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'Tiger King' Prompts Police To Call For New Leads Into Disappearance Of Carole Baskin's Ex-Husband

'Tiger King' Prompts Police To Call For New Leads Into Disappearance Of Carole Baskin's Ex-Husband

Florida sheriff Chad Chronister has called on the public to offer him new leads in the investigation to find out what happened to Tiger King star Carole Baskin's husband, Jack "Don" Lewis.

One of the main conspiracies explored in the Netflix documentary is regarding the disappearance of Don Lewis - with Joe Maldonado-Passage (Joe Exotic) and many others convinced that the animal rights activist killed her husband and fed him to her tigers after he disappeared without a trace.

Big Cat Rescue owner Carole has always vehemently denied the accusations and no evidence has ever been found against her.

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On Monday morning, the sheriff wrote on Twitter: "Since @netflix and #Covid19 #Quarantine has made #TigerKing all the rage, I figured it was a good time to ask for new leads."


He also shared a picture of multimillionaire Lewis, who would now have been 81-years-old.

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The plea for information comes as comments from another of Carole's boyfriends has re-emerged.

It turns out Jay Bakyal, the guy who dated Carole after Don, but before her current husband Howard, actually filed a restraining order against her.

While the restraining order got rejected on the basis that there was no factual evidence of violence or threat of imminent fear, its contents makes some startling claims about Don.

Joe Exotic believes Carole Baskin murdered her husband (Credit: Netflix)
Joe Exotic believes Carole Baskin murdered her husband (Credit: Netflix)
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Shared on social media by author Robert Moor, a picture of Jay's restraining order petition read: "Her prior husband presumed dead, one day she (Carole) said to me when I asked her 'what happens if your husband shows up now?'

"Her response was 'Dead bodies can't talk'."

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The statement went on: "Her former husband's daughter told me she could be dangerous and watch my back."

It also detailed how Carole carried two loaded guns on her possession, and had told him herself that she was a suspect in her ex-husband's disappearance.

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Plus, another excerpt read: "I honestly fear I am in danger of death or serious bodily injury because her prior husband is missing..."

Read the full application here.

Don Lewis went missing in 1997 (Credit: Netflix)
Don Lewis went missing in 1997 (Credit: Netflix)

While this certainly makes for interesting reading, it's important to note that the claims made in the restraining order petition have not been verified, and ultimately, the court denied Jay's petition.

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Since Tiger King aired, Carole has spoken out on the "salacious and sensational" documentary, and maintained that she did everything she could to help police in their search for Don.

Don Lewis's ex wife Gladys Lewis Cross and daughters Donna Pettis, Lynda Sanchez and Gale Rathbone featured in the doc (Credit: Netflix)
Don Lewis's ex wife Gladys Lewis Cross and daughters Donna Pettis, Lynda Sanchez and Gale Rathbone featured in the doc (Credit: Netflix)

In a statement posted on her website, Carole explained that filmmakers came to her five years ago with the idea of making "the big cat version of Blackfish" (the documentary which explored the abuse at SeaWorld) but "did not do any of that", instead, she says filmmakers had "the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible to draw viewers."

Carole went on to discredit the testimony of her accusers in the documentary.

Carole says the meat grinder shown in the documentary was not true to life (Credit: Netflix)
Carole says the meat grinder shown in the documentary was not true to life (Credit: Netflix)

"As [Don's ex-wife] Gladys and the daughters did everything they could to make life difficult for me after Don disappeared, they spread this rumor that they thought I had ground Don up and fed him to the cats. And the media loved it," she wrote.

"The meat grinder shown in the video was enormous. Our meat grinder was one of those little tabletop, hand crank things, like you'd have in your kitchen at home... 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."

You can read Carole's full blog post here.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: tiger king, True Crime, Carole Baskin, Netflix

Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]