Zoo Wars ~ Life as a Black Widow

Had she agreed to take a polygraph at the time-even now for the record, so that can prove that she had nothing to do with her husband’s disappearance; She would clear herself of the title; considering she didn’t and likely never will-Carole Baskin will always be considered the BLACK WIDOW!!! She has never been honest with the public or her followers about many things or even with herself or the animals -There’s now an entire website, Big Cat Watch, dedicated to exposing Carol Baskin for deception and fraud and just maybe even that she’s a murder.

The following from Big Cat Rescue Watch with permission to repost it here (in case you missed it):


Millionaire’s Disappearance a mystery to family, friends

David Karp, Erika D. Peterman, St. Petersburg, Fla.:

Sept 19,1997

On the morning millionaire Jack Donald Lewis disappeared, he was wearing a $1 T-shirt from Kmart and blue jeans bought at a yard sale. He left behind an 8-year old Dodge van with a broken window and battered grill. He also left behind Wildlife on Easy Street, the 40-acre sanctuary in northwest Hillsborough County where he lived and kept more than 100 animals, including lions, leopards, llamas and lemurs.

A month ago, authorities found the van, the keys on the floorboard, at a private airport in Pasco County, where Lewis, who has crashed planes in the past, was known to buy aircraft impulsively – with cash.

Lewis’ disappearance has worried his friends and family, knotted his business affairs and mystified law enforcement. Volunteers from his big-cat sanctuary have distributed more than 1,000 missing person fliers. A psychic has visited his house.

On Wednesday, authorities received an unconfirmed report that Lewis, 59, was in Costa Rica, where he owns 200 acres near a volcano. Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies do not know if someone took him there, if he disappeared on his own, or if he is still alive.

In June, Lewis told a Hillsborough circuit judge that his wife threatened to kill him, but the judge did not see a danger. That same month he visited a psychiatrist at his wife’s urging, but did not return for follow-up visits, she said. He also told her several times he wanted a divorce, but she said he wasn’t serious.

“It has been very, very difficult.” Carole Lewis said. “It’s what you both love and hate about him. I love that free spirit. He could just completely do something way, way out.”

He’s been his own man all his life, boot-strapping himself from Depression-era childhood to financial success through trucking and real estate.

Lewis was born in Dade City to a single mother of three, who sold fresh bread and worked as a seamstress. In high school, he held several jobs, including mechanic and farm hand. He graduated from Pasco High School a year ahead of schedule in 1955. Girls adored him.

“He always seemed to know where he was going,” said Gladys Cross, Lewis’ first wife.

The couple met at the A&P when Lewis, a bag boy, winked at her. Two years after their first date, they married. She was 14; he was 17. Eleven months after that, their first daughter was born.

Lewis started hauling rock and sand in Dade City, then bought five dump trucks. In the early 1960s, he began driving tankers for Texaco and Red Wing carriers in Tampa. On the side, he bought washing machines, repaired them, and resold them at a profit. He invested in used cars, making money at auctions.

His next big move was real estate. Lewis bought bad mortgages from other lenders, then let homeowners remain if they paid him 18 percent interest. If they made six house payments on time, he would sell the mortgage. If not, he foreclosed.

His bank account swelled.

Wendel Williams, a real estate investor who knows Lewis, added, “I don’t want anyone to think Mr. Lewis was not ruthless, because he was.”

Carole Lewis was attracted to his free spirit.

“I just fell in love with him at first sight,” said Carole Lewis, now 36, who met him at 19. They carried on an affair for years before his 1990 divorce, she said.

Shortly after they married, the couple started Wildlife on Easy Street, a center for exotic cats set on 40 acres of tall pines, high grass and flowering bushes at the end of a dirt road at their home in Citrus Park. Today, they care for more than 100 lynx, ocelots, cougars and leopards, as well as otters, lemurs, llamas and horses. They nurse animals such as Nicoma, a lion who drags an injured hind leg, and promise to find the unwanted permanent homes.

Critics say Lewis turned the refuge, which is organized as a Florida not-for-profit corporation, into another business. They say he bought cats cheaply at auctions and then sold them to buyers impressed by the center’s non-profit status.

“That was a point of conflict between Don and I,” Carole Lewis said. He wanted to sell the animals. She wanted to keep them.

“He would always say that everything had a price.”

If Lewis left intentionally, he didn’t do much planning. His disappearance created a vacuum of power at his business enterprises, and questions about who had authority to act in his absence.

About two weeks ago, according to court records, Carole Lewis entered her husband’s office on E Broadway. His children accused her of improperly taking documents, and asked for a court order to keep her away.

Carole Lewis responded with her own accusations, claiming in court documents that Elizabeth Ann McQueen, Don Lewis’ personal business assistant, secretly transferred $435,273.24 to her own name since May, when Don Lewis began traveling to Costa Rica.

McQueen denied taking any money, saying Lewis always kept his assets under different names. “I have done nothing that Mr. Lewis did not instruct me to do,” she said.

A judge appointed a conservator to, with Carole, jointly safeguard Lewis’ holdings, valued at more than $4-million.

“There is not a lot of trust between all parties involved,” said Gale Rathbone, Lewis’ daughter.

Carole Baskin had Don Lewis declared dead and took complete control of millions, Claiming her animals were all rescues even though they weren’t. Lies beget more lies until it became blurred with the truth -To this day, Carle Baskin has rebuilt her reputation and joined HSUS to perpetuate her need for fundraising and others to pay for her animals and what she calls education-As if the hiring of a $40,000.00 Lobbyist to support a bill created to end big cat ownership and stop the breeding of those animals several generations out of the wild to exist in US captivity…
Her followers are mostly Animal Rights Extremists that know nothing about big cats that trust and believe the lies-Lies ablout white tigers, where her cats came from, how she obtained them for breeding purposes and that her late husband wanted to sell out rather than continue with the loosing proposition of ownership. Carole Baskin would like her followers to believe that there is a great deal of money n breeding and the taking of cub pictures which couldn’t be further from the truth or she never would have created so many NFPs and Don Lewis would never have wanted to sell their collection of big cats…As stated above, he was a ruthless business man although, other than his real estate business which Carole was involved with, he was very down to earth and came from humble beginnings with humble businesses. Carole Baskin had a 19 year affair with this man and closely involved with his real estate business, buying and selling exotic cats as pets and breeding their cats-Now she wants to end others from having them.
Baskin wants your pet
Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinions of others…Stay tuned   -B

~ by topcatsroar on February 15, 2015.

2 Responses to “Zoo Wars ~ Life as a Black Widow”

  1. Interesting! keep it up To Cat! One day it will all fall into place! What goes around comes around, sometimes it just takes a little longer than others! thanks for all you write about and expose! Animal Rights philosophy must be extinguished and brought back into what is real…..not what is perceived!

    • Perceived is an interesting word isn’t it-Heighten by what they have been led to believe of what’s proper and what’s responsible-They forget what they are doing isn’t proper nor is it responsible to lie and then steal animals…Baskin is as evil and wicked as it gets…I highly recommend following Big Cat Rescue Watch for the updates!!!-The entire site is dedicated to exposing the truth about Carole Baskin and her NFP organizations. -B

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