Mich. bondage "master" gets life in prison in wife's death

DETROIT - Calling him a "master of manipulation," a judge sentenced a former Rotary Club president to life in prison Thursday for arranging his wife's killing, so he could devote more time to cavorting with other women who shared his love for sexual bondage and domination.

"You lived in two worlds," Wayne County Judge Vonda Evans told Bob Bashara. "Light - your family, community and friends. And darkness where your lies were your truth and your truth was a lie. ... I have no mercy for you."

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Bob Bashara booking photo Booking photo/CBS Detroit
Bashara, 57, known as "Master Bob," repeatedly declared his innocence. He crossed himself and dabbed his eyes as Jane Bashara's sister and mother spoke about the pain they've experienced in the three years since Jane was found dead in her Mercedes-Benz in a Detroit alley, miles from the couple's home in Grosse Pointe Park.

It initially appeared that the marketing executive had been targeted at random. But the investigation soon revealed that was not the case. Prosecutors said Bob Bashara coerced a handyman with a low IQ to strangle his wife in the family garage and to abandon the body in Detroit.

It turned out that Bashara was living a double life - a Rotary president and son of a late judge who dabbled in bondage and domination in a sex dungeon under a bar called the Hard Luck Lounge.

Jurors heard from Bashara's mistress as well as other women from Oregon and Chicago.

"Master Bob - master of manipulation," the judge told Bashara in a mocking tone.

Bashara, however, was defiant at the hearing, declaring, "I loved my Jane dearly."

"I will never stop fighting for justice and truth until my hands are raw, blood comes from my eyes and I take my last breath," he said in court. "I am innocent of anything to do with my wife's" death.