Poor Jane Bashara

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American Greed Monday.

This one was a “Deadly Rich” episode about Jane Bashara.

552 Middlesex Road in Grosse Pointe Park is worth about $400,000 and the taxes are almost $11K.  It is not far from Lake St. Clair, which is desirable, but it is also only a few blocks from Alter Road, which is the border with Detroit.

Bob Bashara is a gangster, a thug, and a con artist.




In terms of the case, it is really hard to cut through to the things that matter.  Bob Bashara is as dumb and as guilty as all those other people who think they are going to kill their spouse in the living room and get away with it (e.g., Pamela Smart).  They’re going to act like nothing happened and lie to all the cameras and reporters.  They are going to fool everyone.

Why do they think like that?

The most important quote from this week of Greed is this:

He is a psychopath.  You cannot treat a psychopath.

It was Dr. Michael Stone (Columbia) who said this to a police investigator, referring to Dr. Robert Bierenbaum.  He is the one who wrote the Tarasoff letter.  It was a “duty to warn” letter directed specifically at Gail.  It is extraordinary that he could reach such accurate conclusions after, I believe, about 2 hours of sessions.

“Jane Bashara graduated from Mount Clemens High School. She most recently worked as a marketing manager for an energy consulting company in Detroit after working for Detroit Edison for 25 years.”  I forget the name of her then/last employer.  That explains the 401K.  She went “back to work” when the Detroit real estate market collapsed and Bob turned-out to be such a deadbeat.  Apparently he took $10K out early and without her knowledge, that’s how much of a loser he was.

Therein lies a real key:  the Detroit real estate market.  In a different life Robert Bashara would have been rich and powerful.

As almost-always, shows such as Deadly Rich and Dateline have extremely high production values.  They’ve got that genre down pat and they really know how to tell stories.  But in this one they have things a little wrong or misleading, especially the NBC Dateline version (there is also a local, Detroit one).  Grosse Pointe isn’t great and it isn’t about power and privilege based on the address.  The whole thing is pretty much decayed and still decaying.  There are some wealthy and powerful people, and beautiful homes, but they are the exception.

Similarly, in the last 30 years there, Bob Bashara definitely was not rich, powerful, or worthy of respect.  He was a slumlord working in a very limited area, driving around and partying.  Jane–even her name is boring–earned the money and raised the kids.  Plus she took care of the old Grosse Pointe Park house and she paid the taxes.

Rotary Club, give me a break.  If there ever was a “Grosse Pointe,” and there was at one time, it was based on old money primarily related to the auto industry.  Lawyers from Lebanon were usually not invited.  But Bashara wasn’t even that.  In everything I have read about him and the crime I haven’t heard of a college degree or a job.

He was living a propped-up life and he knew it.  He was nothing but a desperate criminal.  No one, including his kids, with any credibility has come to his defense.


I Bet the Pizza is Great

That is what I have to add to the story:  I grew up there.

If you look at the map above–the grid, because Detroit is an auto/highway grid–in the right-hard part that forms a rolling peninsula.  The Basharas were down in the lower center.  Steve’s appliance shop is highlighted on the Google map.  That is where Bashara tried to hire a second killer.

It is close to the Grosse Pointes but far away for the not-worldly-at-all Bashara.

Drop the body off.  Where?  Detroit.

I even thought I would like to visit and drive around.  I did that by browsing up and down on Kerchival and Mack Avenue.  Mack is where Bashara had a property.  The mistress who worked at Wayne State lived upstairs.  For a time the oyster bar and Hard Luck Cafe were in the middle, with the BDSM lair downstairs.

I got over the the desire to go back.  But I wanted to write that it isn’t a privileged spot.  In fact, I don’t think anyplace is.  It is just a place where the family used to have a home.  Most of the Basharas were working or going to school and they were acting like a family until Big Bob ruined it.

Power, Privilege, and Justice.

NY Times son documentary link

The Sadist and the Hitman

Better than facebook link:  https://www.clickondetroit.com/features/new-book-digs-deeper-into-murder-of-bob-basharas-wife-jane


Quote from Eastland Wiki:

The area immediately west of Eastland Center, between Schoenherr and Kelly roads, is reported by the Detroit Police Department as among the most dangerous areas in Detroit, with 2,770 reported gunshots over a 14-month period between October 2014 and December 2015, leaving residents of both Harper Woods and Detroit as well as visitors to Eastland Center wary of gun violence.[27]

“I did not think it would be proper. Can you imagine? That’s one of the worst possible things that could ever happen – your dad killed your mom,” said Miller.  (Steve Miller, the author of one of the two books, when asked about who he contacted for his book.)

Neither book is available at the library.  I just don’t see the point of buying one.

Perhaps this is what I needed to do:

85 Stephens Road, Grosse Pointe Farms

So, my parents sold it in 1991 for $441K and it has almost doubled since.  If I look closer, all the homes around it are $1 million-plus; it is an outlier.

There are still people who want prestige.

My God, how do you describe this?  How do you solve it, and what can anyone do?

Detroit metro is still about 4.3 million and there is very modest growth all around except Detroit/Wayne County.  Detroit proper has fallen from 1.8 million to somewhere around half or a third of that.  It is 82% black, 13% white, and the rest Hispanic and others.

My first thought was, why didn’t Amazon go there?  Then I realized I am probably not the first person to say I cannot do it because I am white.

As for Grosse Pointe, it used to be surrounded by dull, middle class neighborhoods but they are gone.  I have no idea where, other than the tiny confines, one would even go to shop.  Detroit is all around, and for the Basharas it was very close.

Joe Gentz dropped the black ML350 (that is not an entry-level vehicle) in an alley near Hoover and 7 Mile.  It was January and dark already, and he ate at a McDonald’s, took a bus to downtown Detroit, and then took another bus probably up Jefferson Avenue to just outside Detroit and the Bashara home in Grosse Pointe Park.

That is a terrifying journey.  He is an imposing-looking man, most people would not even attempt it.  Apparently Bob Bashara never did pay him.

It wasn’t a bad plan.  Who would have known that the pristine Mercedes would sit there untouched until a tow truck driver found it?  Certainly not Gentz who suffered from an IQ so low it is considered a disability.  The keys were in it and Jane Bashara’s purse was on the floor.  If it had been ransacked before police arrived they may very well have gotten away with it.

Gentz, at least, may have been in a very different position.  I believe there was evidence at the house and Bob Bashara would have been tried at some point.  But think about it:  no Gentz, no need to get him first for Gentz’ attempted murder, and it took 1 1/2 years for the murder indictment anyway.  Bashara came pretty close.

Bob Bashara must have been a terrible father.  He is a really, really bad guy.  There is no way Joe Gentz sought to kill Jane Bashara and Bashara used and and ruined him.  But again, what matters most is he killed his wife and the mother of his children.