Video: 'The Tiger King Mystery,' about the disappearance of Carole Baskin's former husband Don Lewis, to air on '48 Hours Suspicion' tonight
The "48 Hours" spin-off "48 Hours Suspicion" vows to share "startling new information" linked to the disappearance of Carole Baskin’s former husband Don Lewis in the special series premiere episode “The Tiger King Mystery,” to be broadcast at 9 tonight on the CBS Television Network.
As previously reported, the nation was captivated earlier this year with the Netflix hit series “Tiger King,” about flamboyant Oklahoma big-cat owner Joe Exotic and his fierce rivalry with Florida animal rights activist Carole Baskin.
As The Oklahoman's Nolan Clay reported Joe Exotic - whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, but he is also known as Joe Schreibvogel - was sentenced earlier this year to 22 years in federal prison after he was convicted of twice hiring someone to kill Baskin, a vocal opponent of his former Wynnewood exotic animal park and its practices.
As I noted in my "Tiger King" review, the docuseries not only chronicles of the bizarre life and murder-for-hire trial of Joe Exotic but also delves into Baskin's own scandalous background: A crusader against the private breeding of big cats, she actually got into the sanctuary business through her second husband, Lewis, an eccentric millionaire who left his wife and children to marry Carole, who was 22 years his junior, and loved breeding all kinds of wildlife. Lewis mysteriously vanished in 1997.
Throughout the Netflix series and on his own YouTube channel, Joe Exotic, the self-proclaimed "Tiger King," claimed Baskin had murdered Lewis in 1997. Joe Exotic also made the sensational allegation that Baskin fed Lewis to their tigers. His body has never been found.
Baskin has strongly denied the allegations and Hillsborough County (Florida) Sheriff Chad Chronister has said that Baskin is neither a suspect nor a person of interest in the case.
Now, in her first television interview, Trish Farr-Payne claims her ex-husband Kenny Farr may have been connected to Lewis’ disappearance, according to a news release. Farr was a handyman who worked for Lewis and Baskin.
Farr-Payne tells "48 Hours Suspicion" host Richard Schlesinger that two days before Lewis was reported missing, Farr told her: “Don’s gone, and I don’t want you talking about him.”
Farr-Payne also tells Schlesinger that a large, padlocked freezer appeared on her front porch and soon vanished.
“How long after Don disappeared did the freezer disappear?” Schlesinger asks.
“About a week after Don disappeared,” Farr-Payne says.
She tells "48 Hours Suspicion" she waited years to tell police about her suspicions involving the freezer and other key information revealed in the tonight's broadcast.
“I was afraid for my kids,” she tells Schlesinger. “You know, I had my kids. I was afraid for them. I was more afraid for them than anything.”
According to the news release, "48 Hours Suspicion" was unable to reach Kenny Farr for comment.
"48 Hours Suspicion" comes from the team at CBS News’ award-winning true crime series "48 Hours." Broadcasting at 9 p.m. Wednesdays, "48 Hours Suspicion" will feature "intriguing cases where people live under suspicion but the truth is often elusive."
Tonight's "48 Hours Suspicion: The Tiger King Mystery" also features interviews with Lewis’ ex-wife, Lewis’ three daughters and more, according to the news release.
No matter what is revealed on tonight's broadcast, Baskin is due to appear on primetime TV again very soon. As previously reported, she headlines the Season 29 cast of "Dancing With the Stars," which premieres at 7 p.m. Monday on ABC.