Confronting the psychopath

Last month, Bob Bashara, 57, of Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of his wife.

Jane Bashara, 56, was beaten and strangled in January 2012. Her body was discovered in her Mercedes SUV parked in a Detroit alley, far from the family’s upper-class neighborhood.

While Jane Bashara worked, earning four times as much money as her husband, Bob Bashara acted like the civic-minded “Mayor of Middlesex,” which was the name of the street they lived on.

But he had a secret live of BDSM bondage, discipline, sadomasochism and had sex with multiple women in a basement dungeon.

Prosecutors alleged that Bob Bashara lured his mentally challenged former handyman, Joseph Gentz, to kill his wife. His goal was to inherit her money.

Bob Bashara claimed he was innocent.

Read more about this sensational case:

Bob Bashara guilty of killing wife in trial that exposed his secret S&M lifestyle, on People.com.

Jury finds Bob Bashara guilty of first-degree murder, on Freep.com.

Judge lambasts Bob Bashara

Bob Bashara was sentenced for the murder on Jan. 15, 2015. During the sentencing, Judge Vonda Evans, the victim’s mother, Lorraine Engelbrecht, and the victim’s sister, Julie Rowe, all told Bob Bashara exactly what they thought of him.

Watch videos of both the judge’s statement and Julie Rowe’s statement on this page:

Judge to Bashara: You destroyed Jane, only loved yourself, on Freep.com.

Judge Evans starts out by blaming Bob Bashara’s behavior on his upbringing. I don’t know all the testimony in the case, but this is probably at least partially correct, because psychopathy results from a mixture of genetics and childhood experience.

Evans said about his mother, “She loved you, but she didn’t know how to train you to be a man.” Instead, the judge said, Bob Bashara’s mother trained his sister, cousin, aunt and wife to cater to him.

Then Judge Evans really got rolling in her criticism of Bob Bashara. She made dramatic statements like the following:

“The only person you ever loved was yourself.”

“When your victims put their guards down and trusted you, you sucked them emotionally like a vampire.”

“You are a predator who sized up your prey. They longed for love. You just want to control.”

“You used their love and sacrifices as weapons against them.”

“Your love was a cancer, terminal and destructive.”

Victim’s mother and sister speak

The victim’s mother, Lorraine Engelbrecht, said, “Every day I live, I want to think about your rotting in jail and someday burning in hell.”

Julie Rowe, Jane Bashara’s sister, read a victim impact statement.

“Bob lied to all of us,” she said. “Bob manipulated all of us. Bob utterly betrayed all of us.”

“We ask those in power to never forget the depth of Bob’s betrayals and crimes, to never believe a word that comes out of his mouth, and to never, ever, let him out of prison.”

“What do you say to someone who doesn’t have a heart? How do you convey the emotion behind such a devastating loss to a psychopath who can’t love, and who doesn’t have the capacity to experience real human emotion.,” Rowe said. “I am fully aware of the fact that anything that I say today will not really be heard by this ridiculous failure of a man.”

The psychopath’s reaction

In the video of Judge Evans’ statement, first you’ll see Bob Bashara saying he didn’t do it.

“I am innocent,” Bob Bashara said. “I had nothing to do with my wife’s death.”

As you watch the video, pay attention to this man’s reaction or lack of reaction. There is no guilt or remorse. His only movements are subtle shakes of his head in disagreement.

Julie Rowe was right. Nothing that was said made any impact on him.

My guess is that the only thing Bob Bashara feels is anger that he’s going to be locked up for the rest of his life.

No effect on the psychopath

This is the part that is truly instructive for Lovefraud readers.

Many of you want closure. You want an opportunity to blast the psychopath, to enumerate his or her crimes and transgressions.

You want to make the psychopath understand how you feel, how devastated you are by his or her betrayal, deceit and manipulation. You want the psychopath to know how much you are suffering.

As you can see from these videos, the psychopath will not care.

Jane Bashara’s family did get their day in court. The murderer was convicted and is going to prison.

