Joe Exotic Wondery & Netflix Don Lewis
On August 26, 2019 Wondery released their second season of Over My Dead Body called Joe Exotic. It is a six part series in podcast form written by Robert Moor. We worked with Robert over many months and like and respect him. We feel he worked very hard to wade through a massive amount of data and worked hard to be accurate. Then on March 20, 2020 Netflix released the docuseries Tiger King which devoted a segment to the disappearance of Don Lewis quoting Anne McQueen, Wendell Williams, and Don’s former wife and his children.
We disagree with the marketing of the podcast as a “feud” because while Joe Schreibvogel Maldonado – Passage was clearly personally obsessed and filled with hatred, at our end it was never personal. It was about stopping the mistreatment of the animals. Despite the positioning as two people at war that characterizes most of the podcast, we feel that by the end of the podcast Robert properly characterizes Schreibvogel as the villain that he is.
The one disappointment I have had is that the podcast gives voice yet again to the 20 year old false allegations by people like Anne McQueen and Lynda Sanchez regarding the disappearance of Don Lewis. I felt I had provided sufficient documentation from my diary, which was written at the time of the events, to explain why these people would make these false, absurd accusations. Anne McQueen, presented by Netflix as Don’s trusted secretary, was actually empbezzling from him.
I know that the media is more about entertainment than providing the facts, so I don’t hold any hard feelings for the people at Wondery or the directors of the Netflix series. It just makes me a little sad that people are responding to Over My Dead Body and Tiger King by saying that they believe I had any involvement in my husband’s disappearance in 1997. If you cared enough to search the Internet to find this, I hope the following will make it clear that I was trying desperately to get my husband, Don Lewis, to a doctor because of his dementia. Meanwhile, I saw Wendell Williams taking advantage of Don’s diminished mental capacity and Anne McQueen is now working with Wendell Williams and apparently has been since the time Don Lewis went missing.
Allegations Made by Anne McQueen
The restraining order. I told the reporter this, and it was recorded online in an online post in 2013, but I think they left this part out to make the episode more titillating.
Don Lewis used to bring home everything he could buy: trucks, boats, planes, baby strollers, clothing, everything he saw at every yard sale and “treasures” he would find in dumpsters. He covered the top of this 40 acres with his hoarding. He went to Costa Rica once a month and every time he was gone, I was hauling out dumpster loads of the junk he brought home. The restraining order he took out against me was in an effort to be able to stop me from hauling off all his “good stuff” if he got a call while in Costa Rica from someone (Wendell Williams) ratting me out. His secretary (Anne McQueen) told me after his disappearance in 1997 about the restraining order and that this was the reason he obtained it.
Anne McQueen and Wendall Williams still work together. Search SunBiz.org for all of the corporations Wendell set up, in his kids’ names. I believe he still has a big IRS lien against him, so he can’t hold title in his own name. The only person claiming that Don was going to divorce me was Anne. I think she told Don’s daughters that so they would doubt me and align with her to take over our real estate business.
I had caught Wendell telling Don, “Remember that two grand you owe me?” and Don peeled off two thousand dollars and gave it to him. A few hours later, I saw Wendell do it again, and because of Don’s dementia, he peeled off two thousand dollars again and gave it to Wendell. I confronted Wendell about it, so I believe he did all he could to get rid of me by lying to Don. I was trying to get Don to an Alzheimer’s specialist, but Anne intervened. All of this has been documented in my diary over the years and is my recorded opinion of the matter. I’ve given the information to the police and to the press. It always seems more enticing attract subscribers to leave these details out.
What is even more suspicious about the relationship between Anne McQueen and Wendell Williams is that their corporations, for many years, showed an address of 4815 N. Westshore (a vacant lot) and then recently changed to the 4th floor of 800 E. Baker St (which is a 2 story house). Why obscure your location on corporate filings?
Allegations Made by Lynda Sanchez
The meat grinder. Some people make outlandish accusations that Don was run through our meat grinder. I wish I had photos of the thing because if you saw it, as the police did, you would see that the mouth of the grinder wouldn’t take anything larger than a chicken leg. (not a leg quarter, just the leg) We were using the grinder to try and get our cats onto a balanced dry diet created by Mazuri at the time.
The cats wouldn’t eat the dry diet, so we were mixing it, via the grinder, by pouring in a few pellets of dry and then a piece of chicken or small chunks of beef that had to be cut into pieces about 1 inch square. It took forever to process a meal and we could never get the cats to eat more than a 50/50 blend of the dry, so we gave up.
The size limitation for intake was why it wasn’t tested for DNA. It was obvious. People who make such accusations against me never saw it. I wish they had and they would know how ridiculous such a statement is.
While it’s a much smaller detail, I told the reporter that it could not have been me cooking in Don’s marital home. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t cook. Don had another girlfriend at the time named Pamela Enriquez and Don would often say she loved him more because she cooked for him. At least Robert Moor included the fact that I told him it couldn’t have been me. I said it was most likely Pam.
Allegations Made by Mike Deeson
On 9/28/11 WTSP Channel 10 ran a disparaging report about Big Cat Rescue by Mike Deeson. We have been covered favorably in the press literally thousands of times but Deeson got all excited at the prospect of there being some impropriety based on his primary “source” Joe Schreibvogel, one of the most notorious exploiters of tiger cubs in the world. We hold the highest ratings given by Charity Navigator due to our transparency and financial ethics.
