Don Lewis: 5 Things To Know About Carole Baskin’s 2nd Husband Who Disappeared

The mystery around Don Lewis’ disappearance and declared death was a central storyline in the bizarre ‘Tiger King’ documentary. Learn more about Carole Baskin’s husband who vanished.

Don Lewis was just 59 years old at the time of his 1997 disappearance. The mystery shrouding Carole Baskin‘s second husband was a revisited plot throughout Netflix’s wild and wacky Tiger King docuseries, including several theories about what actually happened to him. “The last thing Don ever said to me was that he was leaving ‘early, early, early’ the next morning for Costa Rica,” Carole said in an interview with the Tiger King filmmakers. Just two days after his recorded disappearance, his white 1989 Dodge van was found 40 miles away from the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary at the Pilot Country Airport in Springhill, Florida. Don was eventually declared dead by Carole in 2002. Learn more about the millionaire who is still the subject of an open case.

1. He had a family before Carole. Prior to Carole, Don was married to Gladys Lewis Cross. The couple shared daughters Donna Pettis and Gale Rathbone together, who were also featured in the documentary, in addition to daughter Lynda Sanchez and an adopted son. Don divorced Gladys in 1990 in order to marry Carole. Despite Don and Gladys’ divorce agreement, a legal battle ensued over Don’s money after his disappearance.

2. He was a millionaire. The Dade City, Florida native came from humble roots and desired a different life for himself as he entered adulthood. Don quickly got his feet wet in the business world, amassing his wealth through the used car business and real estate holdings which Carole later helped grow, according to files from the Tampa Bay Times. He was worth a reported $5 million at the time of his 1997 disappearance. In the documentary, Carole alleges that the docuseries “exaggerates” how much Don was actually worth.

3. He met Carole on the side of the road. After a fight with Gladys, Don was driving around when he spotted a young Carole walking. In the documentary, Carole details him pulling up in his vehicle and saying he needed someone to talk to. Then 20-year-old Carole, also married at the time, agreed. The pair began their affair shortly thereafter, and were married for seven years until his disappearance.

4. His appearance remains a mystery. Despite multiple theories mentioned in the documentary, this case remains unsolved. Carole maintains she had no involvement with Don’s disappearance, and has denied what she dubs as “23-year-old lies and innuendos suggesting” that she was “involved in my husband Don’s 1997 disappearance” as per a statement emailed to HollywoodLife via Big Cat Rescue’s public relations representative. Carole has never been convicted of any crime and no arrests have been made to this day. On Tuesday, Mar. 30, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Chad Chronister invited the public to come forward for new leads via a tweet.

5. He co-founded an animal sanctuary. Don was also a passionate wildlife advocate. Along with then-wife Carole, co-founded the Tampa, Florida zoo Wildlife on Easy Street — now Big Cat Rescue sanctuary —  back in 1992. Despite his disappearance over 22 years ago, Carole has remained dedicated to their work of rescuing and caring for exotic cats. Today, the sanctuary remains home to 17 big cats and 34 small cats. “Our smallest enclosure is the size of a small house, about 1200 sq. feet, and our largest is over two acres, all in a natural setting full of foliage,” Carole writes on the website.

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Lewis Hamilton reignites planning war with neighbour David Hockney

Lewis Hamilton reignites planning war with neighbour David Hockney by proposing extension on £18m mansion ‘that will block out light at the artist’s studio’ next door

  • Formula One champion has allegedly never set foot in the west London property 
  • Submitted proposals for extension and a terrace at the mansion in January 
  • Hockney and other artists who use his studio objected to the local council
  • Hamilton has now moved scaffolders in after winning council approval  

Lewis Hamilton has reignited a row with David Hockney over an £18million home that the Formula One champion has allegedly never set foot it.

The racer bagged the West London property a few years ago and plans to add renovations to the six-bed pile.

But his artist neighbour objected to the proposals when they were submitted in January.

Lewis Hamilton (left) has reignited his planning row with David Hockney (right) who fears his plans would block light into his studio

Hockney said that the plans would block natural light to his nearby studio and thus affect his ability to work.

