Last week I signed the contract to do a book on the Bob Bashara case. It will be my fourth true crime book for Penguin imprint Berkley. The case involved the January 2012 murder of Jane Bashara, a wife and mother in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. Her killer was Joe Gentz, a handyman and roustabout, who confessed to the killing but alleged he was hired by Jane’s husband Bob to carry out the murder. Bob Bashara is currently serving 6 ½ years in state prison for soliciting the jailhouse murder of Gentz, and is now charged with first-degree murder in the murder of his wife.
Also part of the story – the part that drives headlines – is the fact that Bob Bashara was involved in the BDSM lifestyle, coloring the case with a “Fifty Shades of Grey” element. A September preliminary exam included a number of parties connected to the case testifying in lurid, colorful detail, talking of Bob's penchant for dominance. Rachel Gillett, who was Bob's girlfriend at the time of Jane Bashara’s murder, met Bob on a BDSM chat site, where he called himself Master Bob. He also had a dungeon created for his trysts in the basement of one of several buildings he owned and rented out.
I’ve worked on the book for some of the last year and it’s in good shape already, plenty of original material that comes from some deep investigation and interviews with players large and small.
I’ve talked with Bob Bashara a number of times in the last year and much of that material will be part of this book. It’s the one thing I do with every true crime book, and I expect some Detroiters, provincial to a lovable fault, will be pissed that I even present the perspective of someone everyone expects to be found guilty. I got a lot of flak when I did press for the first book, A Slaying in the Suburbs: The Tara Grant Murder, for talking and including the views of Stephen Grant, who was convicted of killing his wife Tara. Frank Beckman on WJR was charmingly critical of including Grant in the book when I hit his show. One book store, Borders in the northern suburbs of Detroit, refused to have an event/discussion of the book. I’m pleased to say that Borders is now out of business. That’s what I call real justice. That book, by the way, has sold over 30,000 copies, not a bad performance in the true crime genre.
The Bashara trial is scheduled for March in Wayne County
. It will be quite the sensation, and could draw national interest, depending on how the news cycle is going at the time. The book will come out late 2014 or early 2015.