To anyone currently bingeing #tigerking on Netflix:

I spent four years working on a podcast and a long magazine story about Joe and Carole. I spent a week living at the zoo. I’ve spoken with almost everyone you’re seeing in the doc, and I attended the trial. Ask me anything!
A few pieces of trivia, for people who just watched #TigerKing on Netflix.

1. Joe did not write or sing those country songs. It was an outfit called the Clinton Johnson Band. Joe just sang softly over the top of the vocal track:
4. Eric Goode, the documentarian, is a quirky character in his own right.
5. Before Joe married John or Travis, he married another young (straight) guy named JC Hartpence. Hartpence later served time in prison for molesting a young girl, and is now serving life in prison for first degree murder.
6. At one point I was investigating the fire at the zoo, and I interviewed the case officer at the Wynnewood police dept, Brion Gordon, over the phone. The next day, I got a call from Joe, furious, saying he’d gotten a call from Brion that I was asking about him... (1/2)
7. One night in 2015 Joe & I were walking through Walmart when a portly, bespectacled young gay guy walked up, shook Joe’s hand, & thanked Joe for being the only out-and-proud gay man for many miles when he was growing up.

That kid was Josh Diall, who later ran Joe’s campaign.
8. (Not really “trivia,” but a useful piece of info for anyone discussing the show): Saff, the person who got mauled by the tiger, told me repeatedly that he is trans, prefers to be called Saff (not “Kelci”), and uses he/him pronouns. So please do likewise.
9. For a long time, Joe told everyone he was dying from prostate & bone marrow cancer. He raised $$$ from his Facebook fans for his expenses.

He showed me this horrifying photo as proof. I later learned he just had an infected prostate, dehydration, & a bad outbreak of herpes.
11. Two odd facts about Rick Kirkham:

-Before meeting Joe, he made a film about his addiction to crack cocaine.

-After the zoo fire, Rick moved to Dallas. Then HIS house mysteriously burned down, almost killing him. He fled to Norway, where he now lives.
12. After Don Lewis vanished, but before Carole married Howard, she dated a guy named Jay Baykal.

In 2002, Jay filed a restraining order against Carole, which includes some bizarre and suspicious-sounding details regarding Don's disappearance:
14. (John asked me to take down the photo of him and his new teeth, so I have. The original tweet read: )

I see a lot of people asking about John, Joe’s ex-husband. He texted me a few months back to let me know he got a new job as a welder. And a whole new set of pearly whites!
15. One day, a source sent me some messages that came from Joe's phone. Joe's contacts tended to be listed as, like, "James Tiger" or "Marc Police." I noticed one of the contacts was simply "Mike Hit." I called up the number. It turned out to be a guy named Psycho Mike. 1/3
15. He was a former hitman (or "bone collector") for a Mexican gang in Dallas. He'd since given that life up. Recently he'd been helping Joe try to get a zoo opened in Dallas.

I asked whether Joe ever approached him about killing Carole. He said no.

15. We met at an Italian joint in Dallas and talked for a long time off the record. Then I turned on the recorder and asked him how much, in his experience, it should cost to take a hit out on someone. His answer surprised me. You can hear it here: 3/3
16. Here's a detail I've never understood. In the doc, you hear Alan Glover say he never went to Florida. But in the trial, he testified on the stand that one night he got drunk, drove to Florida (supposedly to warn Carole in person?), passed out on a beach, then drove home. 1/2
16. Joe's lawyers argued that Alan had made this up bc it's a "better story." But…is it? Or was Glover just covering his ass in case some new evidence emerged showing he had in fact been to FL. Did he go there intending to kill Carole & then just (in his words) "chicken out"?
17. To anyone who came away from #TigerKingNetflix thinking Joe was framed, please take a look at this secretly taped conversation between Joe and James, which was played at the trial. These are not the words of an innocent man!
18. When Jeff teamed up with Joe, one of their schemes was to buy the land next door and open a bisexual strip club/petting zoo called "Tigers and Dreams." 1/2
18. Later, that plan changed into opening a drive-in movie theater. Jeff convinced a guy named Joe Barth to lend him some equipment to start construction, then Jeff went and sold the equipment.

Barth filed a lawsuit. The next day Barth's house mysteriously burned down.

19. Jeff Johnson used to be friends with Joe. Then they had a falling out, and Johnson started an online campaign to expose Joe and Jeff Lowe to be frauds. Lowe and Joe both threatened Johnson online. He didn't back down. Then Johnson's house mysteriously burned down.
20. People often ask why no one at Joe’s zoo ever “spoke out.” Part of the reason was because he made his employees sign a one million dollar non-disclosure agreement. (Which, it turns out, wasn’t legally valid.) Here’s a text he sent me at one point.
21. Look closely at the restraining order Don filled out against Carole: his signature doesn't match the one on the Power of Attorney, which handed control to Carole in the event of his disappearance. When I asked Carole abt this, she said: "He could barely read or write anyway."
22. I first discovered this story through a story in the LA Times that said "Michael Jackson's Alligators Burned Alive in Animal Park Fire." That was almost true. Turns out Joe did have an alligator from Neverland Ranch, but it survived the fire; its babies were burned alive.
23. This one's minor, but I find it funny. Remember how in the doc Joe says he was on the cover of "Hollywood Weekly" twice? That's one of those magazines where you can pay them to put you on the cover and write a nice article. Other issues feature such famed luminaries as...
24. In 2014, Joe posted video claiming to show his computers being hacked by Carole. However, I found out that Carole didn't hack his computers. It was orchestrated by a weed-themed YouTuber named Natty G, who had a falling out with Joe.

You can follow @robertmoor_.
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