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Brian Walshe Charged With Murdering His Missing Wife; Prosecutor: Brian Walshe Googled "Best Ways To Dispose Of A Body" After Wife Went Missing; Ana Walshe's Husband Accused Of Murder. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired January 18, 2023 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Welcome to a Special Edition of 360, "What happened to Ana?"
Everything that we have learned, after a harrowing day, in court, about what prosecutors believe happened, to the Massachusetts mother, of three young children, who's been missing, since the New Year; what was done to her, they say, by her husband, Brian, who was arraigned, today, on a charge, of murder, and the chilling details, of the alleged research, he did, on disposing of bodies.
In the hour ahead, some of the knowledgeable experts, on Police procedure, forensic science, and trying criminal cases, on how this case was made, what a trial may look like.
First, CNN's Jason Carroll, from Quincy, Massachusetts, on the horrifying revelation, today, at Brian Walshe's arraignment.
So, talk about the details that were released today, that shed a lot more light, on the timeline, according to authorities of this case.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we definitely learned, Anderson, as you know, a lot more, about the timeline, here, in court, today, much of it linked to those alleged internet searches that Walshe conducted, on December 27th, January 1st, the 2nd and the 4th, internet searches about things such as DNA, divorce, and a decomposing body.
JUDY DOANE, FORMER NEIGHBOR OF WALSHE FAMILY: I think the number one concern is finding Ana, and finding out what happened
CARROLL (voice-over): The timeline, in the mystery, of what happened, to Ana Walshe, spans more than two weeks, starting on New Year's Day. That's when her husband, Brian Walshe, claims she left their Cohasset home, in a rideshare, or taxi, to fly to Washington, D.C., for work.
But prosecutors say there is no evidence Ana got a ride, or went to the airport.
Brian Walshe tells investigators, on this day, he ran errands, for his mother, in a nearby town. But they find no evidence those trips occurred.
Prosecutors, also today, detailing the internet searches, he made, on January 1st; including, at 4:55 AM, "How long before a body starts to smell"; 4:58 AM, "How to stop a body from decomposing"; at 5:20 AM, "How to embalm a body"; at 5:47 AM, "10 ways to dispose of a dead body"; at 6:25 AM, "How long for someone to be missing to inherit"; 9:34 AM, "How long does DNA last"; 9:59 AM, "Can identification be made on partial remains"; 11:34 AM, "Dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body."
January 2nd, prosecutors say Walshe went to a Home Depot, and spent about $450, in cash, on cleaning supplies, like mops, bucket and tarps.
In court, today, prosecutors say, information from Walshe's phone showed that on January 2nd, he also went to a HomeGoods, and purchased three rugs.
There were also more Google searches on January 2nd, according to prosecutors. At 12:45 PM, "Hacksaw best tool to dismember"; at 1:10 PM, "Can you be charged with murder without a body"; at 1:14 P.M., "Can you identify a body with broken teeth?"
January 4th, Ana Walshe's workplace, a D.C. real estate firm, calls Police, to report her missing. A Police log would later confirm the Head of Security at the firm was the first to report her missing to Police, and that her husband has not filed a missing person report on female.
Her friends begin to fear the worst.
PAMELA BARDHI, FORMER COLLEAGUE OF ANA WALSHE: I think something has gone horribly, horribly wrong, when it comes to her.
CARROLL (voice-over): Also, on January 4th, prosecutors today, saying, Walshe went to a HomeGoods, and T.J. Maxx, and bought towels, as well as bathmats, and men's clothing, and also went to Lowe's, and bought squeegees, and a trash can.
January 6th, Police start a massive search in Cohasset.
January 8th, Walshe is charged with misleading investigators.
MICHAEL MORRISSEY, NORFOLK DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Early in this investigation, the police developed probable cause, to believe that her husband, Brian Walshe, age 47, had misled Police investigators, on material matters, important to the search, for Ana Walshe.
CARROLL (voice-over): Walshe is taken into custody, and a not-guilty plea is entered, on his behalf, the next day.
January 9th, prosecutors say investigators recover a bloody knife, in the family basement, also finding a hacksaw, and torn-up pieces of cloth, with apparent bloodstains, at a trash facility; this, according to law enforcement sources.
January 17th, Walshe is charged with his wife's murder.
January 18th, Walshe appears in court, and pleads not guilty to murder. A judge orders him held without bail.
COOPER: Jason, we learned a lot of information, today. I mean, those internet searches are remarkable!
Talk about what happens next.
CARROLL: Well, this is an investigation that's ongoing. So, despite all of the horrific details that we heard, in court, today that you've been listening to, expect to get even more details, about the prosecution's case, as this case proceeds.
