What is the proof? Could Carole Baskin have killed her husband?
Although it has now been months since the original release of Netflix’s Tiger King, the internet is still frothing at the mouth over the crazy documentary. While the larger than life personalities enraptured some, and the animal abuse riled up others, most viewers walked away wondering about Carole Baskin and her vanishing husband, Don Lewis.
The popular opinion seems to be that Carole Baskin murdered her husband. The rumors state he wanted to leave her, and had even tried to get a restraining order against Carole. Don Lewis was also rather rich. These things together are, for many, plenty of motive.
When it comes down to the actual investigation, however, there’s just no proof Carole Baskin killed her husband – whether it was related to hungry tigers or not. If there was sufficient proof, police would have already arrested her and Don Lewis’s disappearance wouldn’t be a cold case still. In fact, there’s still no hard proof Lewis is even dead.
So, what are the “facts” which make people believe so ardently Carole Baskin is the cause of her husband’s disappearance? Let’s take a look at what the internet has to say.
Some sources believe Don Lewis’s final will and testament, which Baskin was reportedly quick to produce, has forged signatures. There is a belief Lewis’s signature was traced off of his marriage certificate. Nobody is able to do their signature identically every time. There are slight variations based on numerous factors, ranging from the person’s mood to the type of pen they’re holding. So, two perfectly matching John Hancocks is actually a red flag in forgery cases.
Don Lewis’s lawyer became suspicious when somebody held the two documents together and was able to line them up perfectly.
The lawyer believes he’s dead
Now, lawyers don’t exactly have the same criminal investigation experience police do, we’ll be the first to admit this. That being said, Joseph Fritz, the man who was Don Lewis’s lawyer & friend, believes his client was murdered. In fact, Fritz has a strangely specific theory despite having no evidence to back any of it up.
Fritz believes two people kidnapped Don Lewis after luring him to the airport. (Lewis’s car was found abandoned at the local airport.) He thinks they strangled his client in the backseat of his car with electrical wire, took him onto a plane and tossed his body out into the Mexico Gulf.
There was no sign of a struggle within Lewis’s vehicle, but his keys were found lying on the floor inside the car.
Carole Baskin was, at one point, asked to take part in a polygraph test by police. Baskin refused at the advice of her own lawyer, despite all of Don Lewis’s children volunteering to do polygraphs.
While this may seem suspicious at first glance, if the advice really was given to her by a lawyer it wouldn’t be too surprising. Polygraphs are by no means magic truth-finding machines and can often be wrong – since they only measure biological responses such as heart rate. If one were to get emotional during a polygraph, the person being tested could look like they were lying even if they weren’t.
So a lawyer advising their client against a polygraph would be a pretty smart move, although being uncooperative with a police investigation doesn’t look phenomenal.
The famous Tiger King line
The thing which convinced viewers of Tiger King the most that Carole Baskin murdered her husband was when she said, on camera, to get a tiger to eat someone you would, “Just cover them in sardine oil or something they want to eat, should do the trick”.
This is hardly proof of a murder, and she may well have been coaxed by whoever was behind the camera to answer this question or say this specific line. However, people believe it was an off the cuff remark and the specificity and ease in which it was said concerns them.
Ultimately, nobody knows what happened, and it’s highly unlikely anyone on the internet is magically going to solve a case the police have struggled with for more than two decades. Is it possible Carole Baskin had something to do with the disappearance of her husband? Sure. However, we don’t have any more proof than the police do, so if she was involved – at this rate, it looks like she’ll get away with it.
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