Have you watched Tiger King yet? If not, you’re probably in the minority. Apparently, the viral show has been streamed for over 5 billion minutes. That’s nearly 3.5 million DAYS of streaming, which is insane! The show and its characters are all a bit of a train wreck, in large part because of the outrageous number of crimes they regularly commit. I thought it would be fun, as an Oklahoma lawyer, to list some of the crimes Joe Exotic and crew committed on Tiger King.
The alleged crimes of Joe Exotic
Here are the crimes that I noticed while watching Tiger King:
1. Polygamy: Joe Exotic married more than one dude when he, John Finlay, and Travis Maldonado had a three-partner wedding ceremony. But Joe wasn’t the only one! Doc Antle also married at least three women.
2. Reckless discharge of a firearm: Joe Exotic was always shooting all over the place and close to other people.
3. Attempted suicide: Joe came out to his dad when he was a teen, but his father didn’t take the news well. He told Joe not to attend his funeral when the time came and basically disowned him.
4. Possession and probably distribution of CDS (controlled substance): Joe and crew had a bunch of drugs – including weed. And, here’s the kicker, this was prior to the legalization of medical marijuana in Oklahoma.
5. MURDER! Carole f****** Baskins killed her husband! Did she feed him to her cats? The world may never know…
6. Murder-for-hire: Joe hired Allen Glover to kill Carole (for a measly $3000). He also tried to hire an undercover FBI agent to murder her, which led to his eventual arrest and conviction.
7. Conspiracy to commit murder: Joe, John, Lowe, and Lowe’s lackey conspired to have Carole killed.
8. Arson: Joe burned down his own recording studio. Sure, he wasn’t on-site when it happened, but do we really have any doubt that he orchestrated it?
9. Animal Abuse: No need to say more on this one.
10. Violation of Endangered Species Act: There’s obviously a lot of different violations (e.g., breeding, selling, taking across state lines) that fall under this umbrella.
11. Carrying a firearm without a concealed carry license: Joe was carrying his gun around prior to “Constitutional Carry,” so if he didn’t have his CCL, he was breaking the law.
12. Campaign finance violations: When Joe was running for Prez and Governor, he violated all kinds of campaign finance rules.
13. Embezzlement: Joe stole money from the zoo to pay for his campaigns. Not cool.
14. Blowing SO many things up: I gotta think that whatever explosives Joe bought from pawn/gun shops were illegal to shoot and blow up.
15. Lewd acts: The perverted things Joe did with the mannequin of Carole… Need I say more?
16. Putting snakes in Carole’s mailbox: This had to violate a few laws since tampering with a mailbox is a federal offense.
17. Felon in possession of a firearm: Many of the people Joe hired were felons, and yet they had guns.
18. Lying to federal agents: Lowe and his lackey likely lied to federal agents in the investigation of Joe.
19. Perjury: Joe or the others had to have been lying on the stand
20. Racketeering: Does anyone really have any doubts about whether Joe was dishonest, fraudulent, and just shady in general with his business dealings?
21. Stalking: It’s possible that Joe stalked Carole while he was planning to kill her.
22. Improper use of a four-wheeler: There’s a scene in Tiger King where Joe was by the highway with a tornado coming. The problem? Four-wheelers are not street legal!
23. Adultery: It seems like everyone was committing adultery in the show. Joe, both of his husbands, Carole and her second husband, etc. While many people do it, it’s still technically a crime in Oklahoma.
24. Grand theft auto: I believe that John Finlay “allegedly” stole a vehicle from John Reinke, the zoo manager.
So, was he ever charged?
On April 9, 2019, Joe Exotic was convicted of:
- Two counts of murder-for-hire for plotting to kill Carole Baskins, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue,
- Eight counts falsifying wildlife records (the Lacey Act), and
- Nine counts of violating Endangered Species Act.
On January 22, 2020, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison, which he is currently serving at FMC Fort Worth.
Those are all I can think of off the top of my head. I absolutely refuse to re-watch the show to look for more, so please comment below with any you think I may have left off!