The Mystery of Don Lewis: A Closer Look into the Disappearance of Carole Baskin’s Second Husband
Carole Baskin first rose to fame thanks to her role in the popular Netflix documentary series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.” While the series as a whole provided a captivating look into the world of exotic animal trade and ownership, it was the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Baskin’s second husband, Don Lewis, that truly captivated audiences. In this article, we will delve deeper into the case, examining the evidence that has emerged over the years and the unresolved questions that still surround the case.
The Disappearance of Don Lewis
Don Lewis and Carole Baskin met in the early 1990s and married in 1991. Lewis was a wealthy businessman who made his fortune in the exotic animal trade, owning several big cats and other exotic animals. In August 1997, Lewis disappeared under mysterious circumstances. According to reports, Lewis had told his assistant that he was planning to fly to Costa Rica to finalize a business deal, but he never arrived, and no trace of him was ever found.
Initially, Baskin was cooperative with authorities, offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts, but as time went on, she became less so. She refused to take a polygraph test, and she has been accused of hiding evidence and lying about her husband’s whereabouts. Many of Lewis’s friends and family members consider Baskin to be the primary suspect in his disappearance.
While there is no smoking gun in the disappearance of Don Lewis, there are several pieces of evidence that have raised suspicions about Carole Baskin’s involvement. Some of the key pieces of evidence include:
- Motive: Don Lewis’s wealth was estimated at about $5 million at the time of his disappearance, and Baskin stood to gain a lot if he were to disappear. She helped draft his will, which left most of his estate to her, and she took over his business after he vanished.
- Lewis’s Desire to Leave Baskin: According to Lewis’s friends and family members, he was unhappy in his marriage to Baskin and had talked about wanting to leave her. He also emailed friends before his disappearance saying he was concerned for his safety.
- Baskin’s Conflicting Stories: Baskin has offered several conflicting accounts of what happened to her husband. She first told police that he had left early one morning and never returned. Later, she claimed that he might have crashed his small airplane over the Gulf of Mexico. She has also been accused of hiding evidence and lying about her husband’s whereabouts.
- The Septic Tank Theory: One of the most sensational theories about Don Lewis’s disappearance is that Carole Baskin fed him to one of her tigers. Another theory is that she disposed of his body in a septic tank on her property. In September 2020, police with cadaver dogs searched Baskin’s property and found nothing, but the theory still persists and remains a cornerstone of the conspiracy theories surrounding the case.
While evidence has emerged over the years, many questions still remain about the mysterious disappearance of Don Lewis. Some of the most pressing unresolved questions include:
- What Happened to Don Lewis’s Body? Without evidence of a body, it is impossible to prove that Don Lewis was murdered or to determine how he died.
- Did Carole Baskin Have Anything to Do with Her Husband’s Disappearance? While there is circumstantial evidence linking Baskin to Lewis’s disappearance, there is no direct evidence of her involvement.
- Why Did Carole Baskin Offer Different Stories About What Happened to Her Husband? Baskin’s changing stories have only added to the suspicion surrounding her role in the disappearance.
- What Is the Truth About the Septic Tank Theory? While the theory that Baskin disposed of Lewis’s body in a septic tank is sensational, there is currently no direct evidence to support it.
- Will the Case Ever Be Solved? It has been nearly 25 years since Don Lewis’s disappearance, and as time goes by, it becomes less and less likely that any new evidence will emerge to solve the case.
The disappearance of Don Lewis remains a true crime mystery that has captivated the public’s imagination. While there is no concrete proof, the circumstantial evidence linking Carole Baskin to her husband’s disappearance is strong, and questions continue to swirl about what really happened to Lewis that day. At its heart, this is a story about a man who vanished under mysterious and possibly violent circumstances. His family and friends continue to seek answers and closure, and we can only hope that one day the truth will finally come to light.