Bob Bashara was forced to sit and listen as his wife’s family had their say.

It had absolutely no effect on him.

Confrontation exercise

So when you feel the need to blast the psychopath, I have a suggestion: Do it “in absentia.”

Imagine that you’re going to have the opportunity to face the predator in court and make a victim impact statement. Think of everything you want to say. Perhaps even write it all out to read, as you would in court.

Then plan a “hearing.” The only people present will be you and your mental image of the psychopath, or perhaps a photo of him or her.

Read your statement to the psychopath. If you get emotional, that’s fine. Let your anger and tears flow. The more pain you can get out of your system, the better.

You may never get the opportunity to confront the psychopath in person. This exercise will probably be better anyway, for several reasons:

1. You will speak your mind, without the psychopath attacking you, twisting your words, and pulling you back into the web.

2. You will not see his or her real reaction, which would likely be contempt.

3. You can, if you want, imagine that he or she really does hear your words and expresses remorse.

The objective of this exercise is to help in your own recovery. Like in the case of Bob Bashara, nothing you say will make a differenced to the psychopath. But perhaps your confrontation “in absentia” will give yourself closure.


Comment on this article

26 Comments on "Confronting the psychopath"

Notify of

I have learned not to engage in my husbands attempts to fight with me and control my movements. I make no personal comments to him as that would be giving him power to engage me. He left our marriage bed over a year ago (again).I know he is a sociopath, I know he has no concern for my well being (or really anyone else’s except his oldest son), I know he will never change as I have made numerous efforts to save our marriage over the last 6 years without success. It finally hit me to get the hell out of this marriage. Let’s just hope I come out in one piece. It’s unfortunate I have only two friends who are sympathetic. The marriage counselors (3 over 4 years!) were fooled by his “charm and sense of humor”; the police say there’s nothing they can do when he goes off yelling, cursing and breaking my belongings unless he physically attacks me (he’s too smart for that!). I’m appreciative for this web site and all the information as it helps me with strategy to file for divorce and get away from him. But really……….I’m on my own.

When in the middle of the nightmare, it does feel like we’re on our own. And in practice, we are. But it is scary how similar so many of our stories are. There are different M.O’s of sociopaths but so much is PREDICTABLE. You are FAR ahead of others in that you recognize the concept of not engaging, that everything they say is a lie or a truth to set up a scam. And that NOTHING we do will “save our marriage”.

If you have children, this site becomes even more valuable. There’s a section on how to parent the atrisk child.

You sounds so much more together than I was at your stage. I predict VERY good things for your future.

Being on my own is the hardest part. Because this is too difficult to explain and I end up seemingly the problem because as soon as anyone says well your allowing him to do it, It causes an overwhelming amount for a variety of emotions, helplessness, anger, fear for just the ones off the top of my head.

Sociopaths are masters of spin. People who have never been victimized have a hard time wrapping their heads around the destruction a sociopath causes because so many sociopaths are subtle in their manipulations. Come here to vent and tell your story, because you will find many people who have been through the exact same thing or something very similar.

The important thing is to watch out for yourself. Go No Contact and keep it up. The longer you are away from the manipulator the clearer your thinking will be. Prepare yourself for a smear campaign. You may have to cut loose friends and even family that take the sociopath’s side in order to protect yourself. Depending on how much effort the sociopath wants to put in keeping you or destroying you you may be in for a long and ugly battle.


I would be empowered by hearing more examples of those subtle manipulations — to the extent they can be said without re-triggering injury.

The stories on here are full of anecdotes about how the sociopath had pulled a complete scam before the victim or anyone else was wise to it.

Subtle manipulation can be in the form of backhanded compliments that build on themselves to tear a victims self image to shreds. It can be word salad arguments that the victim knows are wrong but can’t quite explain why. It can be false expressions of concern to friends and family that paint a portrait of the victim as crazy or greedy or abusive. The subtle manipulation damages the victim in ways you can’t quite put your finger on while maintaining the sociopath’s façade as a wonderful person.


Send this to a friend