Several intriguing details came out of Brian Walshe’s first court appearance following his arrest for the murder of his missing wife.
At a recent hearing in Quincy District Court, Walshe pleaded not guilty to charges such as assault with intent to murder and unlawfully moving and handling a dead body. He’s been held on $500,000 bail after being charged with misleading authorities in this case, namely what his wife Ana Walshe was doing Jan. 1, the day she disappeared. Her body has yet to be found.
The hearing was a minefield of information. Law&Crime correspondent Sierra Gillespie, who was in the Massachusetts courtroom, shared insight in an extended interview on the Sidebar podcast.
Constant eye contact
The hearing was about 15 minutes, and Walshe stood the entire time with his hands cuffed in front of him. Gillespie said she made note of the defendant’s reaction as prosecutors listed what they said was the incriminating evidence. “He just kept eye contact with them the entire time, staring at prosecutors,” she said.
“He was asked one or two questions from the judge, and he spoke very confidently, saying he’s pleading not guilty,” Gillespie reported. “But that stare is really what caught my eye as he was just listening very, very intently.”
Incriminating internet searches
Prosecutors went over more than a dozen of Walshe’s alleged internet searches, many of which Gillespie called “red flags.” In one December search, Walshe allegedly looked up “What’s the best state to divorce for a man?”
In January, prosecutors said the searches become more pointed: how to stop a body from smelling, the top ten ways to dispose of a body.
The prosecutor alleged that Walshe looked “into information about formaldehyde, how to clean up blood off a wooden floor, how to identify a body if the teeth are gone. How long does DNA last?” Gillespie recounted. “Many that I can’t even remember because there were so many of them.”
Ahead of the hearing, surveillance video allegedly showed Walshe at a dumpster within his mother’s apartment complex, about an hour north of where he lives. After recovering and testing the trash, investigators found a bloody hacksaw, Gillespie said.
“They found ten garbage bags with stains consistent with blood on them. They found Ana Walsh’s COVID 19 vaccination card,” she continued. “They found a lot of evidence in that way. So I think that hacksaw one is really important to pay attention to.”
Told police he hadn’t seen his wife in days
It was originally reported that both Walshe and his wife’s employer reported her missing on Jan. 4. In the hearing, it was revealed that only Ana Walshe’s employer reached out to authorities, leading them to Walshe’s home for a wellness check. That was when Walshe said he hadn’t seen his wife in a couple days, “a very interesting point to note,” Gillespie said.
Credit card history abruptly ends
On Jan. 1, the day Ana Walshe planned to leave her home in Cohasset for the Boston Logan Airport to catch a plane to Washington, D.C., her credit card activity ceased.
“This is the last day that Brian Walshe told authorities that she was last seen,” Gillespie said. “No more credit card activity for Ana Walshe.”
No update on remains
“Prosecutors didn’t indicate any information about whether they had some form of remains in custody,” Gillespie reported. “The only thing we can think moving forward is that maybe they have this information already and they’re keeping it close to the vest as they move forward with court proceedings and eventually a trial. Or, maybe they haven’t even found her remains at all and they’re still searching.”
Response from Walshe attorney
Walshe is now being held without bail in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, and he’s set to appear in court on Feb. 8 for a status hearing. He’s pleaded not guilty to these charges and the initial charges of misleading police and the investigation.
“No idea on any sort of alibi, though,” Gillespie said. “So hopefully then we can learn even more about this very twisted case.”
Tracy Miner, Walshe’s attorney, doesn’t appear to think the case is as strong as the current evidence supposes.
“My experience, where as here, the prosecution leaks so-called evidence to the press before they provide it to me, their case isn’t that strong,” Miner said in a statement. “When they have a strong case, they give me everything as soon as possible. We shall see what they have and what evidence is admissible in court where the case will ultimately be decided, although it is probably fruitless.”
Note: An earlier version of this article wrote Brian Walshe’s alleged December search as “the best state to divorce a man.” It should have been written, “What’s the best state to divorce for a man?”
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