Soon after Brian’s passing, Joe met events producer J. C. Hartpence. Their turbulent relationship came to an end just a few months later, when J.C. attempted to shoot Joe dead in a fit of jealousy. 

By that point, Joe was also pursuing a casual affair with John Finlay, a 19-year-old from Fort Worth, Tex., who came to work at the zoo. According to The Cinemaholic, Joe appointed John as the president of the zoo, a position he retained up until August 2014. 

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