What Happened to Joe Exotic's Third Husband Is Truly Disturbing

The wild life of the “Tiger King” Joe Exotic features not one, not two, but four husbands—and two of them at the same time—and all is being explored in Netflix’s new documentary series, The Tiger King. Less than a month after a 19-year-old man named Travis Maldonado arrived at Joe Exotic’s zoo in late 2013, he was married to Exotic and another 19 year old, John Finlay, in a three-way ceremony. Less than four years later, on October 6, 2017, Maldonado was dead, according to an in-depth story by Texas Monthly.

Maldonado was an important person in Joe Exotic’s life. Their three-way marriage was eventually made into an official two-way marriage in 2015 after the law changed, and Finlay became estranged from the rest of the throuple. Maldonado’s death hit Exotic hard: “My entire soul died,” he later said, according to TM.

How did Travis Maldonado die?

Officially, Travis Maldonado died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But the real story is not at all what it “officially” would sound like—it was, in fact, a self-inflicted gunshot wound that killed Maldonado, but it wasn’t suicide. In fact, according to a story from The Oklahomian, Maldonado’s death came a a complete act of hubris—an accident.

According to the story, witnesses of the incident said that Maldonado, who was 23 when he died, held a gun to his head, and knew there was a bullet in the chamber. However, there was no magazine in the gun, and he said and was apparently certain that without that piece, the gun would not fire. He pulled the trigger and was wrong—according to the Texas Monthly piece, he died on site before first responders were even able to arrive.

People watching Netflix’s Tiger King documentary are feeling for Travis.

As people watch The Tiger King and learn the story of Joe Exotic and the world around him, they’re also learning about Travis’ role in the story, and the tragic way it came to an end. Generally speaking, fans seem to have a bit more sympathy (relatively) for Travis than for anyone else involved in the story.

poor dumb, hot travis. tiger king, my god.

tiger king: murder, mayhem and madness
• 8/10
• remembered joe exotic from a louis theroux docu years ago so i watched
• this shit is fucking Wild bro
• literally what goes on in america
• carole deffo killed her husband
• felt so sad for travis and his poor mum 🙁 pic.twitter.com/WWSh8FHSLN

Except for Travis Maldonado. He’s a sweet baby angel

okay travis maldonado could maybe get it….but i think that’s the quarantine talking

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