Hamilton has responded by moving scaffolders in yesterday after he won approval from council officials, The Sun reports.

His plans include a rear extension with a stone terrace and a pergola and he is also installing a porch.

Hockney – regarded as the UK’s greatest living painter – and the other artists he works with at his studio have sent a letter in protest.

It reads: ‘As the owners of these Grade II listed buildings and as working artists who depend on natural daylight, our working and living conditions would be seriously disturbed by the plan as currently described.’ It adds: ‘Light is an essential condition of art.’ 

The signatories have also argued that Hamilton’s proposals will affect the tranquility of the area. 

The racing driver’s battle previously included being stopped from installing a summer house.

Neighbours raged at the council: ‘The current owner bought the property for £18million in 2017 and has never set foot in it.’ 

Hamilton bought the mansion from Christopher Bailey, chief designer at Burberry, with almost £2million knocked off the price. 


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The Disappearance Of Don Lewis From ‘Tiger King’ Remains An Unsolved Mystery

The newly-relaunched podcast Joe Exotic is also now an equally bingeable Netflix docuseries. The new show called Tiger King premiered on March 20, 2020—and it is filled with eccentric characters. (I’m talking lions, tigers, and bears-level wild.)

One particularly intriguing guy is Don Lewis. He was “animal rights activist” Carole Baskin’s husband and a self-made millionaire, but he doesn’t stick around long. Don was nearly 60 years old when he disappeared without a trace on Aug. 18, 1997. That’s where his story gets truly bonkers.

Then, and now, some suspected foul play.

His daughters from a previous marriage even speculated someone fed him to the tigers living in their big cat sanctuary. “It’s a perfect scenario to dispose of someone,” the oldest of his four children, Donna Pettis, told People in 1998. “We were upset that the cops didn’t test the DNA on the meat grinder.”

Carole reported Don missing, and police and a private eye started investigating.

Don was last seen wearing a $1 T-shirt from Kmart and blue jeans bought at a yard sale, according to the Tampa Bay Times. His 1989 Dodge van was found at a private airport 40 miles from Wildlife on Easy Street within two days of his wife reporting him missing. Police launched an investigation and Carole hired her own private eye, but nobody uncovered evidence of foul play or really any significant evidence whatsoever.

“The investigation has not given us a direction on where to look for clues,” Hillsborough Sheriff’s Sgt. John Marsicano, who flew to Costa Rica looking for him in 1997, told the Tampa Bay Times. “I wish we had a whole lot more,” he added. “We have looked in every conceivable direction.”

Did Don orchestrate his own disappearance?

One theory focuses on Don as the main suspect. “Some people who knew him thought the eccentric animal lover might have decided to just get away from things for a while,” according to the Tampa Bay Times. This theory made the rounds soon after Don disappeared, but investigators moved onto other leads.

Several Redditors dug up the cold case and added theories.

The unresolved disappearance post begins: “No sign of him has been seen since and he was declared dead in 2002… It’s a little hard to find unbiased information on his disappearance since the wildlife rescue has attracted a lot of controversy.”

Redditor LeopardLady13 revisited Don’s daughter’s theory: “Honestly, that was my first thought…Why /didn’t/ they check the meat grinder? It honestly sounds to me like whoever did this may have paid off the police department to keep their noses out of the case.”

It drew some attention, and another Redditor added: “Probably because there was no evidence of foul play, no reason to suspect that he had been murdered and ground up, and reason (at the time) to believe he had left the country.”

Don was mysterious alive, too.

He made his $6-million fortune in trucking and real estate. In spite of his riches, he was known to dumpster-dive, look for food in trash bins, and buy clothing from yard sales. He didn’t have a college degree, but he outsmarted many investors. He had dealings and connections in Costa Rica.

Don and Carole married in 1991 after carrying on an affair for years.

Both were married to other people when they first met. “I just fell in love with him at first sight,” Carole Lewis, who met him at 19, told Tampa Bay Times. They had a courthouse ceremony and he gave her a $14 wedding ring. Shortly after they married, the couple started Wildlife on Easy Street. Their 40-acre exotic cats sanctuarywas located near their home in Citrus Park.

