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  • Jeremy Cares

Bridget Yusko

Bridget Yusko

Survivor Renewal

Bridget is a 2nd year recipient of a Jeremy Cares Scholarship. She is studying Medical Anthropology (pre-med) at The Ohio State University. She is a member of several clubs including an undergraduate anthropology club, Buckeyes Against Cancer, and the Salsa Cub at Ohio State. She also continues to volunteer at the Gathering Place.

For some fun we asked the renewal applicants if they had an opinion on some pop culture.

“March 2020 was a time of uncertainty. However, sitting on the couch with my family, we became certain of one thing: Carole Baskin killed Don Lewis. Watching the episodes enthralled my family and we watched the whole season together, discussing and laughing about the obscene actions and events of the “characters” of the show.

With no concrete evidence it is impossible to be completely certain about anything, but there is a substantial amount of unexplained behavior. There are multiple ways she could have killed him, there were many opportunities, and she is portrayed as the kind of person capable of killing another. There is a time on the show when Carole says that to make the tigers eat something you have to cover it with fish oil or something they want to eat. While I’m not saying that she fed Don to the tigers, it’s also not out of the realm of possibilities. There was a meat grinder that could have also been used to grind Don’s body up to make it easier to eat. It was said in the show that Don’s daughters wanted the detectives to DNA test this grinder, but it was not done. Also, according to Joe Exotic, the stomachs of tigers are so acidic that even bones would not be left behind if fed meaning that no remains of Don would be left to uncover. However, there are other potential ways in which Carole killed Don. There was a septic tank on the property that was not searched as well. With nothing being heavily searched or DNA tested, there are plenty of ways in which the investigation could have missed Don’s body on the property.

Further, there were lots of financial and personal benefits for Carole with Don gone, again showing that there was motive for the homicide. Don had recently filed a restraining order against Carole, stating that she had hid his gun, had a gun of her own and had threatened to kill him. There was also the talk of divorce in the marriage, which would essentially leave Carole penniless if Don got his way. Coming from nothing, Carole is portrayed as the type to climb socially at any cost, including killing her husband. To show this, there is a video in the show of Carole talking about how to get rich and that if you take certain actions, intentionally or accidentally, you get rich. With Don gone, she took his will and power attorney from his secretary’s office and changed it so that she oversaw the estate upon death or disappearance which is a very uncommon phrasing. She also had him declared legally dead 5 years and one day after his disappearance. This is very fishy behavior from anyone but knowing all the rewards she got from his disappearance makes her a clear and prime suspect.

Finally, she did not tell the police that he was missing for around 3 days. There had been reports that she was seen at 3 in the morning, the last day she saw him, pacing and was taken home. His van, keys and suitcase were also at the airport. This is very odd and could easily be the work of the perpetrator trying to throw detectives off the scent. That van was not searched at the airport and returned to Carole’s estate, to not be searched for another few days, giving Carole plenty of time to destroy any evidence that she was there.

Overall, watching Tiger King with my family gave us an outlet to relax, and an opportunity to become amateur investigators with the evidence. The clues in the show were deeply analyzed and my family and I speculated about the possible ends of Don Lewis. With the financial gains, the failing marriage and behavior surrounding the investigation, in our eyes we are convinced that Carole Baskin is guilty.”

We love this, Bridget! Best of luck in all you do, and it seems there is always detective work if you decide pre-med is not your thing!

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