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Jack Donald Lewis

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Jack, circa 1997

Missing Since
08/18/1997
Missing From
Tampa, Florida
Classification
Missing
Sex
Male
Race
White
Date of Birth
04/30/1938 (81)
Age
59 years old
Height and Weight
5'10, 170 pounds
Clothing/Jewelry Description
A t-shirt from Kmart, and blue jeans.
Distinguishing Characteristics
Caucasian male. Blond hair, blue eyes.
Jack's nickname is Don.
He may use the alias name Bob Martinez.

He wears eyeglasses for reading.

Details of Disappearance
Jack was last seen in Tampa, Florida on August 18, 1997. He left home early that day and made a delivery around 6:00 a.m. He has never been heard from again.

The next day, his white 1989 Dodge van was found abandoned at the Pilot Country Airport, a private airport near State Road 52 and U.S. 41 in Pasco County, Florida. The keys were on the floorboard and there was no sign of Jack. He knows how to fly a plane and he owned several, but he'd been involved in three aviation accidents and his pilot's license was suspended at the time of his disappearance.

Jack had made millions of dollars in his real estate career; he was noted as a "ruthless" businessman. He had a habit of carrying large sums of cash and buying expensive things, including airplanes, on impulse. In spite of his wealth, however, he lived frugally and sometimes even scavenged for food in dumpsters.

He and his wife, Carole, owned Wildlife on Easy Street, later called Big Cat Rescue, a forty-acre wildlife park in Citrus Park, Florida where approximately 200 animals, including about 120 exotic cats as well as otters, llamas, and horses, lived.

In June 1997, two months before his disappearance, Jack had sought a temporary domestic violence injunction to remove his wife, Carole, from their home, telling a judge that she had threatened to kill him and told him to be out of the house by June 12. The judge refused to issue the injunction, however.

Carole said she asked Jack to go see a psychiatrist, and he went, but only for one appointment; he didn't return for any follow-up visits. She stated he had told her several times that he wanted a divorce, but she didn't think he was being serious. She also denied having ever had a serious argument with him, in spite of what Jack had claimed earlier.

After his disappearance, Jack's four children from his first marriage fought with Carole over control of his businesses and property. They believe foul play was involved in his disappearance. Carole refused to cooperate with the police investigation into his disappearance or take a polygraph, saying her attorney had advised against it. All the other members of the family volunteered to take polygraphs.

Authorities got reports that Jack was in Costa Rica, where he owned 200 acres of land and several apartment buildings. Earlier in 1997, he had begun transferring ownership of his properties in Florida to Wito Corporation, a Costa Rican company he controlled. Police went to Costa Rica, investigated for five days, and spoke to most of Jack's acquaintances there, but found no evidence that he'd traveled there after his disappearance.

The circumstances of his case are unclear.
Investigating Agency
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office 800-873-8477
Source Information
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
The Tampa Bay Times
The Tampa Tribune
NamUs
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 22, 2018; casefile added.



Media - Jack Donald (Don) Lewis has been #missing from Tampa, FL since 18 August 1997- Age 81
 
Last edited by a moderator:

KareBear

I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way.
What Happened To Carole Baskin's Former Husband, Who Vanished In 1997?
MARCH 26, 2020, 12:20 PM ET
Crime TV
BY GINA TRON

Among the craziest things about Netflix's "Tiger King" docuseries are theories about what happened to Don Lewis, the husband of Joe Exotic's nemesis Carole Baskin, who went missing in 1997.

Netflix’s new docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” is full of drama, all involving big cat people. While it focuses primarily on eccentric Oklahoma zookeeper Joe Exotic and his downfall for plotting the murder of animal sanctuary operator Carole Baskin, it also dives into the mysterious disappearance of Baskin’s husband.

Exotic, who was born Joseph Schreibvogel, is currently serving 22 years for trying to hire a hitman to murder Baskin — founder of the Tampa, Florida-based Big Cat Rescue — with whom he'd been in a brutal years-long feud.

During this rivalry, Exotic suggested that his nemesis killed her former husband. He even made a country music video featuring a Baskin lookalike feeding what is meant to be her spouse's remains to tigers. She has vehemently denied those allegations.

