Welp… two handwriting experts have recently stated that they believe the signatures on Baskin’s missing husband Don Lewis’ will and power of attorney were forged.
“It’s not a difficult call,” handwriting expert Thomas Vastrick told the Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi.
His conclusions match those of handwriting expert, Willa Smith, who also found that Lewis’ signature was “the product of tracing.”
Vastrick said the signatures of the witnesses and notary are also identical to each other on the will and power of attorney, leading him to conclude that at least one of each signature and possibly both was traced on the will and the power of attorney document.
Matt Steffey, professor of law at Mississippi College of Law, says the revelation could be “powerful evidence of motive, and it’s powerful evidence of misdeeds,” adding, “She has motive anyway, but this ups the stakes.”
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Another one of the signatures on Lewis’ will, that of Susan Aronoff Bradshaw, an exotic animal owner in Plant City, Florida, previously stated that Baskin asked her to testify that she was there when Lewis signed the will even though she actually wasn’t, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Bradshaw, who is a former volunteer at Big Cat Rescue, said she feared making Baskin angry.
“Carole’s made a big name for herself and I’m a big nobody,” said Bradshaw back in 2007.
Unfortunately, the statute of limitations on perjury has passed, but that doesn’t preclude these handwriting experts from revealing their findings should a trial ever actually come to fruition.
Several other excerpts from the 13-year-old article by the Times on Baskin are also rather enlightening, such as this one…
Judy Watson, former education director at Big Cat Rescue, says Baskin tells less-than-truthful stories about how she rescued some of her cats from the pet trade or abuse. Sometimes Baskin bred or bought the cats herself, Watson says.
One example is Shere Khan, an 800-pound Siberian tiger that was undernourished and stuck in a cage up to its belly in feces when it was rescued, according to the Big Cat Rescue Web site.
But the man who sold Shere Khan to Baskin in 1994 says the tiger had the run of his house in Flat Rock, Ind., even sleeping with a pillow and comforter in the living room.
“That’s baloney,” says Dennis Hill, 50, who said he sold the tiger to Baskin for $800. “She uses this creative writing and plays on people’s heartstrings. That situation never existed.”
This was in 2007, people.
In 2011 – nine years before Tiger King – Joe Exotic appeared on Inside Edition to talk about Baskin.
There’s more, of course, but there are just so many layers to this story there’s no way to cover all of them without spending months sifting through it all. You peel one layer away and there are five more there to investigate.
There’s no chance there won’t be a second season of this, right?