Jeff Lynn Johnson, “Tiger King” reptile dealer, dies by suicide at 58

Jeff Lynn Johnson, known to Netflix viewers as the reptile dealer who featured in docuseries King tiger, is deceased, according to Oklahoma City police. He was 58 years old.

A police report reveals Johnson committed suicide on September 8 following an argument with his wife in the garage of their home. According to his wife, Charity, Johnson shot himself in front of her during the argument. He was still alive when authorities arrived at the scene, but was later pronounced dead upon arrival at a local hospital.

According to his obituary, published in the Norman Transcript, Johnson was born in Holdenville, Oklahoma on October 31, 1962. Described as an avid car enthusiast, Johnson worked at Norman Auto Trim & Glass and was a driver at L&A Wrecker. He was also a reptile trader and appeared in the fourth episode of the first season of King tiger, the popular Netflix series which debuted in 2020.

In the episode, Johnson spoke about animal rights activist Carole Baskin and Oklahoma Big Cat Zoo owner Joe Exotic, who is currently serving 22 years in prison. In 2019, Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was convicted of a murder for pay plot to kill Baskin; his life in prison is documented in the recently released second season of King tiger.

Johnson’s death came the same month as this man King tiger Star Erik Cowie has died of acute and chronic alcohol use. Cowie was on the show as a zookeeper working alongside Exotic at GW Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Oklahoma.

Johnson is survived by his wife, two young children, his mother and two brothers.

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