And, of course, we're going to learn more about what the defense will be.
We can also tell you that the next court date is scheduled for February 9th.
COOPER: Jason Carroll, thanks very much.
Again, in this hour, we're going to be covering all the aspects of this case. There's so many details that we learned today, a closer look at how the prosecution and defense will likely unfold.
Want to talk about the investigation that's going on, right now. Joining us for that, CNN Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst, John Miller, former Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counterterrorism at the NYPD; also Lawrence Kobilinsky, Forensic Scientist, longtime professor, at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice; former FBI Special Agent and Criminal Profiler, Mary Ellen O'Toole; also Bob Ward, who has been covering this, from the beginning, for Boston 25 News.
John, I mean, let's start - just striking evidence, from court, today. Those Google searches, I mean, Jason Carroll, went through a number of them. But, I mean, they just go on and on and on, "How to clean blood from wooden floor?" "Luminol to detect blood," "Dismemberment," and the "Best ways to dispose of body?"
JOHN MILLER, FORMER NYPD DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INTELLIGENCE & COUNTERTERRORISM, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT & INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: I mean this is an indicator that you had a plan that came after the murder, rather than before the murder, because all of these are not about how to kill your wife. It's about how to cover up the killing of your wife.
COOPER: There were allegedly internet searches before she allegedly disappeared, which indicated trouble in the marriage. MILLER: Well, there was one, a telling one, which was "What's the best date for divorce?" And the answer on the Google search would have been "New Hampshire," which is the next State over Massachusetts, wasn't in the top 10. And that's where he was.
COOPER: You've actually done a number of these searches. During the break, I actually did a number of these searches too. You pointed out, the information he would have gotten, from these searches, was not comforting to him, in this moment, if in fact, he was searching?
MILLER: If you replicate his search terms, using Google, as the search engine, you run into some real challenges.
"How long before a body starts to smell?" 24 hours to three days, depending on temperatures and conditions. "How to stop a body from decomposing?" The answer is enormously complicated, and has to do with injecting fluids, into the veins, far beyond his capability.
But then, right behind that comes, "How long for someone missing to inherit?" Which means - I mean, it's a question about the money, which comes pretty early in this process.
COOPER: Which is interesting, that, in the midst of searching, allegedly searching, all things, about getting rid of a body, he, suddenly was curious, about inheritance!
MILLER: Well, and I mean, the struggle in the Q&A, about this whole thing, over days, has been, we have all of this evidence that's very suggestive, but nothing about motive.
And now, you have two fragments to that. One is divorce, which comes on the 27th, at least three days before they think she was killed. And then, the morning that they think she may have been killed, questions about inheritance.
But one of these questions was "How long does DNA last?" And the answer was "A 1,000 years or 6.8 million years, depending on conditions."
MILLER: So, I think he went into this saying, "I've got to scramble to make this go away."
COOPER: Bob, you've been covering crime, in the Northeast, for almost 30 years. Have you ever seen a collection of evidence quite like this?
BOB WARD, BOSTON 25 NEWS: No, I really wasn't prepared for this level of detail, today. I assumed, going into today's hearing that we would get some information, about why prosecutors thought that Ana Walshe was dead. But yesterday, a judge had actually sealed this case, to preserve evidence, for a grand jury.
So, I wasn't really prepared, I don't think anybody was, for this level of detail, of evidence, to be presented, to this jury, and to the courthouse, I mean. In fact, Tracy Miner, the defense attorney, tried to stop this from happening, saying, "I waive everything. Let's just get to this." And the judge said, "No, I need to hear this." And then it just began!
And you could hear a pin drop, in that courtroom, as the prosecutor just went through, first, these internet searches, and then all the other items that were brought in as well.
It wasn't just the internet searches. We also learned today, they have video surveillance, of Brian Walshe, taking trash bags, down in the towns of Abington and Brockton, and loading them into dumpsters, down there. And the reason we don't have those trash bags, is those bags went to an incinerator, in Southeastern Massachusetts.
We also found out that some of Ana Walshe's personal belongings, including her COVID-19 vaccination card, was, pulled out of a dumpster, on the North Shore of Boston.
Anderson, it was absolutely stunning to hear this level of detail, and then to think that there's even more evidence that we have not heard yet.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, Bob, there's no telling, how much evidence, prosecutors still actually have that they didn't uncover, didn't reveal?
WARD: That's right. And you were just talking about motive. They didn't even go near motive, other than that internet search, about inheritance.
