Jack "Don" Lewis Was Legally Declared Dead on August 19, 2002
There was never even a funeral for him.
Dec 4, 2020
August 19, 2002—exactly five years and a day after his disappearance—Carole Baskin had Don declared legally dead. After this, she was able to finally access his life insurance policy and his other assets.
Because of Carole's quick and determined nature on the death certificate, she was able to access his funds more easily. Between when he first disappeared and when he was legally declared dead, Carole moved property and assets around in that time so that she could take the bulk of his estate, his kids and ex-wife claim.
All of this was made possible through another type of sly maneuvering on Carole's part: she gave herself power of attorney over Don's estate after he had already gone missing.
Following his disappearance, Carole cut the lock to his office and took papers. Don's secretary claims that there were two wills and two power of attorneys—those both disappeared. The secretary says she was executor and power of attorney for both of them.
Instead, Carole produced a document granting her power of attorney. The strangest thing about the document? It includes the language of not only "in the event of my death" but "upon my disappearance."
That choice of language is bizarre because while everyone anticipates dying at some point, few people expect to disappear. "In 30 years, I've never seen that,” Don's attorney said in the documentary.
Carole never organized a funeral or memorial service for Don. There is not even a tombstone to mark his likely death.
John agrees with this fact based on:
I trust the validity of public death records
Tiger King: Who is Carole Baskin’s first husband Jack ‘Don’ Lewis and when did he disappear? by Tilly Pearce, Metro Newspaper, March 19 2020.
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