After spending the past couple of years fighting for her life following a diagnosis of throat cancer, Beth Chapman of Dog the Bounty Hunter has reached the end of her journey. This morning in Hawaii, the reality star passed away after being placed into a medically-induced coma over the weekend. She was 51 years old.
In a statement on Twitter, Duane “Dog” Chapman confirmed the news with the following message: “It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, 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.”
Duane and Beth worked within the bail-bonds business for years before starring in the Dog the Bounty Hunter reality series on A&E, which was an early pioneer within the genre. The show revolved around the two of them tracking down fugitives all over Hawaii, and working to bring bad people to justice. It was a simple premise compared to many other shows out there, but this led to astronomical success and the two becoming household names all over the world. Dog the Bounty Hunter aired in its original form until we got around to 2012, and following that Duane and Beth starred in a separate reality series in Dog and Beth: On the Hunt over on CMT. Dog has also made a series of appearances over on Hawaii Five-0 over the years; Beth is credited for an episode of the series, as well, from back in 2013. The two were well-known throughout the state of Hawaii; there are plenty of big names who choose to visit the islands for vacations, but there are few who choose to call the location their full-time home. They were local celebrities because of the time they spent there.
The Chapmans’ impact on reality TV stems from their decision to allow cameras to capture both their work and personal lives. At the time in which the original Dog the Bounty Hunter started, much of what the two did was only chronicled on more procedural shows, ones in which the bounty hunters/police were often no-name figures. The cases were more of the story as opposed to those who chose to solve them. Through Dog the Bounty Hunter itself, the script was flipped. Suddenly, it became a little bit more about the person in charge of putting people away. It was a window into an unusual world and it seems to have been a reason for the show’s widespread success. This is a show that to this day, still holds a place in history for its daring nature and the uniqueness of the stories that it told.
Our heart goes out to Duane and the rest of the Chapman family during what has to be an incredibly difficult time. (Photo: A&E.)