A popular Netflix documentary has brought a Florida sheriff a flood of new theories in the unsolved disappearance.
Credit...Sheriff Chad Chronister of Hillsborough County, via Associated PressByAudra D. S. BurchMarch 31, 2020HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Like much of America, Chad Chronister recently binge-watched the chronicles of an eccentric roadside zookeeper known as Joe Exotic and his archenemy, an animal activist who wanted him to stop profiting off big cats.
The Netflix documentary featuring Joe Exotic, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” quickly found a captive audience of would-be investigators, trapped inside homes across the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.But it also transfixed Mr. Chronister, the sheriff of Hillsborough County, Fla., who days ago was trying
to convince a rogue pastorto stay at home rather than hold services at his Tampa-area megachurch.By Tuesday morning, Sheriff Chronister, who watched the seven episodes of the documentary with his family, was holding a Facebook Live news conference in his kitchen. He wanted to discuss
the disappearance of Don Lewis, who ran a big cat sanctuary in the Tampa area before he went missing 23 years ago.Mr. Lewis was discussed frequently in “Tiger King,” and Sheriff Chronister hoped he could tap into the online frenzy togenerate new leads
in a case that had been dormant for years.“These last 48 hours have been crazy. Crazy!” said Mr. Chronister, the fourth sheriff to preside over the case. “We are hoping we can bring some justice and closure to the Lewis family.”Joe Exotic, a tiger breeder whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is now in a federal prison cell in Texas, sentenced to 22 years for an unsuccessful scheme to kill the animal activist Carole Baskin, and for killing five tiger cubs. He was reportedly enraged that Ms. Baskin, who was married to Mr. Lewis and an outspoken critic of Mr. Maldonado-Passage, had won
a million-dollar civil judgmentagainst him for trademark infringement.“The series was entertaining and intriguing and interesting,” Sheriff Chronister said. “It prompted me to want to take a more in-depth look.”The case was never officially closed, but the last time anything significant happened was in 2011, when the police asked Ms. Baskin to take a polygraph. She refused.
The documentary series was released on March 20, as authorities across the country were pleading with people to stay home and blunt the spread of the coronavirus. With newfound time and plenty of restlessness, viewers did not take long to make “Tiger King” a pop culture fixation.
Soon, tips started trickling into the sheriff’s department. Since last week, the department has received an average of six tips a day, the sheriff said, but none have been credible.Most callers offer theories on who they think is responsible for Mr. Lewis’s disappearance. Many think he was killed.
“We still have it labeled a missing persons case,” Sheriff Chronister said. “We don’t have any type of evidence, not one piece, that suggests that he was killed.”Sheriff Chronister has met with homicide supervisors and assigned a detective supervisor to cull through the tips. The police have not spoken with Ms. Baskin, who denies any role in the disappearance.
Mr. Lewis left his home on Aug. 18, 1997, never to be heard from again. The next day, police officers found his van at a private airport, the beginning of a hunt that carried investigators from the 69-acre wildlife sanctuary he ran with Ms. Baskin to Costa Rica, where Mr. Lewis owned a 200-acre park.
His disappearance sparked all kinds of rumors, Mr. Maldonado-Passage’s theories among the most pointed. He repeatedly accused Ms. Baskin of killing her husband and of possibly feeding his body to the cats.But for the most part, the case went quiet. Then came “Tiger King.”Read more: The New York Times »
I do hope this case is solved and justice served. MarthaSugalski They say most people close their eyes when lying. Watch for yourself, this wasn’t a blink 😱 She murdered him? We really need to address the mental health crisis in our country. BigCatRescue they’re coming for you Carol killed him, big cats Florida. Everyone knows it was carol and I hope they find a way to prove it. Also the fbi is embarrassing with the complete set up of joe exotic
People need to absolutely flood BigCatRescue with 1 star reviews and flood all of their social media accounts. Forever. How the hell can this headline call her an 'animal activist'? Has anyone at the Times seen Tiger King? (Which I really think should have been called Tyger King, as a shout-out to William Blake)
I just watched this shit show and they're all bonkers. I’m seeing more Cheat-ahs than tigers in this case. I think that can wait until we get this whole PANDEMIC addressed. As well they should. That woman is a murderer and a criminal and had joe exotic set up. Ina edition she screwed out the Lewis family Of their dads assets. She’s trash and should be locked up.
Hes on the case. Im not saying it was Carole Baskin... BUT IT WAS CAROLE FUCKIN BASKIN... Kadın adamı kıtır kıtır kesmiş NY Times’cım☹️ kedişlerine mama yapmış alooooo😱😱😱 PEOPLE OF USA PROTECT YOUR LUNGS WEAR THE FACE MASK TO STOP THE VIRUS FROM ENTERING YOUR BODY
The Music of the Tiger King Isn’t Even by the Tiger KingThe story of Joe Exotic’s songs is so strange that even Netflix ’s five-hour documentary doesn’t have room for it. If we’re honest, none of us ever really thought it was…
Shaquille O'Neal Explains That Controversial 'Tiger King' CameoThe NBA legend is 'not friends' with Joe Exotic, he said. He 'gained two new Tigers'? It’d be cooler if he was.
'Tiger King': Carole Baskin Speaks Out Against Netflix DocumentaryBig Cat Rescue founder and animal rights activist Carole Baskin refutes her depiction in the docuseries: 'They did not care about truth.' Animal rights activist at the heart 😂 Methinks thou dost protest too much!!
Tiger King Stars Spotted in Throwback Britney Spears PicsWe can't help but roar over this throwback photo featuring Britney Spears and Tiger King's Doc Antle. carlyincontro eringilfoy I know you both are invested in this as much I am. So had to tag you both in this 💁🏻♀️ britneyspears is so damn fine I barely notice the tiger in the background Is this the same VMAs where there is a photo floating around with Britney seated next to Carole Baskin in the audience?!
Britney Spears' Connection to 'Tiger King' Subject Doc Antle RevealedAs Doc Antle speaks out about his “harem,” his Britney connection goes viral Tiger King (via toofab) TooFab
Did 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic Really Sing Those Songs?As with anything in the Netflix show, it's complicated. EN U.S.A LES HACE FALTA UN CHAVEZ Y UNA 'REVOLUCIÓN BOLIVARIANA' PARA QUE SE OCUPE DEL 'PUEBLO POBRE' NORTEAMERICANO IN THE USA YOU NEED A CHAVEZ AND A 'BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTION' TO TAKE CARE OF THE NORTH AMERICAN 'POOR PEOPLE'RETWITEAR Joe married two guys in the same ceremony, there's a tiger cult in NC, the literal 'Tony Montana' that Scarface was based on is in it, and there is a significant amount of evidence that Carole got away with murdering her husband. But yeah, focus on Joe Exotic's music videos. You were totally right reblavoie !!!!