We've been reporting about the prospect of domestic violence here. In 2014, Ana Walshe contacted Police, in D.C., saying that Brian Walshe threatened to kill her, and a friend. And we know with domestic abuse that that escalates over time. That hasn't even been brought in yet.
So, there is still an awful lot to learn here, about what happened, between Brian and Ana Walshe.
COOPER: Professor Kobilinsky, I mean, prosecutors, they've already identified her DNA on, as Bob was saying, a number of items.
Talk more about how investigators continue to analyze forensic evidence that once they've collected it. And what else are they looking for?
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST, PROFESSOR, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Well, they're missing the body. I mean, that's the big question. Where is the body? Where is Ana?
And what they do is they have DNA that can demonstrate that on the bloody broken knife, in the basement, and in the blood that was left in the basement that he failed to clean up, we know that this matches Ana. And so, it's going to be very circumstantial. They found also this bloody rug, in Peabody, at the transfer station, in Peabody, Massachusetts. And that also, that's DNA, it's going to - it comes back to Ana.
So, there's a lot of information about some crime of violence, given hacksaws and hatchets, and $450, to try to clean up the scene. And amateurs don't clean up scenes very well. Professional companies, they exist to clean up crime scenes. So, he's sloppy.
It's an amazing thing, when you put all this together, and look at the Google searches, it's extraordinary. But without the body, it's a challenge, but they certainly can get a conviction for - if not first degree, then second degree murder, even without a body.
COOPER: Well, I mean, John, that's one of the things, when he did the Google search, about - I want to get the actual wording - about "Can you be charged with murder without a body?" That was a Google search, on January 2nd, at 1:10 PM, right after "Hacksaw best tool to dismember."
The answer, I Google that, is "Yes, you can be charged."
MILLER: And the answer in Massachusetts is the first case that the State of Massachusetts did, a murder case, without a body, a husband kills a wife, is right there, in Norfolk County, in the town of Quincy. The trial, I think, was in 2003. The murder was in 1998. But it's a husband, who borrows a saw, does a bunch of things, to cover up evidence.
And it was - you face two things, Anderson, going into a case like that. One is circumstantial evidence. And the other is the double jeopardy factor, which is if you get it wrong, the first time, and you find the body a year later, you can't go back on it.
So, prosecutors weigh these very carefully. In this case, part of what they're doing is fronting what appears to be somewhat overwhelming circumstantial evidence.
COOPER: Mary Ellen, there is another kind of evidence that you think is important, pattern evidence. Can you just talk about that, what that means?
MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT - PROFILER, DIRECTOR, FORENSIC SCIENCE PROGRAM AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY: Sure. Pattern evidence has to do with a victim's pattern of behavior.
So, you're looking at, for example, in a missing person's case, an adult can go voluntarily missing. That's not a criminal act. However, if there's going to be a prosecution, without a body, they have to establish the fact that the person did go missing, and that the person is dead, and that the cause of their death is homicide.
Part of what they're going to look at, to establish that is, to say, "How often is this person on the phone? How often do they call home? How often do they post on social media?" And then all of a sudden, all of those contacts just stop, abruptly. That lends itself to the idea that this person didn't voluntarily go missing. This person is likely dead, and the cause of death is homicide, or manner of death is homicide.
So, again, they have to establish the fact that "Here is somebody that's vibrant, communicates all the time, 24/7. And now, it just stops," consistent with the timing for example, of the internet searches.
COOPER: Bob? Has there been a murder, in Quincy, recently?
WARD: Right. Well, yes, yes.
COOPER: Other than this case?
WARD: Yes, yes. There are murders, in Quincy, absolutely. But nothing on the scale of - this murder happened in Cohasset, allegedly, in Cohasset. But he had his appearance, across the street from me, right here, in Quincy District Court.
But Norfolk County does not have its share of homicides, as Suffolk County, which is where Boston is, and some of the more urban areas are. But there are some significant heinous crimes that take place, in this county.
And the other case that you were talking about, 20 years ago, with Joseph Romano, this is eerily similar, dismemberment, taking the wife's body parts, putting them into trash bags, loading them, into a trash compactor, and out to a landfill, someplace, it's eerily similar to what happened here, allegedly.
John Miller is going to be with us, throughout the hour.
Lawrence Kobilinsky, Mary Ellen O'Toole, Bob Ward, thank you so much, really appreciate it.
Just ahead, we'll have more, on the case that the prosecution intends to make, and have the defense may answer it. Joined next by a former top Boston Police official, and former Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley.
Also later, the answers that history, and historic cases provide, to the question of why husbands kill, and how they get caught.
