If you think back to the beginning of this pesky little pandemic we find ourselves in, you might remember a time when we all thought social distancing would last a couple weeks, and the Netflix documentary Tiger King dominated the national conversation.
These days, we have more important matters to argue about than the misadventures of Joe Exotic, but as the world burns, questions remain about the checkered past of Exotic’s number one rival.
Earlier this week, we learned that Carole Baskin has been cast on Dancing With the Stars, but the bohemian big cat enthusiast is back in the news for less innocuous reasons, as well.
Long before she was (allegedly) the target of Exotic’s murder for hire plot, Baskin was suspected of "disappearing" her second husband, Don Lewis.
The rumor that the internet latched onto held that Baskin fed Lewis to tigers to get rid of his remains.
A little far-fetched, perhaps, but an undeniably cool origin story for a woman who could rightly be called the Tiger Queen.
Interest in Baskin’s cold case never really disappeared entirely, even after Tiger King’s popularity waned.
So perhaps it should come as no surprise that the 1997 disappearance of Don Lewis is once again making headlines amid Baskin’s controversial casting on DWTS.
The issue was explored in depth on an episode of CBS’ 48 Hours earlier this week.
The segment featured an interview with Trish Farr-Payne, the ex-wife of a man named Kenny Farr, a former employee of Baskin and Lewis’ who worked as a handyman on the couple’s wild life preserve.
Trish says she’s absolutely certain that her ex-husband played a role in the murder of Don Lewis.
She says she began to suspect him when he returned to their house one night with a truck full of Payne’s guns and other belongings.
“I knew deep down that Kenny has some part in Don’s not ever coming back,” said Farr-Payne. “I knew then, for sure.”
She went on to claim that Kenny essentially admitted to the crime during one abusive incident.
“He said, ‘If you try to leave me again, I’m going to put you in the [meat] grinder, like I did Don," he allegedly said.
Farr-Payne did not go into detail regarding her ex’s possible motives, but conspiracy theorists have long suspected that Baskin paid one of her employees to assist her, as it’s unlikely that she overpowered her husband, ground up his body, and fed him to tigers on her own.
Not surprisingly, both Payne and Baskin declined to comment on Trish’s claims.
Sounds like we’re in for an appropriately dark season of Dancing With the Stars for 2020!