It’s been over 20 years since Don Lewis disappeared. Tiger King star and Big Cat Rescue owner, Carole Baskin, has been outspoken about the case since the docuseries released. She is not currently a suspect. However, Lewis’s case has new eyes with experts asking for new leads to help crack the case. That said, Lewis’s attorney provides his “working” theory as to what exactly happened to Lewis — and yes, it involves going to Costa Rica.
Experts offer theories as to what happened
The release of Tiger King has caused quite a stir among those previously involved with missing man Don Lewis’s 1997 case. Fans of the hit Netflix docuseries have a plethora of theories as t what exactly went down with Lewis the night he went missing, including the one about Baskin feeding his body to the tigers.
Former prosecutor and host of the Fox Nation series, A Tiger King Investigation, Nancy Grace, has a theory of her own.
“In my view, there’s no question but that he was murdered,” she said.
Lewis’s attorney, Joseph Fritz, echoed the sentiment.
“He loved those cats. He never would have just walked away from them — ever,” he said. “He was proud of those cats. He loved his cats. Some force made him leave.”
That said, what does Lewis think happened to his client?
Here’s Fritz’s ‘working theory’ about Lewis’s disappearance
Aside from the many memes circulating as to whether Lewis voluntarily fled to Costa Rica or not, professionals working the case have plausible theories.
“Don Lewis, he was terribly cheap while he was very wealthy. He was cheap beyond belief,” Fritz told Grace. “What would have lured him more than anything else is a good deal on an airplane. So that’s what I assume happened — that he got lured up to the Pilot Country Estates to look at an airplane.”
Fritz went explained that Lewis’s car was found abandoned in a private airport’s parking lot. Baskin maintains that Lewis planned to go to Costa Rica at the time. Still, Fritz paints a clear picture of what he believes really happened to Lewis.
“What I had heard was that he was strangled from the backseat of an airplane over the Gulf [of Mexico] at 50 feet and dropped out over the Gulf,” he said. He added that Lewis’s pilot’s license had been revoked and he often flew beneath radar range so not to be detected.
Baskin is not a suspect in Lewis’s case
As featured in Tiger King, Baskin’s character isn’t painted in the best light. The animal rights activist and her third husband, Howard Baskin, have refuted many claims from the series — specifically those pertaining to Lewis’s whereabouts or Baskin’s involvement in his disappearance.
In a recent series of videos uploaded to YouTube, Baskin addressed some of the issues she believed to be inaccurate representations in Tiger King, including her thoughts on those sordid theories involving a meat grinder, cage sizes for her big cats, and everything in between.
Baskin inherited around $5 to $10 million from Lewis’s estate, the outlet reported.
Baskin denies any involvement and said she cooperated with authorities throughout the years. She recently explained that she didn’t take a polygraph test when Lewis initially went missing, because her criminal attorney advised her against it.
Fritz admitted his theories are mere opinions and not proven as fact. When asked if he thinks the person(s) responsible will ever come forward or be caught, Fritz thinks so.
“One day one of these people is going to stub their toe and want a get-out-of-jail-free card and that’s when something’s going to happen,” said Fritz.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness is available on Netflix now.