COOPER: Our 360 Special Report, "What Happened to Ana?" continues tonight, with the question, what happens if and when this goes to trial, where prosecutors go from here? Also, how does the defense attorney answer some of the allegations, leveled today, against Brian Walshe? After the arraignment, defense attorney, Tracy Miner, put out a statement, quoting from it now, "In my experience," she says "Where, as here, the prosecution leaks so called evidence to the press before they provide it to me, their case isn't that strong."
The statement continues, quote, "It is easy to charge a crime and even easier to say a person committed that crime. It is a much more difficult thing to prove it, which we will see if the prosecution can do."
So, what will the defense case look like? Want to take a look at that as well as how the prosecution might present theirs.
First, we'll focus on the prosecution.
Joining me now is John Miller; and former Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley; also CNN Senior Legal Analyst, and former federal prosecutor, Elie Honig; also Daniel Linskey, former Superintendent-in-Chief of the Boston Police Department.
Martha Coakley, appreciate you being with us again.
What do you make of that statement that we just read, from the defense, asserting that the prosecution has been leaking information, on the case, to the press, because the case isn't that strong?
MARTHA COAKLEY, FORMER MASSACHUSETTS ATTORNEY GENERAL: So, Tracy Miner is an excellent and experienced defense lawyer. I actually worked with her many, many years ago, in a firm.
But I think that to the extent she's pointed out a problem that the prosecution may have, at the moment, which is what did happen, between 1:00 and 1:30, on January 1st, and when Brian Walshe started making all of those searches, online?
Because, as many of the speakers, today, and tonight, on your show, even have noted, most of those go to "How do you get rid of a body? What do I have to do around a stench," et cetera, et cetera. They do not go to motive, or intent, or planning before.
And that's where, if you wanted to prove a first degree murder case, or even a second degree murder case, you have to prove some kind of premeditation and intent to kill.
We don't know what the cause of death was. What's the - we can say homicide, and the D.A. believes that there's probably evidence of a homicide. But we don't know what that is. If someone points a gun, and pulls the trigger, you can deem that's an intentional, premeditated murder. But we just don't know.
And so, that will be one place, the defense will go, about what evidence they have. Sure, there's a lot. But what don't they have, right now?
Elie, I mean, looking at the prosecution's case, what do you think they're trying to establish, right now?
ELIE HONIG, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NY, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So, first of all, the Google searches are just unbelievably incriminating! They're right out of a horror movie!
I mean, judges have this standard instruction that they'll give juries. They'll say, "Science has not yet invented a way to look into the human mind." That's the instruction. But I'll tell you, looking at someone's Google search history is darn close!
And this is as incriminating as it gets. This is more incriminating than a confession, really, because confession sometimes people don't tell the full truth. They hedge. They fudge. I mean, this tells you exactly what he's thinking.
But the key issue, for prosecutors, here, is going to be proving some sort of premeditation, some sort of deliberation, in advance. As Attorney General Coakley said, it's only going to be second degree, if you can't show that premeditation in advance. And that is where I think the defense is going to focus.
COOPER: Daniel Linskey, I mean, initially, law enforcement said that Walshe was cooperating, in the investigation. Of course, now they allege he was lying to them.
Do you think the prosecution will find whatever Walshe was saying, back then, helpful, in building their case against him?
DANIEL LINSKEY, FORMER SUPERINTENDENT-IN-CHIEF, BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: As long as he was talking to them, Anderson, he was helping them build a case.
If he was telling them information that was truthful, they would have been able to verify that and alibi him up.
The more he talked, and the more he gave them fraudulent information, bad information? He painted himself into a corner that allowed prosecutors to focus on his actions and activities, and essentially start looking at him, as the primary suspect, in this case.
COOPER: Daniel, I mean, as someone, who's been in law enforcement, for a long time, you've seen a lot. Have you - what do you - what's - is this - I mean, have you ever seen Google searches like this?
LINSKEY: I've seen similar Google searches, not quite this intense, and this, in time. This is very damning evidence.
But as Attorney General Coakley said, all we know is that he was looking at how to get rid of a body, it appeared, right? That's the allegations, and that's what the prosecutor is alleging here.
But the body could have, you know, there could have been an argument, she could have fallen down the stairs. He felt that he was going to not get the benefit of the doubt, and decided to dispose of the body, right?
That's going to be all of the types of defense theories that he's going to try and come up with, to try and put holes, in this prosecution's case. So, they're going to have to run to ground all of those potential theories, and prove them wrong.
LINSKEY: They're going to have to look at what was going on before, in this relationship.
LINSKEY: What's the intention? Bob Ward had found that early report of domestic violence, some years before they were married. What was going on before then? What are friends and family saying?
