Jane and Bob Bashara seemed to have a picture-perfect marriage. At least to the outside world. They were pillars of their Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan community. The envy of their neighbors and friends.
Behind closed doors, though, the Bashara’s marriage was crumbling. The couple fought constantly. Money was the topic they argued about most frequently. However, there were allegations of infidelity that plagued the relationship and put them on edge.
As the relationship rocketed towards divorce, the Bashara’s tried to keep everything quiet. They had a reputation to protect. There were also children to protect should a breakup occur.
Then there were the secrets Bob Bashara was keeping. He would go to any lengths to keep others from finding out what they were. No lengths were too great for him to keep the picture-perfect reputation intact.
Even killing Jane.
Money On Mind
Both Jane and Bob Bashara made a good amount of money. They were able to afford a lifestyle that most people only dream of. Every purchase brought them higher up the rungs of the social ladder, something important to each of them.
Of the pair, Jane made more money. For most of the marriage, it didn’t seem to be a point of contention. It became one when they began discussing getting a divorce. Bob allegedly wanted spousal support should he agree to a divorce.
Jane refused. She went as far as to tell him that she would fight any monetary exchange. If they were to go their separate ways, she didn’t want them to have contact—at least none outside the children and what was best for them.
Her cutting off his secondary money source was problematic for Bob. He had become accustomed to a lifestyle and was not about to let it go. Even if a divorce seemed inevitable, he wanted to cling to the money as much as he would be able to.
Since it appeared as though his wife had the upper hand with the money, Bob began plotting another path out. One that would give him everything that he wanted.
Another Murder In Detroit
Jane Bashara was last seen alive at her Downtown Detroit office on January 24, 2012. Her coworkers reported that she seemed to be in good spirits and did not indicate anything was amiss in her life.
She left with a promise to see her colleagues the next day. That would not come to pass.
Bob Bashara would file a missing person report at 11:30 pm on the 24th. He told the police that when his wife didn’t arrive home at her usual time, he became worried but believed she may have gone out with friends.
Eight hours after the report was filed, Jane Bashara was found. Her body was in the Mercedes SUV she had loved so much. A tow truck driver found the car as he was looking for stolen vehicles on Detroit’s east side.
Jane had been strangled. And police said the scene they were confronted with suggested that she had put up a fight. She had broken fingernails and bruises on her body. Whoever killed Jane hadn’t expected her to fight back.
Bob Bashara seemed devastated by the turn of events. They put together a candlelight vigil at Grosse Pointe Park High School. He called for justice when given the microphone.
He also spoke with local TV stations saying the same thing. Once again, the image being projected was hiding Bob’s secrets. This time though, they would come tumbling out of the closet.
More Than Meets The Eye
The Detroit Police were joined in investigating Jane’s murder by the Grosse Pointe Park and Michigan State Police Departments. On January 27, 2012, two days after Jane’s body was discovered, the first bombshell in the case was dropped.
Bob Bashara was named the one and only person of interest. Police suggested that Jane was killed at home and then placed in her SUV and driven to where she was found. The belief was that the murderer had wanted to stage it as a robbery gone wrong. They theorized that Bob was behind it all.
On February 1, 2012, the theory was seemingly strengthened. A mentally disabled man, Joseph Gentz, came forward and confessed to being the one who moved Jane’s body into the SUV. Gentz told the police that Bob paid him $2,000 and an old Cadillac to help with the body.
When confronted with the new accusations, Bob was defiant. He told everyone who would listen that he was innocent. That he loved Jane and could never kill her.
What he didn’t know was that another bomb was getting ready to drop. His secrets that had been carefully hidden were about to be exposed to the world.
Affairs Of A Murderer
As the police strengthened their case, the press was about to gift them with an unexpected lead in the case. Multiple local TV stations began reporting that Bob was well known in the BDSM community. He was so infamous in that segment of the population that he had a nickname: Dungeon Master Bob.
Several women came forward to admit to sleeping with the married man. They said he took them to the basement of a building he owned. It had been converted into a sex dungeon.
Bob continued to maintain his innocence. Even when it came to his adultery, he claimed that he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Contrary to the conservative, traditional family they appeared to be; he claimed he enjoyed an open marriage with Jane.
Rachel Rene Gillett was one of the women that Bob had been sleeping with regularly. When the police came to her house, she was surprised. While she was never a person of interest, investigators left with boxes of evidence. She would testify that Bob had tricked her into being in a relationship with him by saying Jane was okay with his extracurricular activities.
Just over a month after Jane was killed. Joe Gentz was arrested and charged with murder on March 3, 2012. Bob continued to be a person of interest in the case.
The Twisted Trial
Shortly after Gentz’s arrest, there was another wrinkle in the case. The clothes that Jane had been wearing at the time of her death had gone missing. Bob seized on this news to proclaim his innocence and cry out that justice would never be served.
Bob Bashara was arrested on June 25, 2012. He was charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy, and other related charges.
A first arraignment was postponed after Bob and his initial lawyer decided to part ways; the lawyer cited a breakdown in communication for the reason. Bob was finally arraigned on September 27, 2013. He pleaded not guilty.
When the trial started in March 2014, there was a surprise witness that took the stand. Venita Porter. She testified that she had painted the dungeon for Bob, and as they worked together, they fell in love. Things went sour between them when she realized he was sleeping with Gillett.
She also testified that he promised to divorce Jane and be with her. Porter said she realized later that he had no intention of leaving his wife. Before she left the stand, she told the court that he was with her hours before Bob was arrested.
As that drama played out in court, another case was being made against Bob. Joe Gentz told police that Bob had hired someone to kill him from behind bars.
Bob was found guilty on December 18, 2014. He was sentenced to life in prison without a chance of parole on January 25, 2015.
He has appealed and lost every motion. Gentz briefly recanted his testimony but then admitted he had been pressured to do so by Bob.
Both men remain in prison.
And the perfect life Bob Bashara presented has been debunked as a myth.