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Netflix Docuseries, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” Brings Renewed Interest in the Mysterious Disappearance of Don Lewis

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carole Baskin's ex husband's case reopned

As the popularity of the Tiger King continues to grow so does the interest in the unsolved case of the disappearance of Carole Baskin’s ex-husband, Don Lewis. Lewis was last seen in August of 1997 and his family has believed for years that Carole Baskin had something to do with it.

Don Lewis’ family were not alone in this thinking.The documentary, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” released on Netflix briefly covered the disappearance of Carole’s second husband, Don Lewis. Don’s ex-wife and his children firmly believe that Carole killed Don to get access to his money. Don was a multi-millionaire but was notoriously stingy with his money. After his disappearance, his van was found at an airport. It was abandoned and there was a theory that Carole put forward that he has run off to his property in Costa Rica.

She had him declared dead and ultimately inherited almost all of his wealth. According to his ex-wife and children, they were left with next to nothing thanks to Carole. They believe she cut up his body and used an onsite meat grinder to dispose of his body. The mystery surrounding his disappearance still prevails. There have been no new leads over the last few decades.

However, the popularity of this docuseries has brought about a renewed interest in Don’s disappearance. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has reopened the case of Carole Baskin’s missing husband.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister tells TIME,“I would be foolish if I didn’t take advantage of [the show’s] popularity and put the message out that if you think you know something, you should contact the sheriff’s office. This is very important to us.”

Chronister says that he is hoping that anyone who was involved with Big Cat Rescue, then named Wildlife on Easy Street, at the time of Lewis’ disappearance might be able to offer new information or potential evidence into what might have happened to Lewis.

 

 

Will Celebrity Intervention Help get Joe Exotic Released from Prison?

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When Covid made millions of Americans homebound, there was no better time for Netflix to drop one of the most bonkers documentaries ever released on the streaming service.The “Tiger King” has become a meme-worthy obsession amongst the young, the old, the famous and the not so famous. However, there is now a movement to calling to free Joe Exotic and a lot of celebrities are on board.

joe exotic

SPOILERS AHEAD!

If you haven’t watched the whole series, then stop reading. We highly recommend you tune in to watch the absolutely bananas world of big cat ownership. The series follows a group of people that each own a roadside zoo. Some of the subjects in the documentary don’t really like that term. Most the individuals featured in this documentary are outlandish each in their own way but none are more flamboyant than Joseph Maldonado-Passage (born Joseph Schreibvogel) otherwise known as Joe Exotic.

The docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, predominately focuses on the extremely antagonistic relationship between Joe Exotic and his nemesis, Carole Baskin. Joe, an out gay man, was shunned by his family for his lifestyle. He drove off a bridge when he was younger and broke his back. While he was rehabbing in Florida, he met the person that would change his life forever. He became very close with the manager of Lion Country Safari. This close friend would bring home baby animals and Joe would play with them. He fell in love with the wild animals.

After his brother was killed by a semi-truck driver, Joe took the settlement money and opened up a pet store in his brother’s honor. That eventually led Joe to purchase a huge horse farm in Oklahoma that he then converted into a roadside zoo. According to almost all animal rights activists, roadside zoos are cruel and are notorious for animal abuse.  People like Carole Baskin have petitioned to have these zoos shut down.

He first gained notoriety and the ire of fellow big cat enthusiast, Carole Baskin, by traveling around with baby cubs to different malls and charge people to pet and pose for photos with the baby animals. Carole did everything she could to stop Joe from making these appearances. She would email each mall thousands of times pleading with them to stop Joe. Eventually most malls gave in, and cancelled the cub petting. Carole herself was also once a big cat breeder but saw the error of her ways and decided to get these operations shut down. Hence, an epic feud was born.

After multiple lawsuits on both sides, Carole and her new husband finally won a one million dollar settlement from Joe. The issue, according to Joe, was that he didn’t have the funds to pay the settlement. He tried transferring ownership of his assets over to his parents so then Carole and her husband would then go after his parents to try and get their settlement. For years, Joe had also been threatening Carole and her husband on his YouTube channel. The animosity dragged on for years.

Now depending on who you believe (team Carole or Team Joe) a murder for hire plot was hatched and Joe paid a park employee of his zoo to head down to Carole’s Big Cat Sanctuary to kill her as she rode her bike around her property. According to Joe, he was set up but since he had a habit of threatening Carole, it didn’t seem to far fetched that he would take those threats all the way. However, Carole’s ex-husband disappeared under very mysterious circumstances years ago and Joe was adamant that Carole murdered him and fed him to their tigers. Joe believed he was being set up and the Carole was the real murderer between the two of them.

