Carole Baskin‘s husband Don Lewis, as in the man Tiger King fans accused her of murdering, was (allegedly) found alive in Costa Rica years ago and people are only noticing now. Honestly, everyone owes her an apology.
A 2021 interview of Baskin has resurfaced and gone viral because in it she says Homeland Security tracked down her presumed-dead husband Lewis and found him… alive and well in Costa Rica.
“One of the really exciting things that came out of Tiger King 2 is that they produced a letter from Homeland Security and it says that a special agent in charge with the FBI at Homeland Security reached out to the sheriff’s detective [Jorge] Fernandez, which means this had to have happened after 2002, because Homeland Security wasn’t even around until 2002,” Baskin told ITV’s This Morning talk show.
“And they said that my husband, Don Lewis, is alive and well in Costa Rica.”
I’m sorry, what? How did no one notice this? Why wasn’t the front page news at the time? How are we only just talking about this now?!
Baskin’s website shared a screenshot of the letter from Tiger King 2 that she referenced and I am stunned.
The letter — which is apparently from the Department of Homeland Security — shares details of the investigation into the disappearance of Lewis as well as allegations of wildlife smuggling.
It mentions Lewis owned property in Costa Rica and travelled there regularly before revealing unidentified special agents tracked him down.
“[Redacted] has learned that Don Lewis is currently alive and well in Costa Rica,” the letter read.
“Upon receiving this information, S/A [redacted] contacted Hillsborough Detective Jorge Fernandez and advised him of Lewis’ whereabouts.
“S/A [redacted] has learned that Lewis has loaned money to various individuals in Costa Rica and could live quite well on the interest earned from these loans.
“Lewis could reside in Costa Rica indefinitely. This investigation will be closed.”
Was I the only one that didn’t know they found Carole Baskin’s husband living his best life in Costa Rica?! pic.twitter.com/fSPGSirwXv
— Izzy in the City (@YeahImDrinking) January 17, 2023
In case you aren’t across the Tiger King lore, this is a huge fkn deal because Carole Baskin has been relentlessly hounded with allegations of murdering Don Lewis ever since the documentary first aired.
Lewis vanished in 1997 after he left his home to make a delivery and never returned, and was legally declared dead in 2002 on the fifth anniversary of his disappearance.
Authorities never found any evidence of foul play, but Tiger King aired allegations from Lewis’ family and Joe Exotic (Baskin’s animal-abusing nemesis) that she murdered him. They claimed she either a) pushed him into a meat grinder, b) fed him to the big cats in her animal sanctuary, or c) hid his body in a septic tank.
All of these theories have been debunked (the meat grinder was removed from the sanctuary weeks before Lewis disappeared, the septic tank was installed years after he vanished, and if the cats had eaten him there would have been remains of his bones) but that didn’t stop Exotic and his fans from maintaining Baskin murdered Lewis.
Now, it seems she’s vindicated — especially because the Homeland Security letter also backs up the defences she used in the documentary.
Don Lewis owned his own aircraft which he was known to fly even though his pilot license was suspended. He frequently visited Costa Rica where he owns a 200-acre park and, like the letter states, he also visited women who he allegedly cheated on Baskin with. It was also reported in 2005 that he bought a plane ticket to Costa Rica days before his disappearance. How TF did this become such a huge conspiracy when these facts have been available for years?
It was Baskin that suggested in Tiger King that Lewis either ran off to Costa Rica for good or tried to and possibly crashed in the process. And now, if the letter is legit, she’s right.
Lewis, for his part, has not released any statements proving that he is alive. Homeland Security have also not publicly released a statement confirming the letter in the documentary is legitimate.