Netflix's 'Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness' explores the eccentric tale of animal breeder Joe Exotic
Netflix's upcoming true-crime documentary is based on a certain Joe Exotic. It narrates the scandalous yet fascinating story of Joe, who was once the manager of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma.
Coming from the creators of the 'Fyre' festival documentary, 'Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness' explores the eccentric frivolous life of Joe Exotic.
A trailer for the documentary only proves just how exciting the final product will be. It introduces us to the charismatic but misguided Joe, who is notorious in the big cat community for his idiosyncrasies.
Even among the eccentrics and cult personalities in the stranger-than-fiction world of big cat owners, Joe is a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country-western singer presiding over a big collection of big cats and animals. "I'm outspoken, good-looking and I love to party and have fun," he is shown saying in the trailer.
The Netflix documentary also follows an unbelievable cast of characters including drug kingpins, conmen and cult leaders alongside Joe, who all share a passion for big cats, and the status and attention their dangerous menageries garner.
Most importantly, the documentary focuses on Joe's rivalry with Carole Baskin, an animal activist and founder of Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Florida. Baskin threatened to put Joe and his associates out of business.
The zoo Joe operated was cited multiple times for violating the Animal Welfare Act standards by the USDA. It was in 2011 that Baskin first protested against Joe's petting shows. When he stole her trademarks, organizing shows under the name of her sanctuary, she sued him, eventually winning the million-dollar lawsuit against him.
This case led to Joe's bankruptcy. He had to sell his zoo to animal breeder Jeff Lowe. The rivalry eventually led to Joe's arrest for a murder-for-hire plot revealing a twisted tale.
In September 2018, the FBI indicted Joe for attempting to hire someone to murder Baskin. He was convicted of two counts of murder-for-hire, eight violations of the Lacey Act and nine of the Endangered Species Act. On January 20, 2020, the 56-year-old was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison.
The FBI also found out that Joe had a disturbing history of abuse against animals. Investigations revealed that he had shot five tigers on his property and falsified wildlife records.
'Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness' will premiere on Netflix on March 20, 2020.