Louis Theroux reveals Joe Exotic told him about his plan to have Carole Baskin killed

Louis Theroux’s new documentary, 'Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic' has shocked fans

Louis Theroux and Joe Exotic
(Image credit: BBC)

An hour and a half long special titled Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic, aired on Monday 5th April 2021. Many fans were shocked as it was revealed that Joe Exotic told Louis Theroux about his plan to have Carole Baskin murdered in 2011.

On Monday 5th April 2021, a new documentary from Louis Theroux aired. The documentary explored the life of the bizarre character Joe Exotic who came to fame in 2020 after starring in the Netflix documentary ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.’ The Netflix series became a cultural phenomenon and fans loved learning about the bizarre real-life characters in the series. 

Before this Netflix hit documentary in 2020, Louis Theroux had previously met with Joe Exotic, also known as Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage in 2011. They met during Louis’ documentary ‘America's Most Dangerous Pets’. Louis revealed, “I spent eight or nine days filming at the park back in 2011, over the course of three separate visits." This footage was the foundation of Louis' documentary that has shocked fans.

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The documentary showed shocking footage where Joe Exotic told Louis Theroux about his plan to have rival Big Cat Sanctuary owner, Carole Baskin, murdered by a hitman. 

Joe asked Louis's team to turn off their cameras and pointed at his computer as he said, "This guy right here is a hitman in Tampa Florida," he continued to say, "people are considering it, which is how out of control this is getting...It's getting to the point that somebody is gonna die."

Louis revealed that he put this conversation down to an "overactive imagination" and stated that he didn't take Joe's claims seriously in 2011. He said, "at the time it felt like talk. I had entirely forgotten this conversation with Joe." In 2019, Joe was imprisoned after he was found guilty for two accounts of murder for hire after he paid two separate individuals - one of whom was an undercover officer - to kill his rival, Carole Baskin.

Louis revealed that he hadn't looked at the old footage with Joe Exotic in 10 years. Louis said that he had, "no idea" that this would lead to a federal case that would see Joe Exotic locked up for 22 years.

The documentary also revealed in the documentary that Joe Exotic is the "most popular prison inmate in all of the United States." He allegedly replied to every single one of his letters from his fans and received over five thousand letters in the space of a few months in 2020.

Sadly, Joe Exotic was not interviewed in Louis Theroux's documentary as many members of the Netflix documentary 'Tiger King' had signed non-competition agreements which restricted them from speaking to BBC Two. However, the documentary still managed to shock fans.

Many fans took to social media to share their thoughts following the documentary. One fan said, "Louis Theroux really did play the long game capturing all that Tiger King footage about the hitmen discussions and interviewing the zoo workers to be used a decade later when the Joe Exotic's popularity was at an all time high LONG GAME #LouisTheroux"

Other viewers found irony in the fact that once again they were finding themselves intrigued by the life of Joe Exotic. One fan said, "What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago the shops were shut and I was watching a programme about Joe Exotic. Fast forward a year the shops are closed and....ah! @louistheroux April is Carole Baskin month #shootingjoeexotic."

Laura Harman
Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty and fashion news, and her favourite stories to cover as anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found baking, hiking with her dog, shopping, and practicing yoga.