In a new exclusive interview, Bob Bashara shares the connection he has with the man who is charged in his wife’s murder.
Bashara’s wife, Jane, was found dead in the back her SUV in Detroit on Jan. 25. Bashara had reported her missing the night before.
A man known to the family, Joe Gentz, has been charged with her murder.
“I knew he wasn’t playing with a full deck. I knew he had some issues,” Bashara said.
In October 2011, Bashara says he was introduced to Gentz because Gentz was looking for a place to live and Bashara knew about several rental properties.
“I was nice enough to help him get a place to live. I actually put power in my name for him because he had issues with the local utility,” Bashara said. “And, for whatever reason, again, me being a nice guy, I put the power in my name.”
Through odd jobs, Bashara says he eventually paid Gentz to do some handyman work at a rental property and his own home.
In a previous interview with Local 4, Bashara had said Gentz never met Jane.
Marc Santia: “Did Joe ever meet Jane?”
Bashara: “At that time? No. … it was during the day, she was at work.”
But in his most recent interview with Dateline, Bashara said the handyman did have a face-to-face encounter with Jane.
“He had did some yard work out back, he had met Jane out in the back,” Bashara said. “She brought us iced tea one day while we were cleaning up some shrubbery and preparing the back yard for winter.”
Sources close to Jane’s murder investigation have told Local 4 that Gentz has told investigators he was contracted by Bashara to do the killing.
“I’m not a nefarious person, but I’m certainly not going to hire an idiot to kill my wife in my garage. Doesn’t make sense and because it’s not true,” Bashara said. “I have nothing to do with that. I am a loving husband, was a loving husband. “
In Bashara’s interview with Dateline’s Dennis Murphy, he says Gentz is lying.
Dennis Murphy: “Did you murder your wife? Did you cause her death?”
Bashara: “Absolutely not.”
Dennis Murphy: “Were you in cahoots with this handyman guy?”
Bashara says Gentz began demanding more jobs and money. So, Bashara said, he tried to distance himself.
Bashara said he thinks Gentz went to his home on Jan. 24 while Jane was home.
“He must have come over here looking for me,I wasn’t here on the 24th, ran across Jane and said, ‘I’m here to see Bob,’ or ‘I need to talk to Bob.’ She probably told him, ‘He’s not here.’ Maybe he pushed her? Maybe he came in and … I don’t know what happened,” Bashara said. “I got to imagine that Jane told him to ‘go to hell, get out of my house.’ And he snapped.”
Gentz is currently locked up in the Dickerson jail in Hamtramck, awaiting a preliminary hearing that is set for June.
Dateline: Secrets in the Suburbs airs at 10 p.m. Friday on Local 4.