Robert Bashara lived with his wife of 26 years, Jane, in the quiet community of Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, which is a quiet community. Life seemed idyllic in the affluent community, just seven miles from Detroit, until the death of Jane Bashara and the revelation that Robert Bashara’s life was not as wholesome as it had seemed. Both Robert and Jane Bashara were successful members of their community, active members of their church, and often seen volunteering, such as for their children’s sporting events. It had even been reported at the trial that Bashara had raised millions of dollars for charities through local organizations.
The façade of a respectable businessman was destroyed with the murder of Jane Bashara. The investigation that followed Jane Bashara’s untimely death revealed a Robert Bashara that few people, if any, at his local church or his children’s soccer games would have recognized. ‘Big Bob,’ as his less reputable acquaintances often called him, had developed a taste for the darker side of sexuality often seen in the lifestyles found in BDSM. There were sex parties, held in the properties owned by Bashara himself. According to Detroit Free Press, one participant, Therese Giffin, testified to being escorted into the basement of one of Robert ‘Big Bob’ Bashara’s abandoned office buildings, where she was tied to a cross and flogged.
Robert Bashara was drawn further into the BDSM lifestyle by his ‘slave’ Therese Giffin and also by his own mistress, Rachel Gillett. In court, prosecutors alleged that Robert Bashara wanted to devote much more of his time to the BDSM (bondage dominance sado-masochism) lifestyle, which he could only do with Jane Bashara out of the way. Adding incentive to his desire to have his wife murdered was his desire to access the money in her retirement funds, People reports.
Robert Bashara hired his handyman, Joseph Gentz, to kill his wife. Jane Bashara was found beaten and strangled in her Mercedes-Benz SUV on January 25, 2012, abandoned in a dark Detroit alley. Gentz pled guilty to second-degree murder, receiving a sentence of 17-28 years in prison for the murder of Jane Bashara.
Robert Bashara’s crimes continued, even after the conviction of his handyman. He attempted to smear his deceased wife’s reputation online in an effort to divert attention away from himself and, when Gentz was convicted, Bashara attempted to hire a professional hitman to kill Gentz in prison.
Bashara is serving 80 months to 20 years in prison.
In another Inquisitr story, the murder-for-hire case of a pastor’s wife in New Orleans is now known to locals as the Black Widow.