The Mysterious Disappearance of Joe Exotic’s Third Husband, Travis Maldonado
The Events Leading Up to Travis’s Disappearance
Travis was a young man from California who had a volatile relationship with Joe Exotic. Despite the age gap between them – Joe was in his late 40s when they first met – the two men eventually got married in 2015, with their mutual friend, John Finlay, joining them in a three-way marriage ceremony.
However, it was no secret that their relationship was not a stable one. Joe Exotic had a history of drug abuse, addiction, and erratic behavior. He would often manipulate and control his husbands, using his influence and charisma to keep them loyal to him. Travis, in particular, had been struggling with his own drug addiction for years, and his situation only got worse after he moved to Oklahoma to be with Joe.
The Day of Travis’s Disappearance
On October 6, 2017, Travis was hanging out at Joe Exotic’s zoo, GW Exotic Animal Park, with John Finlay and another zoo employee, Kelci Saffery. They were all high on methamphetamine, according to Saffery’s account, and were goofing around with guns. Saffery claimed that Travis was playing Russian roulette with his gun, where he would randomly shoot at objects around the zoo.
At one point, Travis went to the office inside the park and took out Joe Exotic’s Ruger .357 Magnum revolver. According to Saffery, he held the gun to his own head and joked that the gun wouldn’t fire because it was out of bullets. Saffery and Finlay both begged him to put the gun down, but he refused. Saffery said as she turned away to leave, she heard a loud bang, and when she turned back around, she saw Travis lying on the ground, bleeding out from a gunshot wound to the head.
The Investigation and Autopsy Report
When the authorities arrived at the scene, they found Travis’s body lying on the floor of Joe Exotic’s office. They also discovered a bullet casing next to his head and the Ruger .357 Magnum revolver lying on a nearby table. The police quickly concluded that Travis’s death was a result of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound.
However, some of the evidence collected from the scene raised questions about the exact circumstances of Travis’s death. For example, the bullet hole in Travis’s head was located behind his right ear, which is an unusual position for someone to shoot oneself in a Russian roulette game.
Moreover, the Ruger .357 Magnum revolver had six rounds of ammunition when it was recovered, which contradicted Joe Exotic’s assertion that the gun wasn’t loaded. Also, according to the autopsy report, Travis’s blood contained a high amount of methamphetamine and other drugs at the time of his death, which could have impaired his judgment and reflexes, making it difficult for him to dodge a bullet in a game of Russian roulette.
Another suspicious incident happened a few months after Travis’s death when Joe Exotic was caught on camera, talking about how he killed Travis in a Facebook live video. He was heard saying, “I’m the only one that’s gonna make money off of that and nobody’s gonna miss him. I promise you that.” Joe Exotic later claimed that the video was a joke and that he was high on drugs when he made those comments.
The Verdict and Aftermath
Despite the inconsistencies and controversies surrounding Travis’s death, Joe Exotic was never charged with any crime related to it. The police and the prosecutor’s office considered it a closed case, and Joe Exotic’s lawyers advised him not to pursue it further.
However, the events leading up to Travis’s disappearance and Joe Exotic’s subsequent behavior have raised serious concerns about his character and ethics. Joe Exotic was convicted of multiple felonies in 2019, including murder-for-hire, and is currently serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison. His image as a flamboyant, eccentric zoo owner has now been replaced by that of a convicted criminal who exploited animals for profit and killed a man who he claimed to love.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Joe Exotic’s Third Husband, Travis Maldonado, raises more questions than it provides answers. While it’s impossible to know exactly what happened on that fateful day, it’s clear that Travis’s death was a result of a combination of factors – drug abuse, reckless behavior, and easy access to firearms. Joe Exotic’s role in the incident remains a mystery, and his subsequent behavior has only added to the suspicion surrounding his involvement.