View the article on Oxygen.com (link at the end) for further reading about:

"The circumstances surrounding his disappearance have sparked all kinds of theories and rumors"

What was the state of Lewis and Baskin's relationship?

Did Baskin threaten Lewis' life?

Did Lewis sneak off to Costa Rica?

Was he thrown off a plane?

Was he fed to tigers?

It's the most infamous rumor of all, furthered by the music video Exotic made.

Was he put through a meat grinder?

What is the official status of the case?
Rumors aside, Thomas (from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office) said the case is not considered a murder.


Source link-
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
So this is what that show or series or whatever it is is about? I have heard it mentioned a few places but had no idea what it was about, I thought it was about hunters or cat killers or some such. I think I vaguely remember the death and the story at that time. I had no idea this Tiger King thing was about a case.
 

KareBear

I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way.
So this is what that show or series or whatever it is is about? I have heard it mentioned a few places but had no idea what it was about, I thought it was about hunters or cat killers or some such. I think I vaguely remember the death and the story at that time. I had no idea this Tiger King thing was about a case.

Yep :nodding: There is so much more to this docuseries than that! It has many twists! Go ahead, pop some popcorn, crab kitty and a blanket, get comfy on the couch, and dive in! :catattack:
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

'There's no question he was murdered': Lawyer for Carole Baskin's ex-husband says he was killed and he would never have left the cats he loved

A lawyer who worked for the missing husband of Netflix sensation Carole Baskin has said there is ‘no question’ that he was murdered as it would take ‘some force’ to make him leave his much-loved tigers.

The disappearance of Jack ‘Don’ Lewis was a major talking point of the streaming service’s recent hit Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

The series explored claims that animal rights activist Baskin murdered her first husband Lewis and fed him to the tigers in their big cat sanctuary in Florida.

Baskin, 58, has repeatedly denied any involvement in the multi-millionaire’s disappearance but it quickly became one of the most discussed parts of the show as the internet was taken over by conspiracy theories.

Lewis’s lawyer Joseph Fritz has now spoken out as part of a new Fox Nation series A Tiger King Investigation with Nancy Grace, saying there is no doubt he was killed and alleging that somebody is lying about it.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

The will of 'Tiger King' star Carole Baskin's missing husband Don Lewis was forged, sheriff says

The fallout from Netflix's hit "Tiger King" docuseries took another turn on Tuesday when a prominent member of law enforcement confirmed what some people had speculated: Don Lewis' will was forged.

Lewis was the missing millionaire husband of Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin, one of the series' stars. He vanished from Tampa in 1997.


Back in May, Lewis' friend and former lawyer Joseph Fritz told Fox News he thought his client's signature was forged on the document that gave Baskin Lewis' money.

"I believe it was traced," Fritz told Nancy Grace.

According to Fox, Lewis' estate is believed to have been worth up to $10 million. It was left to Baskin, and his family was cut out, the cable network reported.

As the Clarion-Ledger newspaper explains, the notary listed on the will and power of attorney does not remember authenticating those documents. And, the paper said two different handwriting experts had each concluded Lewis' signature appears to have been "traced" from his 1991 marriage record.

Now, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister has confirmed those reports.

"They had two experts deem it 100 percent a forgery. But, we knew that...we knew that before," Chronister told 10 Tampa Bay.

According to Chronister, the problem was that the statute of limitations had expired for any crime related to the will.

"The will had already been executed at that point," Chronister told Brightside anchor Rob Finnerty. "But, it certainly cast another shadow of suspicion, by all means."
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
Family of Tiger King’s Don Lewis files lawsuit against Carole Baskin and others

The surviving daughters of Don Lewis, a Tampa man who went missing 23 years ago this month, have filed a lawsuit in Hillsborough County court against Tiger King subjects Kenny Farr and Carole Baskin along with a woman listed as a witness on Lewis’ will.

But it’s not a lawsuit for money.

“It’s a lawsuit for equity,” said Jacksonville based lawyer John M. Phillips, who specializes in personal injury and wrongful death cases and is representing Lewis’ family in the action.

More specifically, Phillips filed a “pure bill of discovery,” a rarely-used move which demands that the defendants turn over information they might have about the Lewis case for possible use in later lawsuits.