Are there any tensions with business associates, and tensions with family, tensions with other people, outside the marriage that could be causing him to have the first Google search, we saw, prior to the death and disappearance, where, "Which State is best for divorce, for male?" That shows that there's some tension, in that marriage. And Police are going to want to dig into that, to paint a picture, for the jury, as to why these events may have occurred.
COOPER: Martha, I mean, Police don't have to, or the prosecutors don't have to, argue a motive. But it certainly helps tell a story, to a jury, if in fact, this ever gets before a jury.
COAKLEY: Of course. And the motive, here, in a close relationship, like this, where there may have been financial problems, where we know that she had emailed her mother, to come to Washington, not too far before Christmas. So, there are some other circumstances that I'm sure will come out about that. And you do not need a motive. It's an element of a crime, but it certainly helps.
And look, they can see a narrative, where maybe she wanted a divorce, and then they have a fight, after New Year's Eve. There's lots of scenarios that will make commonsense, if they can fill them out, if they can knit together, some of the circumstantial evidence, they have. But, right now, given what we have, I just don't see it.
And look, don't forget, if you have a younger jury? They're on Google all the time. The idea of a Google search is something that people take for granted. He wanted to get rid of a body, clean it up. It's not great, obviously.
But about 20 years or so, we had a workplace shooting, in Middlesex County. The guy pretended that he lacked criminal responsibility. And the key piece of evidence, for us, was finding a Google search that said, "How do you fake a mental illness?"
Now, he had done that all ahead of time. So, that went to premeditation and planning. That's different from this case, where all of the searches, as grim, as grisly, as they are, seem to be after the fact.
COOPER: There was that Police report, filed back, John, in 2014, where she had told Police that he had threatened to kill her?
MILLER: So, that was actually filed before they were married. And they went on to continue that relationship. By the way, not unprecedented that there would be domestic violence--
MILLER: --and the relationship would continue, to get married. And there hasn't been anything like that since.
Now, remember, we're dealing in a very complicated realm here, with the suspect, in this case. Aside from the murder, you'll recall, he's under indictment, for an art fraud, involving Andy Warhol paintings. He's facing federal time. He's got an ankle bracelet that monitors, when he leaves the house.
His wife knows he's going to jail. She's got the job, and is the breadwinner. He's trying to start a consulting business. They have three kids. There's going to be tensions, at a time, like that.
So, she's living in Washington, where she works, for Tishman Speyer. The Cohasset Police, and the State Police, went to Washington, went with the D.C. Metro Police entered the apartment. Did a search there, looking for what's the back-end of motive here, is there something amiss here?
They came back, a second time, looking for something else. We don't know what they found there. But they've been searching for what was the thread of tension that came to a breaking point?
Martha Coakley, Elie Honig, Daniel Linskey, appreciate it. Thank you.
John Miller is going to stay with us.
When we come back, we're going to look at the case, from the point of the defense. Are there holes in the case it can capitalize on? Martha got to some of that. We'll talk to two well-known criminal defense attorneys, next.
COOPER: This is a Special Edition of 360, "What happened to Ana?"
Now that we've discussed the evidence, prosecutors may use, against Brian Walshe, we want to turn how the defense may try to undermine their case.
Joining us are two criminal defense attorneys.
Mark O'Mara, who successfully defended George Zimmerman, in the killing of Trayvon Martin, nearly 10 years ago.
And Sara Azari, whose new series, "Death by Fame," premieres Monday, on Investigation Discovery, and will stream on Discovery+, both part of the Warner Brothers Discovery family.
Back with us is John Miller.
So Mark, are there holes in the case that the defense could use, in their advantage, to your opinion?
MARK O'MARA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well--
COOPER: I mean, given the fact that we don't yet know what the motive was, there's a number of arguments, I assume, the defense will be making, about perhaps what may have happened?
O'MARA: Well, certainly. We only have 10, 15, 20 pages of what's going to be 5,000 pages of discovery.
But even what we know, today, not only is there a lack of motive, but there's lack of this premeditation, or any suggestion, whatsoever that it is the most serious charge that of first degree murder.
So, then we default back to second degree murder, which is that heat of passion. And quite honestly, they don't even have any evidence yet of that. If you think about it, this could be a domestic violence fight that had a horrific consequence, the death of her. And then the cover-up is what makes it look so bad.
But don't forget, no matter what he did in the cover-up, it simply does not change the level of crime, the initial crime, the murder. So, this may turn out to be the only thing that the State can prove, as some type of negligent homicide, in the middle of a fight, not even to the level of second degree.
So, if I was the defense counsel, I'm focusing on getting this down, to something that only the State can prove, with the evidence available, and not focusing on the aftermath, the hiding of it all.
