The Tiger King docu-series on Netflix turned animal-trainer/criminal/homosexual anomaly of style/one-time HSOTD Joe Exotic into a star, but it also kicked up some dirt for central figure Carole Baskin. Joe is currently in prison for trying to have Carole killed over her big cat rescue efforts. Joe Exotic ran an animal park and Carole tried to get it shut down. So he tried paying an undercover FBI agent to kill her and got caught and convicted. From prison, Joe filed a $94 million lawsuit against the government for unjust persecution. Well, Joe isn’t the only one who thinks he’s being unjustly persecuted. Carole thinks she’s being unjustly persecuted by people who saw Tiger King and believe she killed her millionaire husband and fed him to her tigers. And while she may or may not have fed her husband to her tigers, she should feed that top to them.
Carole’s second husband Jack “Don” Lewis disappeared in August 1997, two months after he tried to get a restraining order against her, claiming that she threatened to kill him. The restraining order was rejected. Don would take monthly trips to Costa Rica to deal with his sex addiction. And Carole suggested that he had Alzheimer’s. His body was never found, but his van was found at an airport near their home in Tampa, FL. He was declared legally dead in 2002.
Tiger King got into the allegations that Carole actually killed her allegedly cheating husband and put his body in her meat tabletop grinder before feeding him to her tigers. Joe Exotic pushed the rumor when he made a video of a woman resembling Carole tossing meat to a big cat.
58-year-old Carole spoke to the New York Post about all this and said that she is the victim here and she most definitely did not commit murder. Carole said that the theory that she fed Don’s dead body to her tigers is the “most ludicrous of all the lies” and pointed out in a blog post that meat is broken down into small cubes before being put in the meat grinder.
“Meat had to first be cut into one-inch cubes like you see here to go through it. The idea that a human body and skeleton could be put through it is idiotic. But the Netflix directors did not care. They just showed a bigger grinder.”
Carole’s current husband, 69-year-old Howard Baskin, made a YouTube video where he said that accusations have gotten wild:
Carole also said that Joe Exotic not only defiled her character by suggesting she’s a murderer, but tried to get his “minions” to kill her:
“He’s been trying, since 2009, to get his minions to kill me. He was constantly going on his internet show, saying that he has to get rid of me. It was very disturbing. The kinds of people who back up what he does are not stable people. It would be one thing if he went out to mainstream America. But he was going out to a group of wack-jobs.”
Even the Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister tweeted that he’s now looking for more leads on the decades-old disappearance:
Since @netflix and #Covid19 #Quarantine has made #TigerKing all the rage, I figured it was a good time to ask for new leads. #CaroleBaskin #DonLewis #Netflix #Tiger #BigCatRescue #JoeExotic #TigerKingNetflix #HCSO pic.twitter.com/LHoJcBZVOI
— Chad Chronister (@ChadChronister) March 30, 2020
But in Carole’s defense, back in the 90s, authorities looked at her as a “person of interest” but found no evidence that she murdered Don. Patrol Sergeant Greg Thomas told Oxygen that they believe Carole was not involved in Don’s disappearance.
“As far as our case goes, he is still a missing person. It’s not a homicide because he’s missing. We have no knowledge of where he’s at or a body or anything.”
I mean, if Carole wanted to put a dead body through a grinder, it sounds like she’d know exactly how to do it (see: what she said above). But there has to be a less messy way to make the tigers perk up, tie napkins around their necks, and pull out their knives in forks in preparation for eatin’ time. Like, I don’t know maybe slathering the body in sardine oil since tigers are gourmet like that?