Tonight, 48 Hours: Suspicion takes a deep dive into the disappearance of Jack “Don” Lewis, Carole Baskin’s husband. The episode will be great for fans of Netflix’s Tiger King.
While the Netflix docuseries chronicled the feud between Joe “Joe Exotic” Schreibvogel and Carole Baskin, the episode of 48 Hours Suspicion will display new information in Lewis’ disappearance as correspondent Richard Schlesinger investigates.
Baskin was a surprise contestant for the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars, propelled to new celebrity heights by the docuseries, though many fans of the show believe that she actually had something to do with her husband’s disappearance.
Here’s what you should know about Carole Baskin’s kids and family:
1. Don Lewis Was Baskin’s Second Husband
Though Baskin was married to Don Lewis at the time of his disappearance, he was not her first husband, and she was not his first wife. The couple met while Lewis was married to his first wife, Gladys Lewis Cross. He had four children with Gladys, three daughters and one adopted son.
At the time of their meeting in 1981, Baskin, who was then Carole Murdock, had fled her house after being attacked by her first husband Michael Murdock. Murdock had been Baskin’s boss from the time she was 17 years old, and the two married in April 1979. They had one daughter together, Jamie Veronica Murdock.
They began having an affair while they were still married, but in 1991, they both divorced their spouses and got married.
2. She Is Now Married to Howard Baskin
Carole Baskin is now married to Howard Baskin, and they have spoken out about what they deemed “unfair” portrayals of their family and Big Cat Rescue that took place during the Netflix documentary. In a video to their supporters, Howard Baskin talked about the impact the docuseries had on their family and their business.
He said that the makers of Tiger King said they wanted to make a documentary that revealed the way big cats were treated in captivity and hopefully make some change in the industry, but that is not what happened. Baskin added that they had turned down documentaries prior to the Netflix show because they did not believe most people would do anything “meaningful.”
“We also believed Eric [Goode] and Rebecca [Chaiklin] when they told us that, while they felt they had to mention the disappearance of Carole’s husband Don 23 years before as part of the context and background on her, that it would be done in a respectful and truthful way,” he said.
He added that he believed, in his opinion, that the makers of the documentary did not truly care about the animals they originally set out to help.
3. Baskin Has One Daughter
Carole Baskin has one daughter, Jamie Veronica Murdock, who was born to Carole and her first husband.
Now, Jamie Murdock works as the president at Big Cat Rescue as well as as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Volunteer Committee. According to the Big Cat Rescue website, Jamie is an award-winning photographer as well.
“Jamie is also a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and manages the sanctuary’s bobcat rehab program,” the website reads. “She has successfully raised, rehabilitated and released many wild Florida bobcats and leads expeditions into the release sites to track and camera trap wild bobcat populations.”
4. She Is an Only Child
Carole Baskin was born Carole Stairs Jones on June 6, 1961, at the Lackland Air Force Base in Bexar County, Texas.
According to thefamousdata.com, Baskin is an only child to parents Vernon Charles Stairs and Mary Barbara Jean Norris Stairs.
Baskin originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but she learned that sometimes that would mean euthanizing animals, which caused her to change her mind. She later dropped out of high school and moved to Florida.
5. Her Family Owns, Works at and Runs the Big Cat Rescue
Not only does Baskin’s daughter work as the president of the Big Cat Rescue, but Carole and her husband are extremely involved with everything going on at the rescue as well, as Carole is the owner.
“Big Cat Rescue’s mission is to provide the best home we can for the cats in our care, end abuse of big cats in captivity and prevent the extinction of big cats in the wild,” the website reads.
Currently, Big Cat Rescue is not allowing visitors or offering private tours, though they do not know if they will ever resume doing general public tours again, according to the website. The site says they have laid off 10 of their 20 staff.
“Howard and Carole Baskin have stopped taking a paycheck as well, despite the fact that all of us are having to do twice the work to keep the sanctuary running,” the website says.
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