Tiger King on Netflix brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “life is stranger than fiction.” The series is full of real-life giant personalities, mysteries, and feuds that escalated to conspiracies of arson and murder. The show has been so successful, there have been discussions of Season 2.
But of all the series’ unanswered questions, none were more fascinating than the mystery of the disappearance of Don Lewis back in August of 1997 – the vanished husband of Carole Baskin.
And with a lot left open-ended after the episode titled “The Secret” Netflix viewers are still wondering if anything has cropped up since.
Did Carole Baskin kill Don Lewis? Did Don Lewis fake his own disappearance? Let’s unpack everything known as of now.
What happened to Carole Baskin’s husband, Don Lewis?
In the documentary, a lot of shade is thrown back and forth over the possibilities of what happened to Don Lewis.
His family believes Baskin is to blame and theorizes he was fed to a tiger. As stated in an interview with People back in 1998, his daughter Donna Pettis says, “It’s a perfect scenario to dispose of someone.”
In Tiger King, Carole Baskin claims she was told by Lewis that he had to be “up early, early” to fly to Costa Rica. Then there was the fact his 1989 Doidge Van was parked near an airport with the keys still inside.
But what causes friends and family pause in the documentary is the fact he made claims of wanting to leave Baskin leading up to his vanishing. This was further evidenced by the discovery Lewis himself had filed a domestic-violence injunction against Baskin two months before he seemingly fell off the Earth. Which is arguably a strange coincidence.
As of now though, there are no updates on the whereabouts of Don Lewis--except theories and speculation from the online world., And the documentary has set the internet ablaze over whether Baskin had a hand in his disappearance.
Online reactions to Don Lewis’s disappearance on Tiger King
As stated, the show has been a massive hit for Netflix and has many viewers And since its premiere, the online world has taken to various platforms about Don Lewis’s disappearance. And most of it doesn’t favor well for Baskin herself.
But this has been a constant thing for years. There’s even a 3-year-old Reddit thread discussion dedicated to the topic.
But since Tiger King released, Redditors have taken their theories to the platform with some claiming Baskin is to blame and others claiming he had to pull a gone girl. For example, Reddit user jsmalltri asserts her as a sociopath saying:
This 100% she definitely displays mannerisms of someone with a ClusterB personality disorder and psychotic tendencies. Watch the interview with her at the end of the Netflix series – her facial expressions say a lot.
While other users like wellhellowally argue it does not make sense for her to be able to do so--citing he possibly was killed by someone else because she couldn’t move the van and get back to her car.
How did she move the van and then get back to her own car?
Seems to me he tried disappearing and probably got murdered in the process. The guy hated his kids, hated his wife, buried multiple stashes of money, and kept his assets a secret so well that nobody actually knew how much he was worth or how many planes he owned.
And as always, Twitter had lots to say about Carole Baskin and the role she may have played in Lewis’s disappearance. She prompted some very strong reactions in the Twitterverse.
— kendall (@mellamokendall) March 23, 2020
It’s been 24 hours since I finished #TigerKing – and I still think Carole Baskin killed her husband AND fed him to the Tigers. That was my biggest takeaway from the show!! Also, this is creepy. 😳🐅👑 pic.twitter.com/ot1pNn8l51
— Devin Newsom (@DevinNewsom) March 24, 2020
— 💛Ryan💜 (@Really_Ry) March 20, 2020
— Queen K (@k_melaninqueen) March 22, 2020
Carole Baskin’s Reaction to Tiger King on Netflix
Carole Baskin is furiously defending the claims all over the internet that she killed her husband and fed him to the tigers she loves so much. She says the way the producers tell the story “had the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible in order to draw viewers.”
Her BigCatRescue blog explains she was not even given the chance to stand up for herself before the show hit the streaming service. She continues to claim a doctor diagnosed him with mental illnesses including Bipolar Disorder, and early signs of Alzheimer’s in the time leading up to his disappearance.
She also claims he could not read which led to a lot of problems for him. She goes on to explain that one of the witnesses interviewed for the series had been caught stealing money from them shortly before Lewis went missing.
The way she paints the picture, every witness to what Netflix portrayed in the docuseries was out to get Lewis, and she was the only one trying to defend him—citing examples of embezzlement from Lewis’s assistant Anne McQueen. In summary, she still categorically denies having anything to do with Lewis’s disappearance.
Regardless of whether Lewis planned his own disappearance or was killed by his angry wife Baskin, the Netflix series was worth a binge during the period of widespread isolation.
Tiger King is streaming on Netflix now.