Hillsborough County Sheriff Says He’s Getting Six Tips A Day About Carole Baskin’s Missing Husband

by : Emily Brown on : 01 Apr 2020 11:17
HL change: Hillsborough County Sheriff Says He’s Getting Six Tips A Day About Carole Baskin’s Missing HusbandNetflix/Hillsborough County Sheriff

A sheriff looking into the case of Carole Baskin’s missing husband has said he’s receiving six tips a day and will be reviewing the evidence. 

The case has become a hot topic since the release of Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which details the feud between Joe Exotic and Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin, who ultimately became the intended target of Exotic’s murder-for-hire plot.


Baskin was married to Jack Donald Lewis, aka Don, who was last seen on August 18, 1997. Earlier this week, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister took to Twitter to ask for new leads, since ‘Netflix and coronavirus quarantine made Tiger King all the rage’.

Following the release of the documentary, Chronister has received an wealth of information, telling CNN his office gets about six tips a day.

He commented:


We are already receiving new tips and we hope to close this cold case soon with the help of the public.

Since the documentary came out we’ve been receiving about six tips a day related to this case. We are looking into each one thoroughly.

Joe Exotic Tiger KingNetflix

So far none of the tips have been credible, but in a video news conference on Tuesday, March 31, Chronister announced he had assigned a detective supervisor to chase down any new leads generated from the show.

The sheriff said:


If you have seen the series… there was a lot of questions and theories of who was loyal and was someone really there as a spy.

So what we’re hoping is maybe someone has had a change of heart, maybe a relationship status has changed. Anything that will prompt someone to call with a legitimate lead, a piece of evidence.

Chronister held a meeting regarding the case on Monday, and assured the public his team will be reviewing ‘a lot of the evidence’.

He said the last action on the case took place in 2011, when the sheriff’s office asked Carole Baskin to take a polygraph – aka a lie detector – test.


Others involved in the case agreed to take the test, but Baskin declined, citing her attorney’s advice that ‘it wouldn’t vindicate her of anything’, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Chronister stressed how complicated the case has been, explaining:

We’ve tried over the years… to do everything we can to try to solve this case. And so far, there’s been no evidence, and unfortunately, we weren’t in this technological era that we are now.

There was no GPS and cell phones, something that probably would help us solve this case if it would have occurred now.

Carole BaskinNetflix

The sheriff made clear he is prepared to dedicate resources to solving the case if any of the tips the office receives are credible.

He commented:

We’ll dedicate the entire homicide section and beyond. There’s nothing more important to us than bringing justice to his family – his family who received no inheritance from an individual who fled.

Have you ever heard of a case where a wealthy individual fled, for whatever the reason was, and didn’t take their money with them?

Carole Baskin's missing husbandHillsborough County Sheriff

In one episode of the Tiger King, Exotic and others speculate Baskin may have been responsible for Don’s death, and that she covered it up by feeding his remains to the tigers at her sanctuary.

Baskin has since denied the allegations, and slammed Netflix for devoting a segment of the show to ‘suggesting, with lies and innuendos from people who are not credible, that [she] had a role in the disappearance of [her] husband’.

Chronister said investigators have never found enough probable cause to charge anyone with a crime, or even to determine that a crime had been committed.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Film and TV, Carole Baskin, Joe Exotic, Netflix, Tiger King


CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    Florida sheriff getting 6 tips a day in 1997 'Tiger King' disappearance

  2. Tampa Bay Times

    Hillsborough sheriff says tips are coming in ‘Tiger King’ missing millionaire case