Joe ultimately fled Oklahoma and was arrested in Florida as he hid out with his current husband Dillon Passage. In 2019, he was found guilty on 19 counts. The counts included hiring hit men to murder Baskin at least twice, killing tigers and general fraud. As of right now, he is serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison

Despite being a convicted felon, Joe has gained a huge amount of support from the documentary. Some of this support might actually lead to his release. Since the series blew up, numerous celebrities have offered to play him in the film version of the story, posted about him on their social, and have covered his story of their podcasts.

Cardi B has been one of his biggest supporters. She has live tweeted her thoughts about Joe’s story since the documentary hit Netflix. She also stated that she would love to start a GoFundMe campaign for him but according to the rules of GoFundMe, people are not allowed to raise funds on behalf of individuals convicted of a violent crime.

 

Even Kim Kardashian has joined the ranks of people who are fascinated with Joe. She also tweeted about the series saying,”Wow the amount of texts I’ve gotten about Tiger King since I tweeted about it all have mentioned their belief that Carol killed her husband!”

She followed that tweet up with, “What are your thoughts? Do you think Carol killed him? (Sic)”

With the launch of the Kim Kardashian West Justice Project, could Joe be her next cause? Kim has turned her focus to criminal justice reform and has currently experienced success with the release of Alice Marie Johnson. In 1996 Johnson received a life sentence, without parole, for working as a “phone mule” for a group of drug dealers. Her sentence was very extreme and Kim successfully petitioned to get her released from prison.

As Joe and Carole’s stories are still unfolding, it remains to be seen whether all this celebrity support would mean an eventual release. So which team on you on? Team Carole or Team Joe?

 

 

 

 

POSE is Back!

in Shows by

One of the best shows on television is back for its sophomore season and the teaser trailer that dropped yesterday. The series created by co-created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, of Glee and American Horror Story fame, and Steven Canals finally released the teaser for the ballroom-centered series POSE and the internet is wild over the latest teaser. The series, originally set in the 1980’s, follows the lives of the icons and ferocious house mothers of New York’s underground ball culture. This fierce show features the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles and also the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ actors ever for a scripted series.

Series regulars include Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross, who co-star alongside Tony Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Billy Porter, Ryan Jamaal Swain, Angel Bismark Curiel, and Dyllón Burnside and Sandra Bernhard and Charlayne Woodard round out this very talented ensemble.

Season two will take a minor jump in time to the early 1990’s. Music legend Patti Lupone will be joining the cast for the upcoming season. The series is premiering on Tuesday June 11th at 10pm Eastern. The first season highlighted the issues facing the LGTBQ community in the 80’s and this season will feature issues that greatly impacted the LGTBQ community during the 90’s. The second season will pick up in 1989 and end in 1990, which coincides with the release of Madonna’s song Vogue, which was a tribute to the fabulous world of underground ball culture. Madonna’s song took something relatively unknown and thrust it into the spotlight. Season 2 will deal with the character’s wide range of emotions when their community is thrust into the public eye.

The first season debuted in style. To celebrate the show and the accomplishments of those that influenced the underground ball community, FX partnered with BMF Media to bring the show’s aesthetic to life with a live ball featuring interactive vignettes.  BMF Media delivered a genuine ball by working with the fabulous ballroom icons Jack Mizrahi and Twiggy Pucci Garcon to create the performances and to find a knowledgeable panel of judges, which consisted of numerous ballroom pioneers. The ball took place in front of a recreation of the stage from the show decked out in flowing gold streamers. Not only did the show start in an epic fashion but it also went on to get nominated for multiple awards.

Season 2 can’t come soon enough!

 

Source: https://wearebmf.com

 

 

George H.W. Bush’s granddaughter, Ashley’s Film Win “People’s Choice” Award at Dallas Film Festival

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The Queen's New ClothesThe granddaughter of the late George H.W. Bush, Ashley Bush, can now add award winning film director to her extensive resume. Bush’s latest film, The Queen’s New Clothes, won the People’s Choice Award at the Dallas Film Festival.

The documentary, starring Winn Morton, will premiere on Monday June 3rd, 2019 at 6:30pm at the Maysles Documentary Center. There will be a reception following the premier. All ticket sales will go to the Maysles Documentary Center, which provides the underserved communities in New York educational tools to learn filmmaking. Run time is 24 minutes.

