Was the Signature of 'Tiger King' Star Carole Baskin's Missing Husband Forged on His Will?

May 20, 2020

The plot thickens in the disappearance of “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin’s husband, Don Lewis.

Handwriting experts now believe the signature on Baskin’s missing husband’s will and power of attorney were forged, reported the New York Post.

“It’s not a difficult call,” handwriting expert Thomas Vastrick told the Clarion Ledger.

Vastrick believes the signatures were traced off Lewis’ marriage record. He also speculates the signatures of the witnesses and the notary on both documents may have also been forged since they appear to be identical.

A second handwriting expert, Willa Smith, also believes the signatures are “the product of tracing.”

Lewis and Baskin married in 1991 and co-owned Big Cat Rescue, a Tampa, Florida wildlife sanctuary together. He disappeared without a trace in August 1997.  And while Lewis’ body was never found, he was declared legally dead in 2002. Baskin later inherited his fortune.

Baskin was never charged with a crime, but speculation that Lewis was murdered ramped up after the premiere of “Tiger King.”

In the Netflix documentary, Baskin had a feud with the eccentric, combative former Oklahoma zookeeper Joseph Maldonado-Passage aka “Joe Exotic.”

Exotic has accused Baskin of murdering her husband and feeding his remains to her tigers.

Meanwhile, Exotic was arrested for a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin and is currently serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison.

Some believe the allegedly forged signatures could be “powerful evidence” if Baskin were to be charged with a crime.

“It ties a bow on what could be her scheme to get him [Lewis] out of the picture,” Matt Steffey, a professor at the Mississippi College of Law, told the Clarion Ledger. “She has motive anyway, but this ups the stakes.”

Baskin has not commented on the alleged forgeries.

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