Don was presumed dead in 2002.

After five years of searching, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office are keeping the case open but a judge declared Don dead. However, no body was recovered and the case remains unsolved today.

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Lewis Hamilton’s incredible homes from £32m New York penthouse in celeb hotspot to £18m six-bedroom London mansion – The Sun

BEING an F1 driver, Lewis Hamilton is a natural globetrotter.

Flying from circuit to circuit, the Brit has won the word championship five times.

He flew to Australia for the first Grand Prix of the season but now it has been cancelled, he has a choice of four luxury homes to self-isolate in.

From a £32MILLION penthouse in New York to a £18MILLION London mansion and a Monte Carlo retreat, the 35-year-old racer knows how to live a life of luxury.


Lewis has an affinity to America, especially the east coast, where he has owned two properties in the Big Apple.

Last year, he splashed £32MILLION on a Manhattan penthouse in a condo project part-owned by NFL great Tom Brady and his model wife Gisele Bundchen.

His 6,547 square-foot home included a huge outdoor area and has views of the Hudson River, as well as a swimming pool, fitness centre,  squash court, library, and wine cellar.

Neighbours include Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and Austin Powers star Mike Myers.

Around the same time, he listed his three-floor 8,900-square-foot penthouse that had its own swimming pool.

Hamilton paid £34MILLION for the five bedroom, six bathroom apartment in Tribeca in 2017, but incredibly never lived in it. It's not known if he ever did sell it.


So, this is what £18MILLION buys you in England's capital.

In 2017, Hamilton snapped up this unique six bedroom detached villa in West London from previous owners Burberry chief designer Christopher Bailey and his husband, actor Simon Woods.

The stunning property has "generous entertaining space" which opens out into a 200ft garden with an impressive summer house.

It was built by the famous builder Samuel Johns in 1860.

Again, it's not known how much time Lewis spends living in the property.


A secret property in Hamilton's property portfolio is his Swiss retreat.

He owns an exotic three-bedroom apartment in a six-storey building in Luins village, Nyon.

Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa are also said to be residents in the luxury abode.

His Geneva apartment also boasts an incredible view of Lake Geneva.

It's the perfect place for him to clear his head, and offers peace and tranquility.


Like many F1 drivers, Hamilton lives in Monaco.

Although not much is known about his property, he once shared a snap of his wonderful view.

He captioned a snap on social media: "A place I call home, Monte Carlo. I am so blessed to live in such an incredible place. God is really shinning down on me today. Sending you light & love for your day. On my way to Spa, let's do this!!!"

It is believed he resides in the exclusive Fontvieille district.

Back in 2007, it was reported he was interested in a 2,000sq ft, four-bedroom duplex with views across the Mediterranean in Fontvieille's Seaside Plaza.

A top floor apartment would've set him back somewhere in the region of £30m. Nice, if you're a superstar racer.

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Struggling John Lewis could axe famous price pledge

Struggling John Lewis could axe famous ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ price pledge after nearly a century as slump in profits starts to bite

  • Boss Dame Sharon White said it could take 5 years to return John Lewis to glory 
  •  Experts said the employee-owned company was fighting for survival
  •  Group profits plunged to £146 million, down from £452 million three years ago

John Lewis’s 95-year-old ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ pledge is facing the axe amid plunging profits.

Bosses announced ‘dire’ results yesterday, dragging one of Britain’s best-loved names into the high street crisis.

They told 80,000 staff that their much-coveted bonus had been cut to about £370 each – the lowest level since 1953.

And stores were put on notice of closure, just as John Lewis braces for a fall in shopper numbers due to coronavirus.

Experts said the employee-owned company was fighting for survival, and that its fall from grace had been ‘spectacular’.

New boss Dame Sharon White, who joined from regulator Ofcom last month, said it could take five years to return John Lewis to its former glory.

