The animal rights activist who was the target of a murder plot has denied killing her husband, who mysteriously vanished in 1997 and has not been found.
Carole Baskin, one of the stars of the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King,” has spoken out after her backstory came under scrutiny due to allegations made in the the wildly popular series. “Tiger King” follows the sometimes dark and depraved world of exotic pet ownerhship, focused on Oklahoma-based big cat farm Joe Exotic, who is now in prison following his 2019 conviction for murder soliciation and additional charges of killing animals and falsifying documents.
Baskin, who owns Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida, has for years been outspoken against exotic animal breeding, which has put her in Joe Exotic’s crosshairs, she says.
“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.”
As the series shows, Joe Exotic was preoccupied with the suspicious disappearance of Baskin’s former husband Jack “Don” Lewis, who has not been seen since August 1997. Lewis, who was wealthy and owned personal planes, had reportedly told his wife he was flying (possibly to Costa Rica) the day he disappeared, but no flight logs were recorded, and his vehicle was found at an airport outside of Tampa.
“He just literally vanished into thin air,” Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department patrol sergeant Greg Thomas told Oxygen.com.
Joe Exotic, who recorded a number of songs and music videos where were apparently dubbed with someone else’s voice, made a video about Baskin’s husband, suggesting that she fed her husband’s mutilated body to tigers.
Baskin has consistently denied any involvement in her husband’s disappearance, and has not been charged in the case. She has since married her third husband Howard Baskin, who helps run Big Cat Rescue and has vocally depended his wife.
As the New York Post reports, Baskin shot down the insinuation that she fed her husband to tigers, claiming that tigers eat meat that has been reduced to 1-inch cubes before being put in a meat grinder.
“The idea that a human body could be put through it is idiotic,” she said in lengthy blog post, which further claimed that her former husband was mentally deteriorating at the time of his disappearance, and that he flew to Costa Rica once a month for sex when Baskin had her menstrual cycle.
In the blog post, Baskin also accused the producers of “Tiger King” of falsely representing the intent of the project when they first approached her.
“They did not care about truth,” she wrote. “The unsavory lies are better for getting viewers.”
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[Feature image: Carole Baskin and Howard Baskin/Facebook]