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Pulitzer-worthy journalist answers the internet’s burning Tiger King questions


Photograph: Netflix

Tiger King: Homicide, Mayhem And Insanity is Netflix’s newest true-crime documentary phenomenon. Exploring the weird and surprisingly (or possibly not surprisingly) seedy world of big-cat fanatics, the seven-episode sequence has captivated viewers—but in addition left them with a lot of questions. Fortunately, journalist Robert Moor is right here to reply a lot of these queries.

Moor is the person behind the podcast Joe Exotic: Tiger King and the writer of a New York Magazine article on the topic. On Saturday, he began dropping little gold nuggets of information and enjoyable information about Mr. Unique and his friends on Twitter. Listed below are only a few of the highlights:

What’s up with Joe Unique’s music movies?

“Joe didn’t write or sing these nation songs. It was an outfit referred to as the Clinton Johnson Band. Joe simply sang softly excessive of the vocal monitor,” Moor tweeted. That makes a variety of sense when you’ve in contrast his singing voice together with his speaking voice—which we positively have.

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/pulitzer-worthy-journalist-answers-the-internets-burning-tiger-king-questions/73048/ by - on 2020-03-25T02:46:53.000Z

What happened to Joe Exotic’s animals?

“When Joe’s cats died, a lot of them got sold to this strange bone museum in OKC. (Whether they then got sold somewhere else is anybody’s guess.),” he says, linking out to SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma Metropolis. It’s at the moment closed, however that’s simply due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What occurred to Joe Unique’s husbands?

Tiger King covers the tragic demise of Travis Maldonado, however “I see lots of people asking about John, Joe’s ex-husband. He texted me just a few months again to let me know he acquired a brand new job as a welder. And an entire new set of pearly whites!” Moore says, sharing a photograph of John Finley smiling. Oxygen experiences that Finlay is now engaged to a girl completely different from the girl he had a toddler with after leaving Joe Unique.

What’s the story behind the documentarian we see on digicam all through the sequence?

Tiger King was directed by Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, and the previous seems continuously within the sequence. “Eric Goode, the documentarian, is a unusual character in his personal proper,” writes Moor, linking out to a New Yorker article that chronicles Goode’s transformation from a New York nightlife fixture who partied with Madonna right into a revered documentary filmmaker.

What number of husbands has Joe Unique had through the years?

“Earlier than Joe married John or Travis, he married one other younger (straight) man named JC Hartpence. Hartpence later served time in jail for molesting a younger lady, and is now serving life in jail for first diploma homicide,” says Moor. Hartpence just isn’t mentioned in Tiger King—neither is Joe Unique’s first husband, Brian Rhyne, who died of issues from HIV—however Hartpence’s crimes are mentioned in a June 2019 Texas Monthly article about Joe Unique.

Who set Joe Unique’s zoo on hearth?

Moor doesn’t give a definitive reply right here, however he does reveal an attention-grabbing element: “At one level I used to be investigating the hearth on the zoo, and I interviewed the case officer on the Wynnewood police dept, Brion Gordon, over the telephone. The following day, I acquired a name from Joe, livid, saying he’d gotten a name from Brion that I used to be asking about him,” he writes. “I stated, ‘Joe, why is the case officer—on the case wherein YOU are a suspect—calling you to inform you a reporter is asking questions on you?’ Joe stated, ‘Effectively, he’s additionally my limo driver.’ (Which was true.)” Moor writes. He additionally hyperlinks out to a local Oklahoma news story from April 2018 stating that Gordon was discovered responsible of sexually assaulting an intellectually disabled man a number of instances.


Why would Josh Diall ever wish to be Joe Unique’s marketing campaign supervisor?

“One night time in 2015 Joe & I had been strolling via Walmart when a portly, bespectacled younger homosexual man walked up, shook Joe’s hand, & thanked Joe for being the one out-and-proud homosexual man for a lot of miles when he was rising up,” writes Moor. “That child was Josh Diall, who later ran Joe’s marketing campaign.”

What else ought to learn about Saff?

One among Joe Unique’s zoo workers misplaced a part of her left arm whereas on the job. She is recognized in Tiger King as Kelci “Saff” Saffery, however Moor says Saff “informed me repeatedly that he’s trans, prefers to be referred to as Saff (not ‘Kelci’), and makes use of he/him pronouns. So please do likewise.”

Ought to we consider something Joe Unique says?

“For a very long time, Joe informed everybody he was dying from prostate & bone marrow most cancers. He raised $$$ from his Fb followers for his bills. He confirmed me this horrifying picture as proof. I later discovered he simply had an contaminated prostate, dehydration, & a foul outbreak of herpes,” writes Moor, who shares a photograph of Joe Unique that seems to have been taken from a hospital mattress.

Why was James Garretson doing his interviews from some unusual constructing?


“Some individuals are asking what that bizarre warehouse James Garretson was sitting in. That was a spot he owned (owns?) referred to as—await it—Tiger Liquidation,” says Moor, who even goes so far as to share the Google Maps link where you can see the storefront.

What’s the take care of Rick Kirkham?

“Earlier than assembly Joe, he made a film about his addiction to crack cocaine,” Moor writes of the person who had been producing Joe Unique’s each day broadcasts and had been engaged on a actuality present till the footage burned up in an arson assault. “After the zoo hearth, Rick moved to Dallas. Then HIS home mysteriously burned down, nearly killing him. He fled to Norway, the place he now lives.”

What actually occurred to Carole Baskin’s first husband, Don Lewis?

Tiger King offers us no definitive solutions about Carole Baskins function in Don Lewis’ mysterious disappearance, however “after Don Lewis vanished, however earlier than Carole married Howard, she dated a man named Jay Baykal,” writes Moor. “In 2002, Jay filed a restraining order against Carole, which incorporates some weird and suspicious-sounding particulars concerning Don’s disappearance.”

We’ve learn your article, listened to your podcast, and watched all of Tiger King. How else can we get our Joe Unique repair?

There’s no community connected, however “It was introduced again in November that the Joe Unique: Tiger King podcast (from @WonderyMedia) can be made into a miniseries for Common, starring Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin,” writes Moor. “No announcement but on who will play Joe.”

Could we advise Denis O’Hare?

Photograph: Netflix, Kevin Winter (Getty)

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