COOPER: Sara, do you agree with that argue for a escalated domestic violence case?
SARA AZARI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I absolutely do. And that's not because I like Mark, but because not too long ago, I defended a torture murder case, that stemmed from domestic violence.
And this is not very uncommon that perpetrators of domestic violence go too far. There's a death, and then they freak out and panic, and try to dispose of the body. My client was just not as stupid as Walshe, with these emails, with these Google searches, et cetera.
But the idea here is, to Mark's point, two things, mental state and mitigation. I think the focus is going to be - one of the things I'd want to do, is look at the history, look back, not about what happened after she went missing, but what this relationship was all about. How many domestic violence calls were made, in the course of this relationship? Subpoena those 9-1-1 calls. Because, the more we can show that there's no premeditation, the lesser the degree of crime, like Mark said, and it's more like a heat-of-passion killing.
Then, also mitigation, I really don't know what's up with this guy, right? We got to take a deep dive into his mental state, afflictions, addictions, all of those things.
All our clients, all the defendants think they can walk. But not all the defendants walk. So, I think, a victory is relative. And, in this case, it's about really reducing the degree of crime, and then looking at mitigating factors.
COOPER: Mark, would you see this going to trial? I mean, if it's about sort of mitigating factors, and managing the defendant's expectations, of not going to walk, but what sort of a reduced sentence he could actually get, does that argue for some sort of plea agreement?
O'MARA: Really, if you think about it, because you don't get to argue a lot of litigation to a jury.
You can't walk in, and go "Well, he had this going on, and he was stressed out, because of the pending federal case." That's really not relevant to a jury. They decide the facts of the case, and whether or not the State has proven the highest crime that they might prove, first degree, second degree, whatever it might be.
But, in the same sense, that type of mitigation, that type of the stressors that were going on, as we just mentioned, the federal case, the previous domestic violence events, maybe, some of the stressors? All that should play very well, to the prosecutor, who knows that they have a tough time proving maybe even second degree, because nobody knows what happened, but him, to the body.
And there may well be an opportunity to show, "Look, let's lower to something, where he's definitely going to spend a fair amount of time in prison, but he has a chance for life afterwards, and that's something even less than second degree." So, that's going to be the focus, I think, for the defense team.
COOPER: Yes, go ahead, Sara.
AZARI: Yes, but the - I mean, listen, we're defense attorneys. But I'm also a realist. This is a challenging case. These are really bad facts, you know? And the days, of no body, no case, are long gone. You can convict without a body.
And so, there's a lot of explaining to do. I mean, if this guy goes to trial, there's a lot of explaining to do to the jury. And that's the risk, you know? And that's why I think, some of the focus might be on plea negotiations.
COOPER: And John, you were pointing out, I mean, they found blood, her blood, on the outside of the Tyvek suit, and his blood, inside, or DNA.
MILLER: Right, which goes to a lot of premeditation, but about the cover-up.
But I keep coming back to precedent here, which is the John Smith case. His first wife disappeared. They didn't find a body. His second wife disappeared. They found a body. His third wife, he was on to. Then they found bones, from somebody else. He's been to trial twice. He's been convicted twice. He's going for a third time, starting in a couple of days.
But look right here, in the same courthouse, in Massachusetts. And that Joe Romano case? The facts are remarkably the same. He said, "My wife was killed by drug dealers she owed money to. She was an iron worker, involved with bad people." But the evidence, the saw, the bloody mattress, the cover-up, never found a body? He's doing life.
COOPER: John Miller, appreciate it.
Mark O'Mara, Sara Azari, thanks very much.
John Miller's going to stay with us.
Coming up, a former colleague of Ana speaks with us, about today's arraignment, and the effort to keep Ana's children together.
COOPER: More now, of our Special Edition 360, "What happened to Ana?"
The details about what prosecutors say, happened to Ana Walshe, are awful. Concern has naturally turned, to the couple's three children, who are all between the ages of 2-years-old and 6-years-old, where they are, and what's happened to them.
I'm joined now by Pam Bardhi, a former colleague of Ana. She and others have made it their mission to make sure the children stay together.
I know you watched the arraignment, today. What went through your mind when you heard that Brian Walshe was being formally charged?
BARDHI: It was a mix of rage and relief, at the same time.
Truth is a double-edged sword. On one occasion, you look at it, and you say to yourself, "It's good to know that the truth is starting to unravel." But at the same token, it's painful. You get just the sense of rage of how could something happen to somebody, so beautiful? How could something like this happen? And we still don't know, right? There's still question marks. This is just the first step. But we're anxious to know what happens next. Her boys deserve to know the truth.
