The Theories of Don Lewis' Disappearance Justify His Family Paying for a Reinvestigation

Don Lewis theories have popped up since the popularity of the 'Tiger King' documentary and people have their own ideas on what really happened to him.

Devan McGuinness - Author

Aug. 11 2020, Updated 11:33 a.m. ET

don lewis theories
Source: Netflix

Netflix’s 2020 docu-series Tiger King sparked a wide variety of conversations. From debating Joe Exotic's imprisonment to questioning Doc Antle's terrifying cult-like zoo, there has been endless conversations on the controversial people featured in the doc. 

However, one thing that was never truly answered was what actually happened to Don Lewis, Carole Baskins’ first husband. 

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A few months after the show aired, his family decided to hire a lawyer to reopen the investigation because they're convinced Carole was involved with his disappearance. The disappearance of Don Lewis is certainly mind-boggling and the theories surrounding it are wild. Here's what viewers think.

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Is Don Lewis still alive?

Carole’s husband went missing in 1997 before he was legally declared dead in 2002, but his whereabouts are unconfirmed. As previously mentioned, Lewis' family paid a lawyer to reopen the case and sue Carole Baskin, which would force her to speak on the record, according to TODAY

They are also offering $100,000 to anyone who may have any additional information. Needless to say, viewers have created some seriously wild theories about what happened to him.

Theory 1: Carole Baskin killed her husband Don by feeding him to a tiger.

One of the most pronounced Don Lewis death theories was that his wife had him murdered by feeding him to one of the tigers they cared for on their Big Cat Rescue property. Viewers heard Tiger King, Joe Exotic himself, say he feels this is what really happened, and this seems to be the leading theory. Joe Exotic produced a music video for “Here Kitty, Kitty” with a Carole-look-alike that can be seen feeding a fake body to the tigers. 

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Theory 2: Don Lewis fled to Costa Rica.

According to what Carole said in the documentary, the last thing she and her husband talked about was him planning his early morning trip to Costa Rica. In the documentary, someone close to Don says that he was told by Don: “If I can pull this off, it will be the slickest thing I ever did.” This was referencing his alleged decision to leave Carole and disappear to Costa Rica and to move his wildlife sanctuary there with him. 

tiger king
Source: Netflix
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Theory 3: He tried to fly to Costa Rica but died in a plane crash.

Carole said in the documentary that Don didn’t pass the licensing needed to fly his small plane — but that didn’t stop him from flying. Theories started to pop up that he had flown to Costa Rica using his plane, undocumented because he was operating without a license. While watching Tiger King, this theory was pretty much squashed because it was said to be “impossible” for the plane Don owned to fly that far non-stop. 

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Theory 4: Don Lewis is under the septic tank.

One of the funniest parts of the Tiger King documentary for many was when Joe Exotic was so adamant that Don Lewis is buried under the septic tank, and he even went as far as mocking Don in a skit. 

Many theories surround the disappearance of Don Lewis, and even outside the popularity of Tiger King, any cold case that goes this long without having an answer is compelling. People are suspicious of Carole’s involvement and Don’s kids and ex-wife are also wary of her. Don’s attorney didn’t address Carole’s suspected involvement but did say he thinks Don was killed. 

With a reinvestigation currently happening, though, it goes without saying fans are eagerly awaiting an outcome.  

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