Joe Exotic, the central figure in the hit Netflix true crime program, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” is asking the White House for a presidential pardon, allowing him to walk free from a Florida prison where he’s serving 22 years for a murder-for-hire plot that forms the central storyline of the seven-part docuseries.
Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage (or Joe Schreibvogel, depending on legal filing), “posted the public plea on his Facebook page on Wednesday, urging Trump ‘for a special investigation or a Presidential Pardon from the Conviction I have Just received,’” according to Fox Business.
The letter, which goes on for more than a thousand words, suggests that Joe is the victim of a coordinated persecution by both his archnemesis Carol Baskin, who is never named in the letter, and a “seasoned con man” — likely Las Vegas, Nevada, playboy Jeff Lowe who, according to the Netflix series, became an informant on Joe Exotic’s activities, eventually leading to his arrest for an abortive murder-for-hire plot against Baskin and for five counts of “violating the Endangered Species Act for killing five tiger cubs,” per Fox.
“In November 2017, Maldonado-Passage paid a zoo worker cash to kill Baskin,” according to Fox Business. “Instead, he took the money and ran. In a second attempt, he hired another hitman who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, prosecutors said.”
Joe Exotic says he isn’t responsible.
“Here in America we use to take the swearing of Oath seriously to tell the truth,” Joe Exotic writes. “These days it means nothing to anyone, not even the Department of Justice or the U.S Attorneys office. My trial was not about the truth, it was about the win for the prosecutors. Why do I say this? Because I can prove every lie and the U.S Attorneys office had that proof to serve real justice and they ignored using the evidence both sides had to present to the jury.”
He then claims he has evidence that the “seasoned con man” engaged in human trafficking, the drug trade, identity theft, internet fraud, and other crimes.
“Mr. President, I am pleading with you to please have this looked into,” he continues. “I am currently incarcerated at the Grady County Jail in Oklahoma and facing 20 – 50 years in prison for doing the same thing every zoo and sanctuary owner has had to do at one time or another.”
His petition may be complicated by a separate filing — a $94 million lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other “government agents,” that Joe Exotic filed late last week.
In it, Exotic, identified as Joe Maldonado-Passage, says he’s “seeking nearly $74 million in loss of personal property, 18 years of research, and the full care of 200 generic tigers and crossbreeds, which he claimed he conducted at the boarding rate of $60 per day, per animal,” according to Fox News. “Furthermore, Maldonado-Passage is asking for $15 million for false arrest, false imprisonment, selective enforcement and the death of his mother, Shirley.”
He also accuses Fish and Wildlife Service agents of knowingly accepting false statements.
“Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness,” is currently the most watched program on Netflix’s behemoth streaming network.