Tiger King: Sheriff Chad Chronister says Carole Baskin’s husband’s will was forged

Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister says the signature on the will of Carole Baskin’s missing husband Don Lewis was forged. Pic credit: Netflix

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister has claimed that the signature on the will of Carole Baskin’s missing millionaire husband Jack “Don” Lewis was forged.

Baskin was one of the stars on the popular Netflix documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. The documentary series followed the conflict between the private zoo owner Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, the founder of the animal sanctuary Big Cat Rescue.

The docuseries also briefly referenced rumors that Baskin was involved in Don Lewis’s disappearance.

Sheriff Chronister said a woman came forward with new evidence

Sheriff Chad Chronister told WTSP-TV (10 Tampa Bay) that what appeared as Lewis’s signature on the document purporting to be his will was forged. He claimed that the signature was “traced.”

“They had two experts deem it 100 percent a forgery. But, we knew that… we knew that before.”

He also revealed that a woman came forward to confess that she was forced to witness the signatures. However, Chronister said that the statute of limitations regarding the will has expired since it was executed. This means that crimes related to the will cannot be prosecuted.

“The will had already been executed at that point. But, it certainly cast another shadow of suspicion, by all means.”

Chronister went on to reveal that investigators have obtained “great leads” that could help them solve the mystery of Lewis’s disappearance, but insisted that Baskin was not a suspect.

The latest revelation comes after Chronister revealed in a press conference in March that police investigators found “there’s certainly some suspicion surrounding the will.”

Baskin refused to take a polygraph test

Sheriff Chronister also revealed in the press conference that Baskin refused to take a polygraph test during investigations.

She reportedly told police that her attorney advised her not to take the test.

Chronister added that Baskin was the only person they approached during the investigations who refused to take the polygraph test.

Chronister had asked for leads in Lewis’s disappearance

Lewis disappeared in  August 1997. Police investigators were unable to solve the mystery of his disappearance and he was declared officially dead in 2002.

However, in March 2020, Sheriff Chronister announced that police were looking for new leads that could help them solve the case. He called for help from Tiger King fans.

Lewis’s first wife and children alleged Baskin fed her husband to her tigers

Lewis’s first wife and her children alleged that Baskin had knowledge about Lewis’s disappearance.

Lewis’s daughter Donna Pettis told PEOPLE in 1998 that they believed Baskin might have killed Lewis and fed him to her tigers.

Joe Exotic also referenced rumors that Baskin killed Lewis

In the Tiger King documentary series, Baskin’s rival Joe Exotic also suggested that Baskin might have fed Lewis to her big cats.

He uploaded a music video on his YouTube channel that showed a Baskin look-alike feeding raw meat to tigers.


Baskin has denied the allegations

Carole Baskin has denied the allegations that she was involved in her husband’s disappearance. She also denied in an interview with People magazine that she fed her ex-husband to her tigers.


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