Master And Slave, Update: 20 Takeaways From Mistress Testimony In Bashara Case
Testimony continued Thursday in the preliminary examination of Bob Bashara to determine if there is enough evidence to have Bashara stand trial for the murder of his wife, Jane.
On the stand for the entire morning was Rachel Gillett, left, Bashara's former mistress and "slave" in the context of their BDSM lifestyle — bondage, discipline, sadomasochism. She answered questions from the prosecution and will be cross-examined by Bashara's attorneys this afternoon.
The death of Jane Bashara, a popular marketing executive from Grosse Pointe Park, and the kinky details of her husband's secret life, have captured national attention since she was was strangled in her garage in January 2012 and her body was dumped in an East Side Detroit alley inside her Mercedes SUV.
Bashara, 55, has been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit murder, suborning of perjury during a capital trial, witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.
Bashara already is serving a 6- to 20-year sentence after he pleaded guilty in October to trying to hire a furniture store owner to kill Joe Gentz while the St. Clair Shores handyman was in jail.
Gentz pleaded guilty to killing Jane Bashara, right, and was sentenced to 17-28 years in prison. He also has maintained Bashara hired him to commit the murder.
Highlights from the testimony Thursday morning from Rachel Gillett:
* Gillett attended the candlelight vigil for Jane Bashara, at the invitation of Bob, on Jan. 25, 2012. The prosecutor asked her: "Did you go up and hug your master?" Gillett said: "Yes, I did."
* Bob also asked her to come to the Bashara house after Jane's body was found. She refused. "Inappropriate," she said.
* The murder of Jane Bashara finally caused Gillett to end her three-year relationship with Bashara. He refused to go away, and she obtained a personal protection order.
* Bob once emailed Gillett: "You worry about assimilating into Grosse Pointe. Well don’t. I am a huge figure here."
* Gillett caught Bashara cheating on her with other women.
* Gillett tried several times to break up with Bashara, but he refused to go away. He sometimes cried, and even contacted her children in attempts to get them to intervene. He once sat in front of her house in a lawn chair, blocking the door, as she returned home.
* Bashara once emailed Gillett: "I am here to guide you, protect you and make you feel great. While I feel your frustration, you will stop this now. I have chosen you. If you must have guilt, deal with it. Soon, my slave, soon."
* At the beginning of their relationship, Bashara told Gillett his wife had died.
* As time went on, Bashara said he was divorced; Gillett demanded to see the divorce papers. Then, when he admitted his wife was alive and they were married, he said they had a sexless marriage, slept in separate bedrooms and that he felt emasculated.
* They discussed brining other men and women into their relationship.
* Using money loaned by Bashara's mother, they bought a house on Kensington in Grosse Pointe Park. The closing date was Jan. 27, 2012, three days after Jane was killed.
* Bashara stared at Gillett during her testimony. At times, she broke into tears.
* When testimony resumed, around 1:30 p.m., Judge Kenneth King reprimanded Bashara: “I witnessed some non-verbal communication between the defendant and the witness, putting his hand over his heart. There will be no such thing tolerated … if I find it necessary, I will have Mr. Bashara removed from the courtroom.”
Bashara replied: “I have a skin rash on my chest.”
* Gillett said she went to the police Jan. 28, four days after Jane Bashara's death.
* Janet Leehmann, Bashara’s girlfriend from Orgeon, said Bashara called her “Slave J.” They met on alt.com, and she, like Rachel Gillett, testified she eventually told Bashara to stop contacting her, but he refused.
* Leehmann said they engaged in erotic “breath play,” in which Bashara choked her, but she had not consented to it.
* Bashara sent Leehmann a Christmas gift and a note: "This is my shirt that I have worn next to my body for 3 days. It is my scent and is sent to you to sleep in and keep next to you. I remain Master Bob, your master and man."
* Leehmann said she once overheard Bashara phone “a handyman” and say: "I want this done, I want it done this weekend. What the hell is wrong with you?"
* Leehmann said on Jan. 25, 2012, the day after Jane Bashara was killed, she received a message: "MB (Master Bob) here, family emergency, stop all communication immediately."
* Patrick Webb, aka Sir Patrick, operator of a BDSM club in Milan, said Bashara came to parties with Gillett and, sometimes, with a woman named Rose.