‘A mountain of evidence’: Boston 25 Legal Analyst Peter Elikann discusses Brian Walshe’s arraignment

BOSTON — A “mountain” of evidence is stacked against Ana’s husband, who prosecutors say dismembered his wife to conceal her alleged murder, according to Boston 25 Legal Analyst Peter Elikann. Evidence includes blood in his car, a hacksaw uncovered in a Peabody transfer station and a series of incriminating google searches.

“I always hate to declare somebody guilty at the very beginning because we’ve all seen cases where it looks like they’ve got somebody nailed cold and as time goes by, it turns out they’re not,” explained Elikann. “Having said that, this is looking like an overwhelming case at this point. They said they found her blood on all these objects, materials they said they saw him trying to get rid of. He was immediately online during the crucial hours, [googling] ‘how do you dispose of a dead body?’ ‘how do you get blood off a wooden floor?’

“It seems like at this moment, a mountain of evidence against him,” said Elikann.

After the alleged murder of Ana, Brian took to the internet and searched for the following things, the prosecutor said during the court hearing:

  • “Can ID be made on partial remains?”
  • “Best ways to dispose of a body?”
  • “What happens when you put body parts in ammonia”
  • “Can you be charged with murder without a body?”
  • “How long before a body starts to smell?”
  • “How to embalm a body?”
  • “How to get blood out of a wooden floor?”
  • “Hacksaw-- best tool to dismember?”
  • “Can baking soda make a body smell good?”
  • “10 ways to dispose of a body if you really need to?”

Elikann does not believe Walshe premeditated or planned the murder. Before Ana was reported missing by Brian, investigators say he was seen on video at the Home Depot in Rockland wearing a black surgical mask, and blue surgical gloves making a cash transaction. He is said to have purchased a tarp, mops, tape, and other cleaning supplies.

Elikann calls Walshe’s decision to lie to investigators about his whereabouts during Ana’s disappearance a sign of ineptitude.

“Why would he suddenly start looking up how to dispose of a body?” asked Elikann. “Why would he be so foolish to tell investigators ‘Oh I just left my house today just for a few minutes to get ice cream for my son.’ Meanwhile, they have him at Home Depot buying mops and cleaning materials. It’s as if he didn’t plan in advance.”

Ana spent New Year’s Eve with her husband and three kids at their Cohasset home. The prosecutor said her phone turned off at 3:14 a.m. New Year’s Day.

She was supposed to go to Logan Airport early New Year’s Day around 4:30 a.m. to head to her second residence in Washington D.C., where she spent weekdays working as a regional general manager for the real estate company Tishman Speyer.

Police said Brian first told investigators that she potentially took a rideshare service to Logan. However, police never found any evidence that she made it to the airport and her cellphone, credit, and debit cards had been inactive since her disappearance.

Cohasset police and state police combed the woods around the Walshe’s home on Jan. 6 and later returned with a search warrant for inside the home less than 48 hours later. Prosecutors say that search led to the discovery of a blood-covered knife in the basement of the home.

Subsequent clues uncovered by investigators led them to the North Shore, where a hacksaw was found at a transfer station in Peabody.

Walshe spent time at a physiatrist in-patient center during his sophomore year of college. Federal court documents in connection with Walshe’s selling of fraudulent paintings detail Walshe’s fraught relationship with his parents.

According to Walshe’s treating psychiatrist, Dr. Tittmann, “Brian felt neglected, unloved, and emotionally damaged from being used as a pawn by his parents in their acrimonious marital relationship.”

Elikann wouldn’t be surprised if Walshe’s legal team leans on their client’s mental health history in their defense.

“If they truly can’t defend that this didn’t happen, that he didn’t kill her, I think they’d be looking to some kind of diminished capacity,” explains Elikann. “One of the problems is though, the insanity defense hardly ever works. It works once in a while but juries basically hate it, they don’t buy it. And the fact that he had the wherewithal to be going from place to place, trying to cover up and the scheming, calculating, it’s really pretty hard.”

A longtime friend of Brian Walshe’s late father called Walshe a “con artist,” and told Boston 25 News Walshe swindled his own father out of a large sum of cash.

“I think though there very well could be some mental health issue going on,” said Elikann “I think his defense team will be leaving no stone unturned.”

During a January 6 news conference regarding Ana’s disappearance, Cohasset Police Chief Bill Quigley told the press they were treating Ana’s disappearance as a missing person and that Brian Walshe was fully cooperating with the investigation.

“If I had to speculate here I would say [that was] absolutely a tactic,” said Elikann. “When someone is missing or they suspect there is a homicide, the first place you always look is the significant other, a family member or a friend. Very few people are killed by strangers in this country. I think they were biding their time, dotting their I’s, crossing every T. They were methodically trying to put this case together.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW

Comments on this article