As far as subplots in already tasteless and trashy docuseries go, the “Who killed Carole Baskin’s husband?” parts of Netflix’s Tiger King went even less tasteful and more trashy than the standards already slunk under by the show’s general tone. That aura of ill-repute wasn’t helped by the fact that the primary original author of the “Carole Baskin killed her husband” narrative was Joe Exotic himself, who spent years spreading rumors that Baskin killed her husband in order to discredit her as a critic of his private zoos—or the way Baskin herself has clearly been blindsided by the emphasis the docuseries put on this aspect of her life.
All of which, somehow, led us to Dancing With The Stars this past week, when the family of Baskin’s missing ex-husband, Don Lewis, ran an ad asking for people to send them tips about what might have happened after he disappeared in 1997. Even weirder than this intersection between smiling celebrities in tap shoes and a 23-year-old missing persons case, though, is that the family’s lawyer is now claiming that they got some actual credible tips on where Lewis might have ended up as a result of running the ad. While lawyer John Phillips acknowledges that most of the “tips” were just from people who’d seen Tiger King, “Some locations that we need to check out have been revealed. Some people we need to check out have been revealed. We’re gonna take some statements and see where it leads.” (Were these tips from celebrity dancing fans encouraged primarily by the promised $100,000 reward? Hey, who can say.)
For her part, Baskin told USA Today this weekthat she’d be extremely happy for Lewis to be found, since it would presumably put a stop to more than two decades of accusations against her. “Nothing would please me more than for Don to finally be found, as it would certainly prove my innocence,” she wrote. Of course, if this works, we can only imagine other people affected by these sorts of disappearances will also avail themselves of this technique; we can’t wait to tune into The Masked Singer next year and be presented with several podcast seasons’ worth of cold cases to contemplate in between the songs.