‘Tiger King': Woman Says Ex-Husband Told Her He Put Don Lewis ‘In the Grinder’

Trish Farr-Payne tells “48 Hours” she believes her ex-husband Kenny Farr played “some part” in the disappearance of Carole Baskin’s husband

Last Updated: September 8, 2020 @ 1:10 PM

A woman has come forward claiming her husband confessed involvement in the 1997 disappearance of Don Lewis, one of the individuals featured in Netflix’s hit docuseries “Tiger King,” according to a report from CBS News’ “48 Hours Suspicion.”

Trish Farr-Payne, whose ex-husband Kenny Farr used to work for “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin and her second husband Don Lewis, says her husband once threatened to put her “in the grinder, like I did Don” shortly after Lewis’ disappearance.

“I thought he was tellin’ the truth,” Farr-Payne said. “At that time. I thought, you know, at least that is probably the turnin’ point where I knew–I knew deep down that Kenny has some part in Don’s not ever coming back. I knew then for sure.”

Farr-Payne also said that one night after Lewis went missing, Farr returned home in Lewis’ van with Lewis’ collection of firearms saying “Don’s gone” and Farr-Payne shouldn’t mention his name anymore, especially on the telephone.

She also recalled a large padlocked freezer appearing on her porch around the same time.

The mysterious disappearance of Don Lewis has been the subject of much speculation since the release of “Tiger King” earlier this year. In the wake of the series’ immediately popularity, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office put out a call for new tips surrounding the case back in March.

Farr-Payne told “48 Hours” that she shared her story with authorities in 2000 after a domestic violence incident which led to Farr’s arrest and conviction. She also told the Tampa Bay Times back in June that she sat down for an hour-long, video-recorded interview earlier this year.

Baskin, for her part, says she does not believe Farr was involved in Lewis’ disappearance.

“I love Kenny Farr like a son,” Baskin wrote in a May blog post refuting “Tiger King.” “He was someone I could trust to keep Don from getting lost or going into cages with cats who could kill him, while I worked.”

In a statement released Tuesday, Baskin went further, saying Farr-Payne’s story “can’t pass the sniff test.” Read the full statement below.

I’ve caught Trish Farr-Payne in enough lies about her ever visiting Big Cat Rescue and her description of the meat grinder to cause me to believe she’s just seeking attention post Tiger King and is using her 15 minutes to bash her ex. I don’t ever recall her visiting the grounds and her description of the meat grinder was ludicrous and clearly fabricated. Anyone can watch our hundreds of videos and describe our grounds whether they have been there or not.

If she really feared for her life, and that of her children, wouldn’t she have called the police if she thought her husband had Don Lewis’s body locked in a freezer on her porch? That’s a much clearer path to safety than hiding what she claims she believed while continuing to live with Kenneth Farr for the next 3 years or more. The fact that the press keeps reposting lies like hers, and that of others who lied in Tiger King, without doing any research of the public record, really is dismaying.

I’ve addressed most of the inaccuracies at BigCatRescue.org/netflix with copies of the documents and case file numbers to pull so you can see for yourself, and yet hardly anyone seems to care. It appears to be more about selling ad space than reporting truth. My challenge to you is to seek out and tell the truth and see if being different from the lemmings doesn’t prove better for you and your company in the long run. People want to be able to believe in reporters again.