The entire Joe Exotic saga was summed up in five minutes

Louis Theroux returns to one of his earlier subjects in today’s new installment of his documentary series (Monday April 5) – Joe Exotic.

In it, the 50-year-old filmmaker travels back to Oklahoma to repeat the story of The Tiger King, a topic he covered 10 years ago.

But who is Joe Exotic and what happened to him? Here is our handy five minute guide.


Louie with Joe in 2011 (Photo Credit: BBC)

What happened to Joe Exotic in the original Louis Theroux film?

In Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic, Louis returns to the state of Oklahoma to find out what has happened next to Joe since they last met.

Back in 2011, Louis made a film called America’s Most Dangerous Pets, in which viewers became acquainted with people who kept bears, dangerous primates and big cats as pets.

He also attended the GW Exotic Animal Foundation in Oklahoma, known for its tigers and other big cats.

Read more: Louis Theroux’s “friendly feelings” towards Jimmy Savile still “haunt” him

The man who ran this facility was Joe Exotic.

While Louis was there, he experienced a tornado warning and numerous rehabs of rare and very dangerous animals that Joe undertook.

And throughout the show, Louis followed Joe and found he had money troubles.

No wonder – he had around 1,400 animals on the foundation, including 149 tigers for feeding and keeping.

Who is Joe Exotic?
Joe was born in Kansas (Image Credit: BBC)

Who is Joe Exotic?

Joe was born in Garden City, Kansas, and was born Joe Writer.

Joe had a tough upbringing – he was raped by an older boy when he was only five and was contemplating suicide when he was outed by a sibling after becoming police chief in Texas.

In 1997, his brother Garold died in a car accident.

Joe and his parents were already busy with animals and bought a 16 acre farm in Oklahoma to house rare animals.

Then, in 2000, he acquired two tigers.

Joe Exotic
The Netflix documentary series catapulted Joe to fame (Credit: Netflix)

How did Joe Exotic get famous?

Joe has live streamed an online reality show and has also traveled the country performing at country shows and shopping malls with baby tigers.

Despite his appearance on the Louis Theroux documentary in 2011, Joe only became a global celebrity thanks to the Netflix documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness.

During the eight-episode series, the Joe and America network was scrutinized as a network of conservationists for big cats.

It also showed a much darker side for Joe.

Carole Baskin from Tiger King
Joe hired someone to take out Carole Baskin (Image credit: Netflix)

How did Joe get in trouble and who is Carole Baskin?

Joe was involved in the law all his life.

In 2006, he was cited multiple times by the USDA for animal rights violations.

And in 2011 he came into contact with Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue in Florida.

Carole protested the use of boys on his travel shows, and an all-powerful feud began.

In retaliation, Joe used the Big Cat Rescue name as part of his own marketing, which resulted in Carole suing Joe.

Joe owed $ 1 million and unwittingly hired an undercover FBI agent to murder her.

He was arrested in 2018 for hiring someone to kill Carole Baskin ”.

Joe Exotic is now in jail
Joe Exotic is now in jail (Image credit: Netflix)

Where’s Joe Exotic Now?

Joe Exotic is currently serving a 22 year prison sentence in Fort Worth, Texas.

And after the trial and Joe’s imprisonment, Carole took control of the GW Exotic Animal Foundation.

Read More

Joe isn’t done yet, however.

This year (2021) he hired new lawyers and hopes for a retrial.

Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic is tonight (Monday 5th April) at 9 p.m. on BBC Two

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