New boss Dame Sharon White, pictured, who joined from regulator Ofcom last month, said it could take five years to return John Lewis to its former glory

A graphic shows Dame Sharon White with the decreasing profits of John Lewis since 2017

She said: ‘We need to reverse our profit decline and return to growth so that we can invest more in our customers and in our partners. This will require a transformation in how we operate as a partnership.

‘These are the most challenging but exciting times in retail for a generation.’

Group profits plunged to £146 million, down from £452 million three years ago.

The department stores posted a £37 million loss in the year to January 31, compared to £93million profit the year before. Waitrose posted profits of £212 million. The 156-year-old department store’s price promise has been in place since 1925.

It states that customers who found lower prices elsewhere on the high street would receive a refund for the difference. It is rigorously enforced by John Lewis, which checks its bricks-and-mortar competitors regularly for sales and promotions.

The department store posted a £37 million loss in the year to January 31, compared to £93million profit the year before. Waitrose posted profits of £212 million

But heavy discounting at rivals such as Debenhams and House of Fraser, and the rise of Amazon, has led many to suggest it is out of date. John Lewis will close three branches of grocery arm Waitrose – in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire; Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield; and Waterlooville, Hampshire – this year, in addition to the seven it closed last year. The 400 employees affected who wish to stay with the group will be ‘actively supported’ to do so.

Dame Sharon said John Lewis’s 50 department stores were under review. Some will be closed or down-sized, while others could be integrated with Waitrose outlets.

Retail expert Andrew Busby said: ‘This is the biggest threat to the business John Lewis have had in their history. ‘John Lewis hasn’t got time – Dame Sharon White does not appear to understand that they may not even have a business in three to five years. Never Knowingly Undersold has become a millstone around their neck because of greater competition.

‘We have so much choice now, it’s just not relevant.’

Julie Palmer, partner at consultancy Begbies Traynor, said: ‘John Lewis’s fall from grace has been spectacular. Once the envy of the retail industry, the company has suffered dismal trading performances over the past few years. This goes to show that no retailer is safe.’


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Lewis Capaldi finds love with Scottish uni student Catherine Halliday – The Sun

UNLUCKY in love Lewis Capaldi has been enjoying low-key dates with a student.

The Scottish singer — who won best song at the Brits for his ballad Someone You Loved — has grow close to Catherine Halliday.

On Wednesday the pair enjoyed a meal at Italian high street chain Prezzo in his home town of Glasgow.

Lewis, 23, who has spoken regularly about his disastrous love life, then drove Catherine, 21, home in his Ford Fiesta.

An onlooker said: “They were being very flirty and seemed to be having fun — both laughing and joking a lot, touching hands and being tactile.

“You’d never know he was one of the biggest stars in the country and it’s a very low key place to go and eat but he obviously doesn’t go in for all the fancy celebrity stuff.

“They were holding hands as they left and went for the car, and Lewis posed for a couple of photos with fans and then climbed into a Fiesta and drove off.

“They were both laughing their heads off and pulling faces because he nearly knocked it as he pulled away.”

Lewis, who has previously joked about spending hours on the dating app Tinder, has been relaxing at his family home before his nationwide arena tour begins next week.

He also won best new artist at this month’s Brits, while Someone You Loved was at No1 for seven weeks.

His last major romance was with Paige Turley, 22, who won the latest series of Love Island with boyfriend Finn Tapp.

She was thought to have been the inspiration for Someone You Loved and Lewis joked that he should get half of her Love Island winnings.

But he has since revealed the song was actually about his grandmother.

Onstage at the Brits, Lewis insisted: “Contrary to popular belief, a lot of people think this song is about my ex-girlfriend, who you can now see every night on Love Island.

"But it’s actually about my grandmother who has sadly passed away a few years ago, and I hope to God ITV don’t contact her to be on a reality dating TV show.’

Sources close to Lewis, whose album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent was a smash hit, say his dates with Catherine are still “early days”.

Another pal added: “They met a few months ago through mutual friends and were in Ibiza together at the same time, but have decided to keep things quiet for now and just see how things end up working out.

“They get on great and support each other, but neither of them want to put any pressure on it at all at the moment.

“They’re just enjoying their time together.”

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