Labyrinth built for Jane Engelbrecht Bashara

Bob Bashara seeks new trial

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 29, 2015

 Bob Bashara took the stand Oct. 15 in 3rd Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans’ courtroom to argue that he should get a new trial.

Bob Bashara took the stand Oct. 15 in 3rd Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans’ courtroom to argue that he should get a new trial.

File photo by Deb Jacques

DETROIT/GROSSE POINTES — As her husband — former Grosse Pointe Park businessman Robert “Bob” Bashara — continues his fight for a new trial after being convicted of orchestrating her murder, family and friends of the late Jane Engelbrecht Bashara found a way in 2015 to permanently honor her memory.

The successful marketing executive, devoted mother and community volunteer — who was murdered Jan. 24, 2012, at the age of 56 — was known as a supportive friend and mentor, so it’s fitting that she inspired Jane’s Walk GP, a labyrinth built in her memory at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Grosse Pointe Woods. It was dedicated June 14, just shy of what would have been her 60th birthday on June 22. Open to anyone, the labyrinth is a quiet, peaceful place where people can walk and reflect. Jane Engelbrecht Bashara was an active member of St. Michael’s, and her friends and fellow parishioners are among the many who raised funds to build it. Jane’s Walk GP is located on the church’s front lawn on Sunningdale Drive, and walkers can park on Sunningdale to stroll the labyrinth at any time. 

The labyrinth project “started because many of us who knew and loved Jane wanted to do something in her memory,” said Kathie Groschner, a member of the Jane’s Walk GP Committee, this past summer. “Jane was a doer and a person who was full of love and freely gave love to others. … Walking the labyrinth is a way to gain peace and guidance. We hope Jane’s Walk will inspire peace and giving in the community.”

To donate for plantings and other aspects of the labyrinth, click on the e-giving link at www.janeswalkgp.org, or send a check payable to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, with Jane’s Walk GP in the memo line, to the church at 20475 Sunningdale Park, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236. For more information, visit the website or the Facebook page, email janeswalkgp@gmail.com or call (313) 886-9547.

“Our hope is that the labyrinth will draw people to walk its path,” said the Rev. Marianna Gronek, the rector at St. Michael’s, this summer. “A labyrinth brings peace and contemplation. It allows us to shed our worries.”

In December 2014, a Wayne County jury found Bob Bashara, 58, guilty of first-degree murder and other charges in his wife’s slaying. Police and prosecutors said Bashara hired former Grosse Pointe Park handyman Joseph Gentz to commit the murder because Bashara wanted to start a new life with his mistress, Rachel Gillett, who shared his interest in BDSM, which stands for bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism. Bashara, who has insisted he had nothing to do with his wife’s murder, is trying to get a new trial, arguing that his attorneys provided inadequate counsel. He currently is serving a life sentence at the Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee. An evidentiary hearing to determine if Bashara should get a new trial was slated, at press time, to continue at 9 a.m. Feb. 11 in front of 3rd Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans. The evidentiary hearing started in September 2015 and has included testimony from Bashara himself, who never took the stand during his murder trial.