The film follows the legendary 90 year old costume designer, Winn Morton, as he bring his over the top style and designer skills to a small town debutante pageant in rural Texas. He honed his craft on the Broadway and he designed costumes and sets for the circus, notable Ringling Bros. but he also has designed for ice shows, balls, and festivals. His love for the fantastical and his immense creativity has helped to solidify Morton as a design genius.

Ashley Bush, daughter of Sharon Bush and Neil Bush, is a Los Angeles based filmmaker who is originally from Texas. She graduated from Barnard University with an Arts degree in English and film. She also received her Masters at USC School of Cinematic Arts, specializing in writing and directing. She got her first taste of the filmmaking by helping to assist Cary Fukunaga on the set of his 2015 Netflix feature, Beasts of No Nation. She currently has a much anticipated half-hour mockumentary show, Campaign!, in development with CAA and Rough Cut.

As a child of a philanthropist, Ashley is a humanitarian at heart. She is a founding member of the Athena Film FestivalHer mother Sharon Bush, has started multiple foundations to help the underserved in communities both in the United States and all over the world. The festival is held at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City and it focuses on films celebrating women and leadership. The festival also hosts workshops, master classes and panels on a variety of topics that focus on women in the film industry.

 

Halle Berry Stars in John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum

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Keanu Reeves captured audiences around the world in the third installment of John Wick. In the third film, John Wick is on the run from assassins in part to a $14 million reward for his death. Halle Berry stars in the film as her acting once again has captured audiences. While Keanu Reeves starred in the movie, Halle Berry added a familiar yet refreshing performance that appealed to audiences everywhere. Berry has been an action film fan favorite since the ’90s and seeing her back on the big screen in a role that very few Hollywood actresses could pull off, reminded viewers of her presence in the film industry. The action chemistry that flowed between Reeves and Berry was seamless and gripping.

Halle Berry was not messing around when she signed up to take this role. It required fearlessness, intensity, commitment, and grit. Halle Berry stars as an ally to John Wick. Berry revealed she broke three ribs while training for her fight scenes. Among the pain that she endured from her injury, her training schedule was regimented and intense, including several hours of cardio five days a week, rigorous martial arts instruction, and hours of practicing gunplay. Not just a pretty face, Berry’s physical performance was extremely impressive. Dogs were also included in several fight scenes throughout the film, and the actors and actresses had to work with dogs and trainers to get each scene correct. Wick’s ally, Sofie (Berry), and her dogs came to John Wicks defense throughout the film.  Halle Berry is the embodiment of the phrase “age is just a number.” While 52-years-old, she does not look it or act like it. She gave 110% to her work, especially in terms of the physical commitment it took to prepare for the role. At any age that commitment and sacrifice could be off-putting and reason to hesitate, but not for Halle Berry. She is a respected Hollywood actress, and it is always inspiring to see actresses continue to grow and diversify their roles. While many actresses peaked in the ’90s, it doesn’t seem like much is going to hold Berry back from taking on new and thrilling roles. Almost thirty years later, her commitment and comeback make her more likable than ever. Her manager, Vincent Cirrincione, met her in the ’80s when she was an eager and budding actress. The two crossed paths at a performing arts seminar, and he thought she would be a perfect fit for a role that he happened to be trying to find a match for. Over the years they worked together, Cirrincione has advocated for Berry and worked hard to get her roles that would display her versatile and natural talent. Some of her most prominent roles were featured in Jungle Fever and Dorothy Dandridge. When Berry starred as the Bond girl in Die Another Day, she hit a new point in her career she could only have dreamed of when crossing paths with Cirrincione in 1980 at an acting seminar.

John Wick was filmed all over the world including New York City, Montreal, and Morocco. The numbers that resulted from the opening weekend revealed how big of a success the movie was.. The original movie had a $14.4 million dollar opening weekend. Chapter Two in the series had a $30.4 million opening weekend. Overseas, the movie took in $92.2 million in its first week. John Wick Parabellum did better in the box office on its opening weekend than the previous two movies of the series. The cast and previous movies pulled people into the theatres in droves, and the response of viewers was overwhelmingly positive. And due to the positive response, it has been reported that a fourth movie is in the works and to be released on May 21, 2021.

With the momentum that continues to grow with each John Wick film, surely anticipation will grow as the release date grows nearer for the fourth installment of the series. With an all-star cast, fine-tuned fight scenes that produce by blood, sweat, and tears, and a plot that keeps viewers gripped until the very end, the bar is set pretty high for this next movie. However, with a cast that includes the likes of Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry, audiences already have a  pretty good idea of what they are signed up for.

 

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