Episode 44

What Happened to Carole Baskin’s Husband Don Lewis?

April 6, 2020   Tags: , , ,
Apple Podcasts
Just like everyone else during this quarantine period, Jensen and Holes became enthralled with Netflix's Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. But for us the most puzzling question was: Where is Carole Baskin's husband Don Lewis?

Life Before Don Disappeared:

Don Lewis married Carol Baskin's in 1991. The two began a love for exotic animals and big cats shortly after tying the knot. He bought Carole a bobcat and then the two began collecting any abused or abandoned big cat they could find and began a sanctuary. 

Originally the sanctuary was known as Wildlife on Easy Street before becoming Big Cat Rescue. In May of 1997, Don bought property in Costa Rica in hopes of moving the sanctuary down there. He began funneling money. According to law enforcement he with drew money from his personal account, business account and procured a cashier's check-all totaling roughly $200,000. According to Carole, he used his assistant to funnel a little over $435,000. 

Two months before Don disappeared-in June- he filed for a protection order. In the order he said Carole threatened to kill him if he didn't leave the property or if he came back. The judge denied the order and Don returned home.

Details of Don's Disappearance:

According to law enforcement the last time Don was seen by someone other than Carole was on the August 15th and 16th-by an employee and family member respectively. 

Carole told law enforcement she last saw Don around sunrise on August 18th, 1997. He told her was going to load a truck that was bound for Miami. When Don didn't arrive home, Carole reported him missing the next day. 

The next day Don's blue 1989 Dodge Caravan was located at the Pilot Country Airport, a private airport in Pasco County. The van was parked on the grass between planes and Highway 52. Inside the van, law enforcement found Don's keys and briefcase but no sign of the money he had withdrawn. 

There has been no confirmed sighting of Don Lewis since. Although a security guard on his property in Costa Rica claimed to have seen him at the end of September/beginning of October 1997. 


The most circulated rumor thanks to the Tiger King series is that Carole killed Don, used a meat grinder to dispose of him before feeding him to the big cats on her property. But the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office searched the property and found no signs of foul play. Also there were no meat grinders on the property. According to other employees the meat grinder were removed and non-functional weeks before Don disappeared.

The other rumor the Joe Exotic, the star of Tiger King, voiced was that Don was inside a specific septic tank on the property. Law enforcement has confirmed the septic tank did not exist at the time of Don went missing. 

We contacted Carole Baskin in hopes that she would talk with us about Don. She declined. Below is her statement.

We are looking for any information about Don and his disappearance. You can contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office or us with any information. 

1. Do not name names publicly. Send everything to the police or to this page and we will forward to the police.  
2. Do not post side by side photos.  
3. Do not contact any family members.  
4. Do not doxx each other and be civil. We all want to the same thing.  

As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.