Netflix 'Tiger King' viewers think Carole killed her millionaire husband

23 March 2020, 17:20

By Sophie Thompson

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness hit Netflix on 20th March and has since caused a major stir surrounding the peculiar life of tiger owner, Joe Exotic.

Since Netflix's Tiger King docuseries launched, every true crime lover has been hooked on the mysterious life of Joe Exotic and his obsession with tigers. All 1,200 of them in his back yard, to be precise.

But despite the whacky life of Joe (which involves cults, drug rings and three husbands), viewers have quickly turned their attention to the other focus of the series - Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin.

READ MORE: Tiger King might just be Netflix's craziest true-crime documentary yet

Before the show was released and the trailer dropped, it definitely geared the show more towards Joe Exotic (also known as Joseph Maldonado-Passage) being an outrageous character who was trying to be taken down by animal lover and welfare official, Carole, a gentle soul who just wants what's best for the tigers. But now there's theories that she may have been involved in her husband's murder. Carole has consistently maintained she had absolutely nothing to do with her husband’s death. 

Carole Baskin was trying to get Joe's 'roadside zoo' shut down for the mistreatment of animals.
Carole Baskin was trying to get Joe's 'roadside zoo' shut down for the mistreatment of animals. Picture: Netflix

What we don't see in the original trailer is that Baskin's multi-millionaire husband, Jack "Don" Lewis, went missing and was never re-traced back in 1997 and the show's third episode 'The Secret' addresses his disappearance, hinting that she may well have had something to do with it.

Don was 22 years Carole's senior, and had a wealth of between 6 and 20 million dollars, with both his ex wife Gladys Cross and daughters (whom he left for his new lover) appearing on the Netflix show to suggest that his new wife may have fed him to the tigers. Their theory is based on the fact that he wasn't reported missing until three days after his van was found in Pilot County airport's car park. His body has never been found, and by 2002, he was declared dead and the search was called off.

Suspicion arose over his death as two months before he disappeared he filed a restraining order against Carole, who he claimed had threatened to kill him and taken his gun away to stop him protecting himself. Gladys and his children all claim he had told them he was planning on leaving wife and believed her to be dangerous. 

Joe Exotic Country Music "Here Kitty Kitty"

Joe Exotic, being Carole's enemy, has of course used the accusations as a punching bag for his vendetta against her, and in the show we see the music video for his original song "Hey Kitty Kitty" where a lookalike of the Big Cat Rescue founder feeds a butchered body to tigers, and the lyrics document his own twisted version of events. Naturally, we're not taking Joe's word on anything given that months later, he hired a hit man to try and kill her.

READ MORE: You can watch hundreds of horror movies online for free for a limited time

Even celebrities have been weighing in on the conspiracy. Kim Kardashian took to Twitter to ask fans if they think Carole did axe off her husband.

She tweeted: "Wow the amount of texts I've gotten about Tiger King since I tweeted about it all have mentioned their belief that Carole killed her husband! What are your thoughts? Do you think Carole killed him?" and fans have been quick to mention that they're definitely suspicious themselves...

Carole, now remarried, has remained adamant that she had nothing to do with her husband's death, and speaks of the documentary: ‘People just want to believe something that is totally outlandish, and it has been a problem.’

As no body has ever been found, what really happened to Don remains a mystery.