Carole Baskin Explains Letter Claiming She'd Kill Her Husband to Leave Marriage

An old letter written by Tiger King star Carole Baskin has resurfaced, where she said that she "would have eventually killed my husband," but the activist said this is being taken out of context. The letter emerged for a new special on the 1997 disappearance of Baskin's husband, Don Lewis on the Investigation Discovery channel this weekend. Asked about it by reporters from TMZ, Baskin said that she was speaking in self-defense.

The letter was reportedly written to Don Lewis' previous wife, Gladys, in August of 1990, while Baskin was having an affair with Lewis. She described her relationship with Lewis, while also remarking on her previous marriage to Michael Murdock. Baskin wrote: "I had to get out of my marriage and would have eventually killed my husband to do it." This was taken as evidence that Baskin may have been involved in Lewis' later disappearance, but she said that is not the case.

"I only meant it in the context of self-defense as Mike Murdock was physically abusive to me to the point of causing me to fear for my life," Baskin told TMZ of the resurfaced letter.

Baskin was married to Murdock from 1979 to 1991, when she married Lewis. She has consistently claimed that he was extremely abusive, as noted in Netflix's Tiger King. Still, investigators are now applying this violent language to the later disappearance of Lewis, who has not been seen or heard from since 1997.

Investigation Discovery produced a new special about the whole Tiger King saga called Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up, which premieres in two parts on Sunday night. They consulted professional homicide investigators and other experts for their analysis of the evidence in Lewis' case. One investigator, Jim Rathmann, said that the letter was concerning since Lewis disappeared just a few years later.

Tiger King star Joe Exotic has long claimed that Baskin murdered her husband and destroyed the evidence by feeding his body through a high-powered meat grinder used for feeding large predatory cats on her animal preserve. Baskin has always denied this allegation, and no charges have ever been brought against her. Tiger King and other investigative productions have spoken to many people who are skeptical of Baskin's sincerity.

Baskin believes that her husband's mental health deteriorated as he was traveling back and forth between Florida and Costa Rica, where he was transferring an increasing amount of his wealth and property. On the other hand, skeptics question why Lewis filed a restraining order against his wife shortly before his disappearance.


The criminal case remains open to this day. The new ID special, Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up, premieres on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. ET.