COOPER: You met her through work, I understand. What was she like? What - did she talk about her family much?
BARDHI: Her boys, were her absolute world, the whole reason and motivation for all that she did.
And honestly, she's one of those people, when she walks into a room, you feel her energy. She's magnetic. She's brilliant. She's ambitious. She's the supermom that everyone would look up to, and be inspired by, truthfully. That's who she is.
COOPER: I know you've spoken out recently about her three sons. They're currently in the custody, of Massachusetts Department of Children & Families. Do you have any updates on who may ultimately take care of them?
BARDHI: Yes. So, as far as we know, as of today, they are still in State custody. And there's going to be a legal process, when it comes to that.
But through our Sky International community, there are actually families that have filed the initial paperwork, to begin fostering these children. Now, which family ends up being the parents? That's still to be known. But at least we know that there's going to be loving families that are going to be welcoming them in. We're just not sure of the process. But at least, the initial steps have begun.
COOPER: Did she ever talk to you about her husband?
BARDHI: She never mentioned him much. We mostly had a professional connection.
But she was always talking about her boys. That was the biggest thing. Her boys! Her boys! Her boys! And that is the most important thing that's always stuck with me, since I learned of this case. My heart went upside-down and so did my stomach, when I saw that she was missing. And my next thought went to her boys, because, I remember the light when she spoke of them.
COOPER: Pam Bardhi, I appreciate your time, tonight. Thank you so much.
BARDHI: Thank you so much.
COOPER: Coming up, an ominous history, of deadly domestic violence, in America. As searchers continue looking, for the remains, of Ana Walshe, we look back at other famous cases, where husbands were convicted of killing their spouses, as our 360 Special Report continues.
COOPER: We continue now with our 360 Special Report, "What happened to Ana?"
While Ana Walshe's loved ones, friends, co-workers, and many others, around the nation, wait to hear, the answer, to that question, we all know, by now, it may very well be a grim one. Nothing is proven, in this case, not even the death threat Brian Walshe allegedly made, to his future wife, nine years ago.
But it is worth remembering that family and domestic violence, including intimate partner abuse, affects some 10 million people, each year, in this country. Government estimates show one in four women are victims, so are one in nine men.
Our Randi Kaye reminds us, tonight, this is afar, from the only case, in which a husband is accused of killing a spouse, they vowed to love and cherish.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this point, we're not ruling him in or out
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR/CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Modesto Police, talking about Scott Peterson, and his possible connection, to the disappearance of, his pregnant wife, Laci. She was reported missing, in December 2002.
SCOTT LEE PETERSON, AMERICAN CONVICTED MURDERER: Everyone's still helping look for Laci, so.
KAYE (voice-over): Laci's body, along with her unborn baby, was found in April 2003, on the shore of San Francisco Bay. Scott Peterson was arrested, and charged with two felony counts of murder. He pleaded not guilty.
BRENT ROCHA, LACI DENISE PETERSON'S BROTHER: I am only left to question what else he may be hiding.
KAYE (voice-over): Turns out, a woman, named Amber Frey, told Police, soon after Laci disappeared that she was dating him.
At his 2004 trial, Scott Peterson was found guilty of first degree murder, in the killing of his wife, and second degree murder, for their unborn child. He was sentenced to death. But California's Governor later halted all executions. He's now serving life in prison without parole.
DREW WALTER PETERSON, CONVICTED MURDERER, FORMER ILLINOIS POLICE OFFICER: I've got nothing to say about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No truth to it whatsoever?
WALTER PETERSON: None.
KAYE (voice-over): In 2007, all eyes were on former Illinois Police Officer, Drew Peterson, after his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson disappeared.
WALTER PETERSON: She told me she found somebody else, and she was leaving.
KAYE (voice-over): The couple's home was searched, and local ponds dredged. Investigators grew suspicious.
CARL DOBRICH, FORMER ILLINOIS STATE POLICE CAPTAIN: Drew Peterson has gone from a person of interest to clearly being a suspect.
KAYE (voice-over): Drew Peterson was never charged in Stacy's disappearance. But it made investigators more curious, about the death of Peterson's previous wife, Kathleen Savio. She was found dead, in 2004, in the bathtub. The coroner ruled it an accidental drowning. In November 2007, authorities exhumed Savio's body, for another look.
WALTER PETERSON: It's a shame that her Rest in Peace has to be disturbed, for something like this.
KAYE (voice-over): This time, coroners ruled it a homicide.
In May 2009, Peterson was arrested.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this spiffy outfit. My god.
