The husband of Ana Walshe, a mother who disappeared in Massachusetts, was denounced for threatening to kill her and a friend in 2014
(CNN) — As a wide-ranging investigation into Ana Walshe’s disappearance unfolds, new documents reveal the mother-of-three told police her husband, Brian Walshe, threatened to kill her and a friend before the couple were married.
Ana Walshe, who has been missing since Año Nuevo, reported the death threat in 2014 and told police that someone told her over the phone that he was “going to kill (her) and her friend,” according to an incident report from the Washington Metropolitan Police Department obtained by CNN.
The police department confirmed that Brian Walshe was the person involved in the complaint, which was filed by Ana Walshe—then Ana Knipp—when she lived in Washington.
The case was later closed because the victim refused to cooperate with the prosecution, police told CNN.
CNN has reached out to Brian Walshe’s attorney for consultation on the matter.
Since Ana Walshe, 39, was reported missing by coworkers on January 4, authorities in the small coastal enclave of Cohasset, Massachusetts, have accused her husband of providing a false timeline of his actions surrounding the disappearance. , arguing that this was intended to hinder his investigation.
Brian Walshe told police that he last saw his wife on the morning of January 1 when she left for a flight to Washington, and that he spent the next two days running errands for his mother and spending time with their children. , according to a police affidavit. But police say he lied about the errands, and prosecutors say he was seen the next day at a Home Depot paying cash for about $450 worth of cleaning supplies.
The 47-year-old man was arrested Sunday on the charge of misleading investigators, to which he pleaded not guilty.
A tumultuous court record and a violent past
Reports surfaced this week about Brian Walshes’ tumultuous judicial past and aspects of his personality. Walshe was described by relatives and family friends as a hot-tempered and dishonest person who had conned his father, Dr. Thomas Walshe, out of money, after which he had been disinherited, according to affidavits filed during a 2019 dispute over the estate of Walshe. his father.
“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.
Investigators found potentially daunting evidence during their search: 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.
a radiant spirit
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 and Eric Levenson contributed reporting.