As they search for Ana Walshe, a missing mother in Massachusetts, documents reveal her husband’s tumultuous court record and violent past.
(CNN) — Days after the husband of missing Massachusetts woman Ana Walshe was arrested on charges of misleading investigators, details of his tumultuous court record are beginning to emerge.
Brian Walshe, 47, was described by relatives and family friends as a quick-tempered and dishonest man who had conned his father, Dr. Thomas Walshe, out of money and was disinherited, according to affidavits filed during a dispute. in 2019 about his father’s inheritance.
“Brian is not a trustworthy person and his affidavit is based on lies and misrepresentations,” wrote Jeffrey Ornstein, who said he was a close friend of the father and had shared a room with Brian Walshe. Ornstein also wrote that Brian Walshe was “diagnosed as a sociopath” and that he had been a long-time patient at a mental hospital in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Brian Walshe is “a very angry and violent person,” Dr. Fred Pescatore, who said he was a long-time friend of the late father, wrote in his affidavit. He also pointed out that the estrangement between father and son was because “Brian was a sociopath.”
CNN has contacted current and former attorneys for Brian Walshe, but has not received a response.
The harsh criticism gives more information about the man, while investigators continue to search for his wife, Ana Walshe, who has not been seen since the beginning of the year. The mother-of-three was reported missing by her workplace on January 4, but an exhaustive two-day search of the small seaside town of Cohasset, Massachusetts, has yet to turn up any signs of her.
Brian Walshe told police that he last saw his wife on January 1, when she boarded a flight to Washington, saying he spent the next day running errands and with their children. However, investigators claim that he provided an intentionally false timeline of her actions that made the search difficult. Walshe later pleaded not guilty to the charge of misleading investigators.
Investigators found potentially grim evidence: blood and a bloody knife in the basement of the family home, according to prosecutors; Brian Walshe’s internet logs showing searches on how to dismember and dispose of a dead body, according to law enforcement sources; and a saw and apparent blood stains at a garbage collection site, according to police sources.
More details also emerged about the woman at the center of the mystery, Ana Walshe, mother of three children between the ages of 2 and 6.
She was “an absolutely radiant spirit, the kind of person that when you walk into a room, you just feel her energy,” Pamela Bardhi, a friend, told CNN on Thursday. “She’s a brilliant businesswoman and what I call a supermom.”
Ana Walshe would commute from Cohasset to Washington during the week for her real estate work at Tishman Speyer and then return home on the weekends, Bardhi said.
“For as long as I’ve known her, she was a powerful businesswoman,” Bardhi says. “She never talked about anything personal. She never talked about pain. She didn’t talk much about her husband. Everything revolved around her kids, her business, her promotions, and how she could help other people.” .
“Personally, I never saw any indication of problems at home,” he added.
They reveal the legal history of the husband
Brian Walshe’s legal record includes the unsuccessful fight over his father’s will, as well as federal fraud charges.
His father, who headed the neurology division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston for more than a decade, died in 2018 in India, according to court documents.
Dr. Walshe left Brian only his “best wishes” and “nothing else” from his estate, noting that he was no longer in contact with his son, according to photographs of the will included in court documents.
However, Brian Walshe opposed his father’s decision in an affidavit in November 2019, arguing that he was “one of only two legal heirs” to his father’s estate. He said his father’s health was “very poor” when he signed what Brian described as a “suspicious” will, and suggested that his father’s signature on the document had possibly been “forged.”
He also claimed that he and his father had been estranged for years, but had “reconnected” in 2015 and began “talking regularly” in 2016. He also claimed that the two estates linked to the estate had an estimated value of more than a a million dollars.
In affidavits rejecting those claims, his father’s nephew and friends detailed years of alleged scamming and manipulation by Brian Walshe.
“My uncle’s will confirms what he has told many people over the years: that he did not want his son Brian to inherit any of his estate,” wrote Andrew Walshe, executor and one of Dr. Walshe’s nephews. in an affidavit.
“Brian had absconded with a significant amount of his money; he had had almost no contact with Brian R. Walshe in the last 10+ years,” Andrew Walshe added.
In a separate case, Brian Walshe was indicted on federal fraud charges in 2018 for allegedly selling fake Andy Warhol artwork on eBay, according to court documents.
He allegedly took real paintings from a friend to sell, but never did, according to the documents. He also did not compensate the friend for the art, prosecutors alleged.
In 2021, he pleaded guilty to three federal fraud counts and was under house arrest and under surveillance awaiting sentencing.
In a letter to the federal judge handling the case, Walshe said he was “extremely sorry” for his past conduct and vowed that it had changed since the crime was committed. Ana Walshe also wrote a letter to the court in which she was grateful that he could be placed under house arrest during the proceedings of the case.
The disappearance of the wife is “suspicious”, according to the prosecutor
Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said Tuesday that police were searching areas north of Boston on Monday in the “suspicious disappearance” of Ana Walshe.
“A number of items” were picked up in the searches and were sent for analysis, the district attorney said in a statement. He did not give details of the items.
Law enforcement sources told CNN on Tuesday that investigators searching through trash at a Peabody, Massachusetts, station found materials that may be related to the case, including a hacksaw, torn cloth material and what appear to be stains of blood.
Crime scene tape was also placed around dumpsters in a tenement building near the home of Brian Walshe’s mother in Swampscott, about 15 miles north of Boston, the source told CNN. Brian Walshe told police he went to visit his mother on Jan. 1, the day he told police he last saw his wife, according to the affidavit.
But police allege that many of the statements Brian Walshe made to investigators are “false.”
Brian Walshe said he last saw his wife on the morning of Jan. 1, when she told him she needed to fly to Washington for a work emergency, according to a police affidavit.
However, investigators found no evidence that his wife shared the usual commute to the airport or caught a flight that day. Her phone also showed activity near the home on January 1 and 2, according to prosecutor Lynn Beland.
Walshe also made several unreported trips the week of his wife’s disappearance, according to the affidavit, including a visit to Home Depot where he was caught on surveillance camera wearing a surgical mask and surgical gloves and making a cash purchase. At Monday’s hearing, prosecutors alleged that he spent about $450 on cleaning supplies, including mops, a bucket and tarps.
Law enforcement sources told CNN that investigators hope to collect blood samples from the couple’s children in order to have a “direct bloodline” sample to compare with traces of blood found in the couple’s basement.
Brian Walshe is being held on $500,000 bail and is due to appear again in court on February 9.
— John Miller, Elizabeth Wolfe and Jason Carroll contributed to this reporting.