Two handwriting experts analysed signatures on the will and power of attorney of Don Lewis, and declared that they are forged. Don Lewis was Carole Baskin's second husband and the man that she had declared legally dead in 2002, after he mysteriously went missing five years prior.
The mysterious disappearance of millionaire Don Lewis in 1997 was a hot topic in the Netflix series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness? This recent development adds more fuel to the fire, for those who believe that his wife Carole was involved.
Handwriting expert Thomas Vastrick told the Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi "It's not a difficult call," when asked about his analysis. Vastrick agrees with fellow handwriting expert, Willa Smith who also found that signatures on both Don Lewis' will and power of attorney were "the product of tracing." These experts believe that signature on these documents was traced from Don's signature on the record of his marriage to Carole in 1991.
The experts also noted that the signatures of the witnesses and notary are identical on both documents, leading them to believe that they were traced as well.
The discovery adds a "powerful evidence of motive, and it's powerful evidence of misdeeds," according to Matt Steffey, professor of law at Mississippi College of Law.
The power of attorney document that contains what experts believe are forged signatures was different from what the family believed was in place, in that it gave Carol Baskin control of her husband's estate in the event of his "disability or disappearance".
When Lewis' went missing in 1997, his family challenged the will and power of attorney documents and are the ones who originally hired Willa Smith to analyse them. Despite her findings and their concern, their attorney against contesting the will for fear that a long legal battle would ensue and eat up their trust fund.