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The Will of Carole Baskin’s Missing Husband Was Forged, Confirms a Florida Sheriff

The "Tiger King" drama never ends.
Tiger King
Image: Netflix.

The Tiger King drama never ends. A Florida sheriff confirmed that the will of Carole Baskin’s husband was forged before Netflix’s Tiger King, which has led to even more theories about what happened to the Big Cat Rescue’s missing (and likely dead) husband, Don Lewis.

Hillsborough County sheriff Chad Chronister confirmed on Tuesday, June 1, that experts determined that the will of Carole’s missing husband was “100 percent a forgery.” “They called in some experts to say that the will was a forgery and I had already told them that two months ago,” Chronister told 10 Tampa Bay. “They had two experts deem it 100% a forgery.”

As Tiger King viewers remember, Carole’s husband went missing in 1997 and was declared dead in 2002. After he was declared dead, Don’s estate, which is worth up to $10 million, was transferred to Carole, with none of it given to Don’s first wife or his four children. According to Variety, Joseph Fritz, a former lawyer and a friend of Don, claimed that he believed that Don’s signature on the will, which gave Carole the money, may have been forged.

Though the Florida sheriff could confirm that the will was forged, he didn’t reveal if Carole would face any legal repercussions. Chronister explained that, because the will has already been executed, there are limited options when it comes to pursuing legal action. “That’s the only reason. There’s no recourse,” he said. “A judge deemed it valid. So the civil side of it, with the execution of the will [and] dispersement of the funds is one thing. But then you have the criminal side which is unable to prosecute.”

Since he went missing in 1997, there still hasn’t been any confirmation on what happened to Don. Tiger King suggested several theories that could’ve happened to Carole’s husband, which included his body being put in a meat grinder or him crashing his plane in the Bermuda on his way out of the country. The most popular theory, which is believed by celebrities like Cardi B and fellow Tiger King subject Jeff Lowe, is that Carole fed her husband to a tiger at their park in Tampa, Florida. Though an expert in the docuseries disproved the theory, believing that there would’ve been some DNA evidence if that was the case, the theory still prevails among viewers. For more on what could’ve happened to Carole’s husband, read here.

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