There were so many lies in Mike Deeson’s report that we had to create a page to address them in 2011 here: http://bigcatrescue.org/channel-10-repeats-big-cat-abusers-lies/
Allegations Made by Joe Exotic
I think by the time you get to the final episode of Wondery’s Over My Dead Body – Joe Exotic, you will agree that nothing Joe said could be trusted. You can find out more about the most common lies Joe Exotic and exotic animal abusers like to tell about us at http://bigcatrescue.org/lies/
If there is any allegation not covered on this page or the linked pages, let me know and I will address it. – Carole Baskin
Wondery Conflicts w/ Tiger King
Episode 2 06:30 Lynda says she met Carole in her marital home cooking a can of dumplings on the stove and remembered meeting Carole at an open house who Don introduced as Martha. (it was most likely Pam) Moor says, “Later, Lynda would learn that her mom already knew about Don’s infidelities.” Lynda finishes his sentence saying, “but she did tell him, if the children ever found out, it’s over.” Lynda said she was the first to find out. Moor then says, “So, Don’s wife left him and he married Carole.” In Tiger King Gladys says she divorced Don as soon as she learned about Carole, which conflicts with what her daughter Lynda said. If the divorce was based upon the children finding out about Don’s indiscretions, then the Pam incident circa 1987 or later would have been more than 6 years after Don and Carole met.
Episode 2 at 18:27 Anne says Don had come into the office on Aug. 15, 1997 looking like he didn’t feel good and saying he wanted a divorce because I had bought cable for Jamie, but that happened on 2/11/1994. On 12/29/1994 I note Don complaining about it again, and me reminding him again, that Jamie pays her own cable bill. “He said that he had warned me that when I had central heat & air installed in Jamie’s trailer that I was never to spend any of “his” money without his consent. He said that it was the last straw that I had allowed Jamie to subscribe to cable. We’ve had that argument a hundred times and he keeps forgetting that she pays for that herself. He threw the thing about the horses at me again, but he keeps forgetting it was my efforts that repaid him every dime and how he lost nearly 4 million to Pam.”
7/26/1996 Don complains having cable again, but this time it’s our 9.99 a month cable bill, not Jamie’s. I find it hard to believe that Anne didn’t hear him complain about the cable over and over and over from 1994-1997 and should have realized he was mental over it.
Episode 2 24:33 Referring to the restraining order, Anne said, “They got in a fight because she was getting rid of stuff and she threatened to kill him. She took his gun away from him. That’s when I knew something was seriously wrong.” It’s not clear if she’s referring to what was written in the application or if Don told her those were his reasons, but it should be clear from his statement that he was really just upset over the junk and wanted to make it appear valuable. You can’t get a restraining order unless you allege violence, but Don wasn’t above lying to get what he wanted.
The person who called Don in Costa Rica to report that I was hauling off trash was Wendell Williams. In this restraining order application Don says he owes Wendell $17,000 on the stuff, but that wasn’t true either. Wendell owed Don in excess of $130,000 at the time. The date of the restraining order was the same day that he said he was going to poison all of the cats with antifreeze and I told him to leave the house and not come back until he agreed to see a doctor about his mental condition. Eight days later he was diagnosed as being Bipolar.
24:54 When asked about Carole Baskin, Detective Marsicano says, “There wasn’t anything in any of the interviews that suggested that, you know, there was real, real problems, of violent problems in the marriage. We couldn’t determine that, and that is not to say that they didn’t have their disagreements.” He followed saying, “She was friendly, courteous, and there was, there was nothing that jumped out at me, in terms of her demeanor, to make me think that she was not giving us accurate information, or was hiding anything.”
Episode 3 03:20 Fall of 2010 Moor talks about Joe’s visit to BCR and then the helicopter ride and says“…but while he was there, he also picked up something else.” Joe then says, “Hello world, I’m Joe. Carole, all of these documents came out of your office and we have got a few questions to ask you. Where the hell is Don? Is he under the septic tank? Did you feed him to the tigers? Come after me and let’s get this over with, face to face. I don’t care if it has to happen on Jerry Springer, in a Federal courtroom or in a back pasture. Your days are numbered.”
Right before Joe’s trip to Tampa, he got an email. It was from one of Carole’s former employees. She said, “I’ve got something you’re going to want to see.” They had arranged a time to meet at a print shop in town. So on the day they landed, Joe and his husband (John Finlay) went there and waited. Joe says, “And she finally got there and God she had this stack of at least a thousand different documents. Everything from the diary to the receipts of where she bought the animals and everything else. I was just floored. I was like, WOW, have you been digging in this lady’s closet? And she had it, she had it all!”
I believe this was Judy Watson, who I had fired in 1999 – 2000 and am wondering if anyone can verify that? I don’t remember the exact date I fired Judy Watson, but I know it was after summer camp in June 1999 and shortly before 9/29/2000 when she opened her own place called Survival Outreach Sanctuary at soswildlife.org. I believe she is the one who started the crazy rumor about Don being buried in or under the septic tank to her trailer on the sanctuary grounds, but construction on that had been completed long before Don’s disappearance, which could be proven by the county permits and inspections.
Moor says, “3 file boxes full of Carole’s private documents, that 20 year plan she had made on her honeymoon; even her private diary. The informant said many had come straight from Carole’s office. I talked to the person who gave Joe these files and agreed not to use her name. She said she was afraid of what Carole would do, but she told Joe, she also wanted to see Carole taken down. Joe and John took the documents and started copying, and copying and copying.” Then Joe decided to commit the next 57 days to his sagas.
Moor goes on to talk about Joe feeding all of it to Mike Deeson and their desire to discredit us.