Baskin married Michael Murdock when she was 17.
Before Howard Baskin and Don Lewis, Carole Baskin was married to Michael Murdock. Her first husband isn’t mentioned nearly as much as Lewis and Howard are in Tiger King, but Baskin did speak about him briefly. In the third episode of the Netflix series, she said she left home at 15, married Murdock at 17, and had their daughter Jamie shortly afterward.
Baskin alleged that Murdock "was extremely abusive," but that she was afraid to leave him because it would mean taking care of her daughter on her own. It was after a fight with Murdock that Baskin met Lewis. As she explained in Tiger King, she was upset and walking down the road when Lewis approached her in his car. He was quite insistent that she ride with him, and she eventually agreed. Baskin was 20 at the time, and it wasn’t until she was 24 that she left Murdock. Several years later, Baskin married Lewis, and then Lewis disappeared a few years after that. Baskin later remarried Howard Baskin, and they’ve been together ever since.
Despite the focus on Lewis in Tiger King, fans started an extreme theory about Murdock, claiming he’s in fact the same person as Jeff Lowe — the man who took over operations at Joe Exotic’s zoo.
However, Lowe reportedly did a Reddit AMA during which he shot the theory down with a crude response. "[Carole] is not my type," Lowe wrote, per Metro UK. "If I was stuck on a deserted island with her, I would f*ck a coconut."
As for the real Murdock, he doesn’t have a public internet presence and there’s no information on his whereabouts after he and Baskin split up. Most of the attention regarding Baskin’s past has been directed at Lewis, who’s disappearance remains unsolved.
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