Duane Chapman, more popularly known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, along with his wife, Beth Chapman, became a household name after A&E decided to give the pair their own reality series. Maybe it was his non-conformist looks or just his profession, but there was something about Duane Chapman that immediately attracted the audiences towards him. The reality show Dog the Bounty Hunter was a huge success and registered an 8-season-long run before coming to an end in 2012. At the end of the last season, the Chapman family released a statement that in many ways indicated their interest in continuing their entertainment journey. Since then, Chapman has spearheaded two more reality shows: Dog and Beth: On the Hunt and Dog’s Most Wanted. Though Duane is a popular face now, his life has been full of tragedies. From losing a daughter to losing his life partner as well as all his money, the man has been through much. In this video, we tell you about the heartbreaking story of Dog the Bounty Hunter.
He Had an Abusive Father
Duane Chapman released his autobiography titled You Can Run But You Can’t Hide in 2007. The autobiography sheds some light on Duane’s childhood years. According to the book, Duane grew up in a middle-class home in Denver, Colorado. However, his life was very different from that of others middle-class kids for his father beat him and his siblings very often. For the longest time, Duane thought domestic abuse is something that all kids go through. He also wrote that his father expected him to take the beatings like a man even when he was just a child. Thankfully, Duane learned from his father’s mistakes and has never raised his hand on his kids.
At 23, He Was Convicted of Murder
In 1976, when Duane was only 23-years-old and living in Texas, he made friends with some wrong people. One particular evening, Duane was waiting in a car while his friends were out buying marijuana from a drug dealer. Unfortunately, an argument ensued between the drug dealer and one of Duane’s friend and Duane’s friend ultimately shot down the dealer. Duane was given five years in prison. Though he was released on parole after serving 18 months in prison, the sentence affected his life for much long after. When he was chosen to become a part of the U.K. version of Celebrity Big Brother, his visa request was denied due to this criminal record.
According to Duane, he shouldn’t have been convicted since he wasn’t the one who had fired the shot, but in the 70s, just being present at the scene of crime meant being guilty.
A Tragic Death Connected Him to a Son He Didn’t Even Know Existed
Most people do not know that Duane has been married five times and has 12 children in total. However, for the longest time, Duane did not even know about one of his kids: Christopher Hecht. Duane’s ex-girlfriend and Christopher’s mom had committed suicide in the 70s when Duane was serving prison time. Therefore, he had no idea that he had a son named Christopher. Christopher and Duane reconnected much later. However, by that time, Christopher’s life had already gotten out of hand — he was al alcoholic with charges of third degree assault on him. In 2007, Hecht went missing and was not found until 2014. Finally, Chapman was able to get hold of his and send him to rehab.
He Lost His 23-Year-Old Daughter a Day Before His Marriage to Beth Chapman
During the 70s, when Dog was serving prison time in Texas, he separated from his first wife. After being released on parole, he entered into a relationship with Anne M. Tengell, his second wife, with whom he had three children. Unfortunately, one of them passed away just 30 days after his birth. In any case, Duane’s marriage with Anne did not last very long and the two eventually got divorced.
He married and divorced two more times before finally meeting Beth Chapman, the woman who became his business partner as well as the love of his life. The two decided to get married in Hawaii in 2006. Unfortunately, a day before their marriage, Duane recieved a news that broke his heart: his 23-year-old daughter, Barbara Katie Chapman, had passed away after being in a car accident. Duane got married the next day and during the reception, told everyone about his daughter’s tragic demise. He turned his reception into a celebration of Barbara’s life.
For most people, losing a child is unbearable. However, life has been extra harsh on Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman as the man did not only have to go through the pain of losing his daughter but also his wife and the love of his life, Beth Chapman. We will tell you what happened to Beth Chapman in just a while. So stick around and do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel.
His Grandson Also Suffered Domestic Abuse like Him
In 2011, Duane was given the custody of Travis Mimms Jr., the nine-year-old son of his deceased daughter Barbara. The judge decided after hearing an audio clip of Travis’ father beating his son. Duane dog Chapman told tabloids that he had promised his daughter that he would do everything to keep Travis safe and thus, he was doing what was necessary. Duane also made clear that he did not want to take Travis away from his father. However, he certainly wanted his grandson’s father to take parenting classes and learn how to raise a kid. Duane also accepted that listening to the audio clip was torturous.