Speaking at a news conference Monday morning at Tampa’s Riverhills Church of God, Phillips said it could mean depositions and subpoenas to determine who exactly the family will sue in the future, and how. The complaint demands the defendants turn over electronic device data, diaries and investigative material related to Lewis.

Phillips said Baskin is “invited to the table” to come forward with information on Lewis willingly.

“Generally you announce a $150 million lawsuit and how we’re going to get justice,” Phillips said. “And we are going to do all of that, in time. But our office wants to invite reason, to invite civil conversation where it can be had.”


Family of Don Lewis, whose cold case drew new interest after 'Tiger King,' offers $100K reward

During a press conference Monday, the family and family's attorney announced a $100,000 reward for information regarding Don Lewis' disappearance.

The family's lawyer, John Phillips urged people with information to come forward. He also said the family is dissatisfied with the lack of answers and closure surrounding Lewis' disappearance.

"We are hoping that with these funds, someone will have the courage to come for it and provide the information necessary to solve this case," said Donna Pettis, one of Lewis's daughters.

1597268688608.png
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

Cadaver dogs to search Carole Baskin's missing husband Don Lewis’ lake house, ex-detective says​

The story of “Tiger King” star Joe Exotic and his hunch that his rival Carole Baskin had an alleged hand in the disappearance and presumed death of her husband Don Lewis was taken up a notch on Sunday night during an Investigation Discovery special centered on the unanswered question of what happened to the tiger breeder and amateur pilot.

Jim Rathmann, a retired homicide investigator, told Fox News that cadaver dogs were brought in to aid in the search near one of Lewis’ lake houses and said he can’t possibly fathom what his family might be going through nearly 25 years after Lewis went missing.

“That area near the lake house is going to be explored further,” Rathmann said. “So there's a lot of information that we're going to reveal that that hasn't been heard and that a lot of people are going to be surprised when they see this thing.

Rathmann is leading an investigation to discover the truth, revealing new theories uncovered by private investigators, reliving Lewis’ final days and demeanor with those closest to him, and unpacking evidence exposed by criminal and legal experts in the ID special “Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up,” a three-part extravaganza that aired its first two on Sunday.
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
So this is what that show or series or whatever it is is about? I have heard it mentioned a few places but had no idea what it was about, I thought it was about hunters or cat killers or some such. I think I vaguely remember the death and the story at that time. I had no idea this Tiger King thing was about a case.
I'm in the same camp as you! I had no idea what this tiger thing was all about.
 

Mel70

Special specialist
Carole Baskin
Big Cat Bike Ride GIF by NETFLIX

Disney Night Dwts GIF by Dancing with the Stars
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

'Tiger King's Carole Baskin says she'd support ex-husband Don Lewis if he was found alive: 'I loved' him​

"Tiger King" star Carole Baskin is further defending herself against accusations she played a role in the mysterious disappearance and death of her first husband, Jack "Don" Lewis.

In a new interview with Fox News, the big cat enthusiast recalled what a "challenge" it's been to be accused of Lewis' death. In 1997, Lewis went missing and was ultimately declared dead by authorities. Baskin, who has never been charged with a crime related to the cold case, spent much of 2020 releasing statements refuting the accusations made in the series by her chief rival Joe Exotic, also known as Joseph Maldonado-Passage, as well as Lewis' kin.

Baskin claims the Netflix docuseries "gave a megaphone to disreputable people who painted the situation to make people believe that narrative."
 

Mel70

Special specialist

'Tiger King's Carole Baskin says she'd support ex-husband Don Lewis if he was found alive: 'I loved' him​

"Tiger King" star Carole Baskin is further defending herself against accusations she played a role in the mysterious disappearance and death of her first husband, Jack "Don" Lewis.

In a new interview with Fox News, the big cat enthusiast recalled what a "challenge" it's been to be accused of Lewis' death. In 1997, Lewis went missing and was ultimately declared dead by authorities. Baskin, who has never been charged with a crime related to the cold case, spent much of 2020 releasing statements refuting the accusations made in the series by her chief rival Joe Exotic, also known as Joseph Maldonado-Passage, as well as Lewis' kin.

Baskin claims the Netflix docuseries "gave a megaphone to disreputable people who painted the situation to make people believe that narrative."
No Carole you are the disreputable one. The ones who spoke against you are his family and the circumstantial evidence that does to me and others make it appear you are guilty.
 

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