The Mysterious Disappearance of Joe Exotic’s Third Husband: A Look Into the Controversial Case
Joe Exotic, also known as Joseph Maldonado-Passage, gained international notoriety after the release of the 2020 Netflix documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness”. The show shed light on the eccentric life of the former owner of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma and his longstanding feud with Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist. However, one of the most intriguing aspects of Joe Exotic’s life remains unresolved: the mysterious disappearance of his third husband, Don Lewis.
Who was Don Lewis?
Don Lewis was a successful businessman and animal lover when he met Joe Exotic in the late 1990s. The couple fell in love and were married in a private ceremony while flying on a hot air balloon. Lewis became a major financial supporter of Exotic’s animal park. But their once-happy marriage took a dark turn on August 18th, 1997, when Lewis vanished without a trace.
The Disappearance of Don Lewis
Don Lewis was last seen by his wife, Gladys Lewis Cross, at their home in Hillsborough County, Florida. Lewis had plans to fly to Costa Rica on the day of his disappearance but never arrived. Lewis’s family and friends searched for him in the weeks and months that followed, but their efforts were fruitless. Authorities launched an investigation and named Joe Exotic as a person of interest, who allegedly had threatened Lewis. However, the investigation was eventually closed, and Lewis was declared legally dead in 2002 without finding any physical evidence of his death.
The disappearance of Don Lewis prompted multiple theories. Some suggest that Joe Exotic was involved, as he had a contentious relationship with Lewis and stood to gain financially from his disappearance. Others have theorized that Lewis fled to Costa Rica, where he had business interests, and started a new life there. But there’s also a theory that Lewis was involved in drug trafficking and was killed by drug dealers.
While the whereabouts and circumstances of Don Lewis’s mysterious disappearance remain shrouded in uncertainty, the case continues to fascinate, and new theories and speculations are still emerging. Several podcasts, documentaries and shows also focus on the topic. Nonetheless, the truth about what really happened to him may never be known, and this elusive case is likely to remain unsolved.