Carole Baskin appeared on Tiger King
Carole Baskin appeared on Tiger King

Carole’s husband was ‘strangled’: Lawyer

The husband of Tiger King star Carole Baskin was allegedly strangled and tossed from plane, according to his lawyer.


Joseph Fritz, the lawyer of the late Don Lewis, is adamant that there was foul play involved in the mysterious death of his client 23 years ago.

During an interview on the Fox Nation series A Tiger King Investigation, the lawyer said "there's no question but that he was murdered."


"What I had heard was that he was strangled from the back seat of an aeroplane over the Gulf [of Mexico] at 50 feet and dropped out over the Gulf," Fritz said.


"He loved those cats. He never would have just walked away from them. Ever.


"He was proud of those cats. He loved his cats. Some force made him leave."


Netflix's Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness has renewed public - and police - interest in the mysterious disappearance of Baskin's multi-millionaire husband.

Tiger King’s Carole Baskin. Picture: Netflix
Tiger King’s Carole Baskin. Picture: Netflix


In the popular documentary, Joe Exotic's leopard print-loving nemesis recalls how she met Lewis in 1980 when he was still married.


He left his wife for Baskin and they went on to open an exotic animal habitat in Florida's Hillsborough County.

Baskin reported him missing in 1997 when his abandoned car was found in the parking lot of a small airport and she told cops he had planned to visit his home in Costa Rica.


Lewis was later declared legally dead and according to Fritz, Baskin inherited a hefty fortune of $5 to $10 million.


She has since claimed her husband was showing signs of "mental deterioration" before his disappearance and went on to marry Howard Baskin, who helps her run Big Cat Rescue.


Fritz said his "working theory" is that Lewis was lured to a private county airport on the pretence of buying another plane.


The lawyer believes he was murdered there.


"Don Lewis, he was terribly cheap while he was very wealthy," Fritz said. "He was cheap beyond belief.

"What would have lured him more than anything else is a good deal on an aeroplane.


"So that's what I assume happened, that he got lured up to the Pilot Country Estates to look at an aeroplane."



He recalled how Lewis preferred to fly under the range of radar detection due to his revoked pilot's license.


Fritz acknowledged that Baskin has not been named as an official suspect and he didn't know who did it.


"One day one of these people is going to stub their toe and want a get-out-of-jail-free card and that's when something's going to happen," said the lawyer.


Baskin has repeatedly protested her innocence, blasting what she described as "lies and innuendos" in the Netflix series.

"If you do want to know the truth, it requires understanding the history of events in the years before my husband's disappearance and the roles and behaviours of the people interviewed in the series," she wrote in a post refuting the documentary.


"[Lewis'] behaviour became increasingly strange. He started refusing to use the bathroom and defecating outside. He brought in a homeless man to stay in our house.


"I rescheduled an appointment for him to see the specialist Dr. Gold. But he disappeared before the appointment date."

This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission

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