Tragic Story of Tracy Brown: Bering How Did Tracy Brown Bering Die?

Tracy Brown Bering was a former cellmate of the infamous Jodi Arias, who was convicted in 2015 for the brutal murder of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008.

While imprisoned together, Tracy became enamored by Jodi’s charm and singing voice, even getting tattoos in a show of devotion to her convicted killer friend.

However, after being released from the Estrella Jail in Phoenix, Arizona in 2014, Tracy descended into a tragic spiral of clinical depression, addiction, and financial woes.

Her loyalty to Jodi also subjected her to immense backlash and hatred online. On December 3rd, 2022, Tracy died of an apparent drug overdose after fighting with her cancer-stricken wife Donovan Bering, another former friend of Jodi’s.

The tragic demise of Tracy Brown Bering reveals the dark aftermath that association with manipulator Jodi Arias left in its wake.

Who Was Tracy Brown Bering?

Tracy Brown grew up struggling with clinical depression from a young age in Arizona.

Her early brushes with the law eventually led the then-30-year old Tracy to be incarcerated at the Estrella Jail in Phoenix in 2011 on kidnapping charges. There, she met her soon-to-be close friend, the infamous Jodi Arias.

“She was very clean, very respectful, very polite. She was the perfect cellmate,” Tracy stated in the documentary Jodi Arias: Cellmate Secrets.

Enamored by Jodi’s singing and beauty, Tracy allowed Jodi to tattoo her body no less than 6 times during their jailhouse friendship. Her left arm bore a tattoo with Jodi Arias’ name decorated by music notes and flowers.

Another prominent tattoo on her back was Jodi’s full autograph done in large cursive letters, which Tracy would later regret. She also had an antique key tattoo on her wrist symbolizing the “key to her heart.”

Inside the bleak jail walls, Tracy found solace in her blossoming relationship with fellow inmate Donovan Bering. Donovan was serving an 18-month sentence related to drug charges and assault.

Him and Tracy grew incredibly close behind bars. In 2013, the couple married in a small ceremony inside the Estrella Jail rec room officiated by none other than Jodi Arias herself.

They exchanged handmade rings and makeshift bouquets as two dozen inmates looked on.

Getting Ensnared in Jodi Arias’ Web of Lies

Getting Ensnared in Jodi Arias' Web of Lies

After being released from jail in 2014, Tracy Brown Bering maintained her steadfast support of “misunderstood” Jodi Arias along with her wife Donovan.

The pair faced immense backlash online for defending the manipulator and convicted killer. They gave interviews proclaiming Jodi’s innocence and made multiple social media pages dedicated to exonerating her.

However, Tracy’s rosy image of her former cellmate soon unraveled after she contacted Jodi’s mother, Sandra Arias.

It felt like my heart was ripped out…that this sweet woman who sang to me at night could betray me so cruelly,” a crushed Tracy later admitted.

Tracy learned that Jodi had prevaricated extensively about her family history, education, interests, and even her tangled abusive relationship with Travis Alexander leading up to his gruesome death.

It became painfully clear that Jodi had exploited and used Tracy and Donovan over years to funnel money, make restricted phone calls on their accounts, and utilize their digital skills to spread propaganda online.

A distraught Tracy now regretted the tattoos of her former “friend” which had marked her skin permanently. She would later attempt unsuccessfully to remove or cover over some.

“I was blind, deaf and dumb when it came to Jodi Arias because I cared about her so much…but she never cared one bit for me or anyone else,” Tracy posted on Facebook shortly after cutting contact with Jodi in 2015.

Spiraling Down Since Incarceration

Since being released from the Estrella Jail in 2014, Tracy battled harrowing clinical depression, addiction issues, lack of finances, and a decaying relationship with her wife Donovan Bering.

The trauma of jail had taken an immense mental and emotional toll on the couple. Now back in the real world, Tracy slid back into abusing alcohol and pills while Donovan’s assault charge had left her unhirable at most jobs.

Making matters worse, Donovan had been diagnosed with stage II cervical cancer not long after getting out of jail in 2016. The grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments took an immense physical toll and resulted in painful side effects.

As the sole breadwinner, Tracy worked 2-3 jobs which kept her away from home for long hours. Their marriage grew strained under the stress and trauma.

There were frequent arguments about finances, Donovan’s cancer treatment, and general unhappiness in their relationship.

All the while, Tracy also faced immense vitriol online for her past steadfast defense of convicted killer Jodi Arias on social media and news interviews:

Twitter User X: “Tracy was a gullible fool to support that monster Jodi. She deserves all the pain coming to her.”

Facebook User Y: “That Tracy lady was likely in on Travis Alexander’s murder! Jail was too good for her.”

The extreme hatred and threats took immense mental toll on the already struggling Tracy who became prone to drinking binges to cope with the online abuse. Despite therapy, rehab and medication, her situation did not drastically improve.

The Tragic End

On the morning of December 3rd, 2022, Tracy’s wife Donovan reportedly got into another bitter argument over finances and the lack of work flexibility to accommodate medical appointments.

