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New Netflix True Crime Documentary Tiger King Looks Seriously Disturbing

New Netflix True Crime Documentary Tiger King Looks Seriously Disturbing

A new Netflix documentary is set to delve in to the story behind a twisted wild animal keeper called Joe Exotic - and it looks absolutely fascinating.

Tiger King is a true crime series about 57-year-old Joe Maldonado-Passage. You may remember him from Louis Theroux's 2011 documentary America's Most Dangerous Pets, where he showed Louis around his cages that were filled with animals, including lions and tigers.

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Or more recently, you may remember he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for a string of offences.

Netflix announced the documentary in a tweet, which said: "From the executive producer of FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened comes #TigerKing, a new docuseries about Joe Exotic - a gun-toting polygamist who presides over an Oklahoma animal park - and the murder-for-hire plot that led to his arrest."

Murder-for-hire, you say? That's right. That story begins with Carole Baskin, a prominent animal rights activist in the US, who experienced numerous death threats posted on social media sites by Maldonado-Passage.

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Baskin is the owner of Big Cat Rescue - an animal sanctuary in Tampa, Florida. The organisation is dedicated to rescuing abandoned animals including lions, tigers, bobcats, and cougars.

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She openly criticised Maldonado-Passage, securing a million-dollar judgement against him and his business in 2011.

In November 2017, he told an undercover FBI agent that he'd pay them $3,000 for Baskin to be killed, promising thousands more after she had died, according to the indictment.

Maldonado-Passage from Oklahoma, was convicted on two counts of murder-for-hire, eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.

Joseph Maldonado-Passage. Credit: Santa Rosa County Jail
Joseph Maldonado-Passage. Credit: Santa Rosa County Jail

In 2018 he was charged with falsifying forms in an interstate sale of tiger cubs, as well as personally shooting and killing five tigers in 2017 to make room for other big cats. As tigers are an endangered species, he was charged with the violation of the Endangered Species Act.

On 22 January, Maldonado-Passage was sentenced to 264 months in federal prison.

In a statement released on her website and YouTube channel, Carole Baskin said she'd spent much of the last ten years looking over her shoulder.

The official Netflix synopsis for Tiger King reads: "A rivalry between big cat eccentrics takes a dark turn when Joe Exotic, a controversial animal park boss, is caught in a murder-for-hire plot in this limited docu-series where the only thing more dangerous than a big cat is its owner."

Tiger King is set for release on 20 March on Netflix and it looks like an absolutely fascinating watch.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: True Crime, Netflix

Amelia Ward

Amelia is a journalist at LADbible. After studying journalism at Liverpool John Moores and Salford Uni (don't ask), she went into PR and then the world of music. After a few years working on festivals and events, she went back to her roots. In her spare time, Amelia likes music, Liverpool FC, and spending good, quality time with her cat, Paul. You can contact Amelia at [email protected]