In the midst of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness' popularity on Netflix, law enforcement officers are taking advantage of the hype to ask for new leads in the Jack Donald "Don" Lewis case. Viewers of the docuseries will know the ongoing feud between star Joe 'Exotic" Maldonado-Passage and Big Cat Rescue owner Carol Baskin and the accusations made towards her possibly having murdered Lewis when they were married.
Since the release of the popular Netflix original, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister told CNN that they're getting around "six tips a day" since its release. "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," he explained.
The last time Lewis was seen was Aug. 18, 1997. According to Baskin, her husband was planning on heading to Costa Rica, a place he visited often, and never heard from him since. Evidence shows that Lewis never got on a plane to go there, but his van was seen at the airport.
Chronister is now using the hype surrounding the docuseries to spread awareness that he would like to gain new leads that could help them close the case to provide family and friends some sort of closure. Therefore, he pushed out a notification on his Twitter account. "Since [Netflix] and #Covid19 #Quarantine has made #TigerKing all the rage, I figured it was a good time to ask for new leads," he wrote in a caption along with a photo of Lewis and a number people can call if they have any helpful tips.
Chronister told reporters that he has assigned a detective supervisor to chase down any new leads that are generated. He says that he found the show "interesting" but that it didn't provide any new information to create new leads. "They certainly spun it a certain way for entertainment purposes," he said.0comments
During the time of their investigation, mobile phones and GPS's were not a thing yet, therefore, making it a little more challenging to be able to trace where Lewis was last. Since then, investigators say they have never found enough probable cause to charge anyone with a crime, or even be able to determine if there was a crime in the first place.
Maldonado-Passage, who is serving a 22-year prison sentence, accused Baskin of feeding her husband's body to the tigers and claimed the septic tank on the Big Cat Rescue site might hold evidence, but Chronister says the septic tank wasn't there at the time of his disappearance.