KAYE (voice-over): And charged with first degree murder, in Savio's death. He pleaded not guilty, but in 2013, was sentenced to 38 years in prison.
SHANANN WATTS, VICTIM, WIFE OF CHRISTOPHER WATTS: Guess what girls? Mommy has a baby in her belly!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Again, yay!
KAYE (voice-over): In 2018, Shanann Watts, of Colorado, celebrated her pregnancy, with her two young daughters. Soon after that they all disappeared.
Shanann's husband, of nearly six years, Chris watts.
CHRISTOPHER WATTS, SHANANN WATTS'S HUSBAND: I need to see everybody. I need to see everybody again.
KAYE (voice-over): Authorities searched the home and the neighborhood. A day later, a grisly discovery.
JOHN CAMPER, COLORADO BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION DIRECTOR: We have been able to recover a body that we're quite certain is Shanann Watts' body.
KAYE (voice-over): On the property, of a petroleum company, where Chris Watts had worked, authorities found his wife's body. Nearby, the girls' bodies were found, stuffed into oil drums.
SGT. IAN ALBERT, FREDERICK POLICE DEPARTMENT: Husband, Chris Watts, was taken into custody, and was transported to the Weld County Jail.
KAYE (voice-over): Chris Watts was charged with three counts of first degree murder, and three counts of tampering, with a human body.
Prosecutors said he strangled his wife, with his bare hands, and suffocated his girls. Watts pleaded guilty. The motive? Another woman.
Watts was sentenced to consecutive life sentences, for the murders, with no chance of parole.
Randi Kaye, CNN.
COOPER: And John Miller is back with us.
I mean, some of those cases, I had forgotten about. And yet, they were, I mean, obviously, so huge, at the time, the - yes, so disturbing!
MILLER: I mean, the challenges here are that you've got - that John Smith case, where he killed both of his first wife, and then his second wife, and kept moving around the country? That was one FBI agent Bob Hilland, who would not let go of that case. That's why it's going to trial again, this week.
If you look at the Gail Katz case? This is a plastic surgeon, renowned, Dr. Robert Bierenbaum, lived on the Upper East Side. When she disappears, he doesn't report her missing. You see some of the similar themes coming up.
Another investigator, Andy Rosenzweig, wouldn't let go of that case, came back to it, years later, and found records that Bierenbaum had a pilot's license, and had gone flying, over the ocean. And his theory was he'd thrown the body, out of the plane.
Never found the body. But they convicted him on the circumstantial case. And in a parole hearing, in 2020, he admitted to killing her, and throwing her out of the plane.
COOPER: It's so interesting. I mean, in those both, the Peterson cases, and the last case, I mean, the arrogance of the husbands, who are appearing on camera, doing interviews, you know?
COOPER: Thinking that they can get away with it?
MILLER: And look at who we're talking about? A renowned plastic surgeon. A guy, who was an engineer for a car company. We just saw a Police officer--
MILLER: --another respected professional. These are people, whose arrogance comes from they've been highly capable at everything they've ever done. But murder is hard. And cleaning up behind it is harder than anybody thinks, as we're learning again.
COOPER: That's interesting. I mean, you've been in law enforcement, you have a long history, in law enforcement, Are you shocked at all anymore? I mean, you've seen every form of kind of depravity.
MILLER: So, I've been in a couple of dismembered body cases. But what I'm - I'm not shocked by the depravity of the crimes.
I'm always surprised by the ability to string together the evidence, because there's so many more things we have today. License plate readers, E-ZPasses, cell phone tower signals. And just when you think you know them all, new ones come online, the Google searches, the cameras in the stores, where you're buying the things that you need to use in the cover-up.
It's very hard, in this electronic world, to do something without leaving a trace. We just saw, in that Idaho case, where Police charged that the accused killer left his phone at - turned his phone off, to go to the murder scene.
COOPER: And yet, it seems like people believe they can get away with it? I mean, they think they can talk Police out of something they - people talk to - you know? They--
MILLER: You know what? I had this conversation, with our other great contributor, Andy McCabe, the former Deputy Director of the FBI.
And I said, in the Idaho case, he's a PhD in criminal justice. I mean, people are saying, he's too smart for this crime. And Andy summed it up. He said the jails are full of really smart guys, or guys who thought they were.
COOPER: John Miller, appreciate it. Thank you. Fascinating!
And thank you all, to all our guests, tonight.
We're going to stay on this story, as new details come out.
"CNN TONIGHT" with Laura Coates is next, right after a short break.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT: Well, good evening, everyone. I'm Laura Coates. And this is "CNN TONIGHT".
The White House calls the allegations, "Horrifying and shocking."