A highly distressed Tracy began drinking alcohol as the fight escalated. The conversation ended abruptly with Tracy threatening self-harm and Donovan hanging up out of frustration.

Alone, isolated, and emotionally wrecked from the call, Tracy raided their medicine cabinet and took numerous pills with more alcohol.

Sometime that afternoon between 1-3 PM, Tracy’s sister Crystal Rider came home to find Tracy lying motionless on the bedroom floor, empty bottles around her.

Crystal’s screams alerted neighbors who called 911 but Tracy Brown Bering was declared dead at the scene soon after. CPR attempts to revive were unsuccessful and EMTs arrived too late.

My baby girl was so lost…depressed…I wanted to save her so badly,” a completely heartbroken Yolanda Ducharme (Tracy’s mother) wrote on social media along with photos of better times.

The tragic news of her apparent suicide death sent shockwaves through online groups still following the Jodi Arias case.

Many speculated if the trauma at the hands of the convicted killer had directly or indirectly been responsible for unravelling Tracy’s already precarious life over the past decade.

In the aftermath, a guilt-ridden Donovan Bering posted a long tribute to her late wife Tracy, reflecting on their whilrwind relationship behind bars and reconciling their final heated argument. Donovan would quietly succumb to late-stage cancer herself in March 2023.

Tracy’s grieving family arranged a small, private funeral on December 8th, 2022. She was laid to rest at the Desert Lawn Memorial Park. A simple gravestone marked her final resting place.


Who was Tracy Brown Bering?

Tracy Brown Bering was a prisoner and fervent supporter of convicted murderer Jodi Arias. They served time together in Arizona’s Estrella Jail in 2011 which is where 48-year old Tracy met Jodi. She became enamored by Jodi’s singing voice and charisma.

What was Tracy Brown Bering’s cause of death?

On December 3, 2022, Tracy Brown Bering died of apparent suicide by overdosing on prescription pills and alcohol. She had long struggled with clinical depression.

How was Donovan Bering related to Tracy Brown?

Donovan Bering was Tracy Brown Bering’s wife. They married in jail in 2013 since they were both incarcerated at the time for separate offenses. Donovan was diagnosed with terminal cancer after release and passed away herself in March 2023.

Why did Tracy Brown get a tattoo with Jodi Arias’ name and signature?

While in jail together from 2011-2014, Tracy was manipulated into blindly admiring Jodi Arias and got several dedicated tattoos, including Jodi’s name, signature, and an antique key tattoo symbolizing Jodi having the “key to her heart.”

What shocking things did Tracy Brown learn about Jodi Arias post-release?

After release, Tracy learned from Jodi’s mom that Jodi had lied extensively about her life and used Tracy for money, phone access, managing social media propaganda, etc. A betrayed Tracy attempted to remove her tattoos later.

How did Tracy Brown Bering’s family react to news of her suicide?

Tracy’s mother, Yolanda Ducharme, wrote a grieving social media post about depression taking Tracy away. Her surviving sister Crystal placed blame on Tracy’s wife Donovan Bering for the suicide.

How did the larger public learn details around Tracy Brown’s death?

Tracy’s demise was acknowledged in a documentary on Jodi Arias which aired January 2023, two months after her December 2022 suicide.

What was Tracy Brown Bering’s legacy?

More than anything, Tracy Brown Bering is remembered as a victim of mental illness & manipulation by Jodi Arias who exploited her vulnerabilities. Her tragic death reinforced needed improvements in mental healthcare & online harassment laws.

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Final Thoughts

While Tracy Brown Bering made many questionable decisions in her 48 years of trauma-filled life, her’s was still an undeniably tragic demise ultimately triggered by the collisions of clinical mental illness, addiction, and trauma from incarceration.

The immense stress of childhood depression likely set the stage for her downfall. However, the catalyst seems tied to her time in Estrella Jail which exacerbated her struggles despite giving her purpose via the marriage to Donovan Bering.

The intense harassment faced online for her support of Jodi Arias after release seemed to accelerate Tracy’s decline in her final years.

The lack of mental health intervention and continued addiction issues also signaled the warning signs leading up to the devastating suicide triggered by marital conflict.

In another reality, perhaps the troubled Tracy may have reconciled with loved ones and found some inner peace through compassion. But in this timeline, her emotional storms resulted in her life ending painfully early by her own hands.

The bigger-picture story illustrates how even indirect long-term contact via trauma bonds with sociopaths like Jodi Arias can utterly destroy livesespecially among vulnerable individuals like Tracy Brown Bering.

While the loss does not absolve Tracy of accountability for her own actions, it still reinforces why predators who manipulate human bonds inflict such insurmountable damage on lives and our social fabric.

As her mourning family tries to pick up the pieces, Tracy Brown Bering’s memory lives on foremost as a cautionary tale on why America must radically improve mental healthcare access and re-examine a digital culture setting vulnerable individuals up for harassment.

If those safety nets existed, perhaps no one would ever have to meet the same tragic ending as Tracy did.

Maybe at least in death, this “imperfect victim” finally found some semblance of the peace that long eluded her in life.

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