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Bashara sent message to girlfriend as family mourned

George Hunter
The Detroit News


Robert Bashara

Detroit — Days after Jane Bashara was killed, with mourners milling inside the victim's house, her husband asked his friend for a favor: Contact his girlfriend and tell her he loved her.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey on Tuesday questioned Richard Falcinelli, the only witness of the day, about Robert Bashara's request.

"So before the defendant buried his wife, he asked you to contact Rachel Gillett," Lindsey said to Falcinelli, who was known in the bondage, discipline and sadomasochistic lifestyle Bashara was into as "Sir Rick" and "Midnight Rider."

Falcinelli acknowledged Bashara had asked him to relay the message and to "maintain the status quo," and that he complied.

Falcinelli was the 50th witness to take the stand since the trial began last month. Bashara is accused of hiring his handyman, Joseph Gentz, to kill his wife so he could live his BDSM lifestyle full time with Gillett, his longtime girlfriend.

Bashara is charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded guilty to trying to have Gentz killed in jail and is serving up to 20 years in prison.

Also Tuesday, Falcinelli said there was a dispute between Bashara and Jane Bashara's family over her ashes. He said he took the urn and stored it in a bag in his basement near a box full of Bashara's sex toys.

Falcinelli began testifying Monday and said Bashara gave him power of attorney, and he sold the Bashara house in Grosse Pointe Park for $325,000.

Falcinelli said he's known Bashara for 10 to 12 years from the BDSM scene. He said he was more upset with how the lifestyle was portrayed in the media than Jane's killing.

"It was very one-sided," he said. "I wanted to stop some of the ... vitriol that was said about the lifestyle. More so than the murder, because I didn't have much to do with that."

Gillett eventually took out a personal protection order against Bashara, but while in jail for trying to have Gentz killed, Bashara asked Falcinelli to contact her.

Gillett had changed her screen name on the BDSM website fetlife.com to "Cat Purr." On Tuesday, several jailhouse phone calls were played in which Bashara asked his friend to contact "Cat Purr," although Falcinelli said he didn't comply.

Bashara also asked his friend to set up a profile for him on fetlife.com.

"I wouldn't do that in a million years," Falcinelli said. "That was a stupid idea."

ghunter@detroitnews.com

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