship with his drug-addicted girlfriend, but he refused and ended up at rock bottom. He moved back to Denver with his children in 1997 and lived with his sister.
Strangely, he reunited with Beth, who had parted ways with Barmore. Duane and his children moved to Beth's house after being kicked out by his sister, who disapproved of Beth.
AN EVENTFUL UNION
In 2006, the couple wed in Hawaii, marking Duane's fifth marriage. Before Beth, Lyssa, and Tawny Marie, he was married to La Fonda Sue Honeycutt from 1972 to 1977 and Anne Tengell from 1979 to 1982.
The couple's wedding became eventful after Barbara, Duane's daughter from Lyssa, suddenly died. Barbara had an accident in Alaska, which led to her untimely death.
In 2011, Beth and Duane faced a custody battle with Barbara's former partner over their daughter's then 9-year-old son. The court granted the couple temporary custody of their grandson.
BETH'S CANCER DIAGNOSIS & DEATH
Even though Beth and Duane struggled in their family, they managed to keep their lives together. However, they suffered another issue when Beth was diagnosed with stage two throat cancer in 2017.
His wife was declared cancer-free after a series of visits to the doctor. Beth's condition returned in 2018, and Duane noted that it was the biggest obstacle he had faced.
Beth's health continued to deteriorate despite Duane's faith that they could defeat cancer. She passed away in 2019 after being induced in a coma at Queen's Medical Center in Hawaii.
DUANE'S NEW WOMAN
Duane has been open about his grief after Beth's passing. In a 2020 interview, he said he had promised Beth he would not be in a relationship again.
Yet, he somehow found a new woman in his life — Francie Frane, a 51-year-old Colorado rancher. He described their relationship with her as "a miracle" since they get along so well.
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