Dateline   |  June 21, 2013

Secrets in the Suburbs, Part 5

Bob Bashara denies being involved in the death of his wife in an exclusive Dateline interview then, in a shocking twist, he is arrested for trying to have a would-be hit-man kill the very same handyman, who said Bob forced him to kill his  wife

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> joe gentz, the handyman, was behind bars . in his confession he said jane 's husba husband, his sometimes boss bob bashara pulled a gun on him and ordered him to murder the wife or be killed himself . four months into the investigation, a question the prosecutor's office wasn't answering was why hadn't bashara been arrested for murder yet?

>> i have no idea what happened. i wasn't here.

>> reporter: left twisting by the cops with the other shoe not yet dropped we talked to bashara in april of last year in the family home where he lived with jane for 25 years. he told us then gentz did it, case closed. doing this. they have the man behind bars . let me rebuild my life. let me move on. i miss her terribly, the mother of two wonderful children is gone. that just absolutely saddens me.

>> did you murder your wife? did you cause her death?

>> absolutely not.

>> were you in cahoots with this handyman guy to come in and do the dirty work ?

>> absolutely not. let me tell you something. i loved my wife dearly. loved my wife.

>> were there other women?

>> i do not want to get into a lot of this because of my children. i will tell you that i have a relationship with one other woman.

>> is this the woman known as rachel?

>> yes. but it has nothing to do with this case or anything to do with the death of jane . nothing at all.

>> bob this gets complicated by what's being called your alternative lifestyle and people who say they know a different bob bashara. they know master bob. what do you say about it all?

>> let me tell you. it was a private part of my life. it had nothing to do with jane . people talk about the dark side . they don't even know about what's involved with that. they think of this terrible notion of different things but they don't know what was going on.

>> bashara says his big mistake was being a soft touch for gentz, trying to throw work his way. he said the handyman was demand out of family court and needed money.

>> he called me because he had a custody hearing and needed $ 1500 to pay a lawyer. i wouldn't give it to him.

>> he tell it is story you're there in the garage with a gun on him saying do it now. he gives her a karate chop . she's fighting. he stomps on her neck and you're there.

>> unbelievable that he would say that. the man is disturbed. he made a mistake. he crossed the line, killed my wife and now he's trying to blame it on me.

>> said he did it for a thousand bucks and an old beat-up cadillac.

>> first it was two thousand. then six thousand. then eight thousand and a cadillac. i didn't offer him anything to do anything. think about it just for a moment. if you wanted to harm someone would you hire a guy with a 68 i.q. and have the work done in your garage? in your home? just for a moment think about that? does that make any sense? absolutely not. i'm not a me tnefarious person but i'm not going to hire an idiot to kill my wife in my garage.

>> reporter: then a case that was already sad and strange went completely off the rails.

>> bob bashara leaves the station in the back of a squad car .

>> reporter: june 2012 , big headline news. bashara, accused in a conspiracy conspiracy, a new one, to have the handyman joe gentz murdered by a killer for hire. bashara is look for a hit man to knock off his hit man.

>> exactly. we're in shock.

>> bashara was operating with the idea that he needs to stop joe gentz.

>> reporter: in what can only be called a harebrained scheme they say he approached a friend who ran this furniture and appliance store and asked him to figure out a way to have joe gentz killed inside the county jail . tom berry , the ex-detroit cop said bashara told the appliance sales man the hit would be worth $20,000 to him.

>> joe gentz is locked away in a cell. this hit man who isn't a hit man is going to do him how?

>> going to get a guy in jail with gentz to put crushed glass in his food. ge erk gentz will eat it in the hope his colon is perforated and dies.

>> the businessman never considers it for a second.

>> never for a second.

>> reporter: the appliance sales man immediately notified the cops. the retailer agreed to wear a wire when he met with bashara again to supposedly finalize terms.

>> bob bashara wasn't offering this guy a million dollars to take joe gentz out. bob bashara was going to people who he thought would be easy targets, maybe easily manipulated like joe gentz was, to try to seal the deal.

>> reporter: instead, according to reporterer hank winchester, bob sealed his own fate by yakking about the hit as a police surveillance team recorded and videoed his every word.

>> it all came down to the tapes. bob bashara in his own words laid out the crime and investigators had a bombshell.

>> reporter: so they are not talking in code or riddles or anything?

>> no. he's talking about killing gentz in jail.

>> reporter: did bashara think he's resolved the nagging joe gentz problem? after buying what he thought was a hit, bob retired to his sex dungeon to chill. the police were behind him.

>> when he gets there, they move in. they put the handcuffs on him.

>> reporter: master bob, so used to being the one to put on the cuffs was booked and issued a jump suit. in october of last year faced with the irrefutable evidence of the sting tapes bob bashara pleaded guilty to solicitation to murder.

>> in june of 2012 i foolishly and regrettably offered to pay steve tabato to find someone to kill joe gentz.

>> the judge gave him a sentence of at least 80 months in prison. at year's end the original hit man, handyman joe gentz, pleaded guilty to second degree murder. a negotiated deal in exchange for a lighter sentence than life in prison .

>> bob bashara offered me money to kill his wife. he threatened me if i did not kill her.

>> so there seems to bonl two ways to look at this. the prosecution's point of view, he's trying to get rid of his chief accuser. the other way, gentz got off light and he's revenging the murder of his wife.

>> i see it as he was trying to kill the hit man he tired.

>> gentz was now prepared to testify against his old boss but bob bashara still hadn't been charged with his wife's murder. prosecutors were slowly, methodically building a case beyond the handyman's accusation. seizing upon a mo oh ttive bigger than the usual love triangle . how about one person more?