For years on his self-titled reality show, Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman showed little fear or reticence when hitting the road to track down his and his wife's latest detainees. On the same day that his wife Beth passed away at age 51, Chapman showcased a similar determination and strength when speaking with reporters about his recent tragedy.
Stepping outside his home in the Portlock area of Honolulu, Hawaii, Duane Chapman (and other family members) entertained questions from reporters about Beth's death. Here's how Dog said they were doing at that point, with it all still so fresh.
Well, you know, terrible. The most terrible time in someone’s life. You kind of try to remember that you’re celebrating a life, but right now we’re mourning the death, so it’s not good. . . . She, for a few years, knew this day would come. It came really unexpected, really fast. We didn’t even…all of her clothes are exactly where they were. Her makeup. Everything is…everything we didn’t prepare.
At that point in his answer, Chapman's voice broke and he had to stop for a second to hold back tears. The suddenness of Beth Chapman's death was certainly a major factor in how hard everybody got hit with the news. She'd previously been hospitalized due to breathing problems that stemmed from a relapse in her throat cancer, which she'd stopped getting treatments and was just recently placed in a medically induced coma. However, Dog and the rest of the family remained hopeful that she would pull off a hasty recovery.
Sadly, that didn't happen, and Beth Chapman passed away on Wednesday, June 26, which Duane Chapman himself revealed to the world via social media. During his interview, he did make a light-hearted joke celebrating how Beth was trending on Twitter, after saying he'd likely influenced her to be just as much of a fame-hound as he proclaimed to have been since Age 4.
Duane Chapman continued, reflecting on the Bible to express his love for his late wife.
It’s a hard fight. She fought hard. Beth was somewhat of a control person. . . . And so not from the grave, but from heaven, I’m sure, she’s still controlling me. I’ve got notes on my pillowcases, in my sink, in my shaving thing. You know, she’s still telling me what to wear. I loved her so much. As Lazarus lay, Jesus said, ‘He’s not dead, he sleepeth.’ My final words are, ‘Beth isn’t death, she sleepeth.’ It’s just incredible when you walk alone in the bedroom, and you’re there, and she was just there two days ago.
Though he half-attempted to end the interview, Chapman kept things going a little longer, and at one point, a reporter asked what her final words were. In his words:
When she had an attack, I didn’t know anything to do but say, ‘In Jesus’ name,’ and hold her. And when I said, ‘In Jesus’ name,’ she said, ‘Say it again, say it more.’ And then she told the girls and everybody [when] she came out of it a couple of times: ‘I love you. Are you guys all okay? Don’t worry.’ But she never accepted it.
It's hard to imagine a more troublesome time for Duane Chapman now. He and Beth had known each other for over 30 years, and had been married for 13 of them. They were together for nearly the entire time he'd had a TV career, and she even got show-name billing for the CMT series Dog and Beth: On the Hunt.
The pair were even working on a brand new TV project to be called Dog's Most Wanted, to be set up at WGN America. It's unclear at this time how much was filmed or how any of that will be handled.
You can check out the full interview in the video below.
Dog's Most Wanted is set to debut in 2020, though that part is also now up in the air. In the meantime, our thoughts and condolences go out to Duane Champan and his family and friends during this tragic time.