In 2012, He and His Family Received Threatening Emails
Life is not easy when you job is to find notorious criminals. In 2012, Radar Online reported that Duane Lee Chapman and his family were receiving threatening emails from anonymous sources. The emails contained graphic threats and indicated towards murder, kidnapping, rape and other heinous crimes. The Chapman family later confirmed the news was true and they were indeed being targeted. More importantly, Dog promised to prosecute the people behind the emails to the full extent of the law. After a few days, Duane appeared on The Today Show and revealed that though his family had received many death threats and notorious emails in the past, this time the situation seemed to be a going a little out of hand and therefore, the patriarch was worried about his family. The FBI got involved eventually and thankfully, no harm reached the Chapman family.
His Daughter Accused Him of Being a Drug Addict
Though Dog the Bounty Hunter has maintained that he learned from his father’s mistakes and therefore, tried to be a good father to his children always, his relationship with at least some of his children has not been the happiest one. Dog’s relationship with his daughter Lyssa has, in particular, come under a lot of scrutiny. Lyssa made highlights when she fought with her stepmom Beth Chapman while she was fighting cancer and then again for speaking rudely about his father’s current girlfriend, Moon Angell. However, she grabbed the most headlines when she released her autobiography titled Walking on Eggshells: Discovering Strength and Courage Amid Chaos and made shocking allegations against her father in the book.
In the book, Lyssa claimed that she saw drug-related objects in her house when she was just five. She further shared that when she was in second grade, her father started doing a lot of drugs. According to Lyssa, during those days, Duane would smoking crack pipes like cigarettes. However, Duane Chapman continuously denied these claims.
His Daughter Had Also Once Falsely Accused Him of Raping Her
During a 2013 interview with Fox News, Duane Lee Chapman revealed that she had once accused her father of raping her, which was not true. Lyssa confessed that she was 11-years-old at the time and it wasn’t her father but one of her father’s friends who had molested her. On being asked why she had lied, Lyssa accepted that she did not like living with Beth and her father as the two were always fighting and Lyssa found drugs everywhere in the house. Though Lyssa’s mother, Lyssa Rae Brittain, was an alcoholic, she much preferred staying with her mother than her stepmother and father. She, therefore, decided to cook up the rape story just to be able to get our of Duane’s house.
Surprisingly, according to Lyssa, she and her father were able to leave the false accusation story behind and mend their relationship. In the same interview, she said that though she did not like her stepmother, she loved his father and he meant a lot to her.
In 2019, the Love of His Life, Beth Chapman, Succumbed to Cancer
In 2017, Dog and the love of his life, Beth, received the most devastating news of their life: Beth was suffering from stage-2 throat cancer. The same year, Beth underwent a 12-hour-long surgery to get rid of the plum-sized tumor from her throat. Doctors told the couple that the surgery was successful.
Unfortunately, in November, 2018, the Chapmans released a statement through their attorney Andrew Brettler. They shared with the world that Beth had been rushed to a Los Angeles hospital after she complained of not being able to breathe properly. The doctors performed an emergency surgery and found that the cancer had come back. Beth and Duane kept up the fight for almost over half a year. However, on June 26, 2019, Duane shared with his fans through his Twitter that Beth had ultimately lost the battle against cancer. Beth was 51 at the time.
And Then He Was Diagnosed with Pulmonary Embolism, a Life-Threatening Condition
Losing Beth Chapman was one of the biggest blows Dog had taken and he was still dealing with the misfortune and the tragedy when he came to know that was suffering from a pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening condition. The doctor advised Chapman to stay in the hospital and receive treatment. However, Chapman refused. One reason for this could be that Duane found out in 2019 that he had completely run out of money. In January 2020, through an interview with The New York Times, he shared with his fans that he had taken a $1.5-million bounty hunting job, with the condition that Chapman would have to pay in case he is unable to catch the dealer. Chapman shared that he had to take the job because he was broke and was running the risk of losing his Colorado home to the bank.
After Beth, He Became so Lonely, He Considered Taking His Life
After Beth’s demise, Duane Lee Chapman became lost and depressed. During one of the last three episodes of the series Dog’s Most Wanted, he even confessed that at one point, he thought about taking his life. He felt the urge to take a pain pill and join Beth wherever she was. However, he thought about how would Beth react to this decision of his and therefore, stopped himself from doing anything stupid.
So, did you know these lesser-known secrets about Dog the Bounty Hunter’s life? What do you think of this tragic life story? Please let us know what you think in the comments section. Meanwhile, if you are enjoying this video, like and subscribe to our channel and press the bell icon to stay updated about our latest updates.