Brian Walsh, the Massachusetts father charged in his wife’s disappearance, enrolled in life coaching groups that promising to “inspire faith, trust, and love and compassion in all your relationships.”
Those who attended Boston Breakthrough Academy sessions remember Walshe, 47, as a born leader who was nicknamed “Head and Shoulders” for his luscious locks and “cool guy” persona.
The academy, which merged with another life-coaching organization last year, is offered other services and seminars, sharing a podcast on “Steps to Ending a Toxic Relationship” on her website.
Members of Walshe’s 30-person cohort told The Post they were stunned by recent headlines implicating their former classmate in the disappearance of his wife, Ana.
“This whole situation he’s in is a complete shock to me,” said Ali Ozdemir, 31. He said Walshe “was someone you wanted to hang out with or be around.”
Walshe enrolled in the four-month program in January 2020, paying $2,997 for 16 sessions over five weekends, often lasting more than 12 hours a day, according to the organization’s website.
He was convinced to join his wife, Ana, who had attended one of the courses in late 2019 and suggested it could change his life.
Walshe rose through the organization’s “elite” Mastering Leadership Program until 2021 — and was regarded as a natural model. Another attendee, who requested anonymity, praised him for leading their team in raising $180,000 for a nonprofit that provided food to the hungry in the early days of the pandemic.
“He was incredibly giving of his time, he was a good listener, he was kind,” the participant recalled, her voice shaking.
Ozdemir noted that Walshe, with his real estate wife Ana and three children, seemed to have “the perfect family.”
Update on missing mother-of-three Ana Walshe
“You looked at them and said, ‘This is something I want: a beautiful wife with children, learning together, being a team.’
The group, however, has been oblivious to Brian’s legal troubles over the years, including his arrest for selling fake Andy Warhol paintings and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his late father’s home.
Ana seemed convinced that her husband made great personal progress through the program.
“I experienced the transformation firsthand and all I could think about was how supportive this program would be for Brian,” Ana said in a September 2021 letter to a federal judge in the Warhol case, obtained by The Post. “During this program, he defined what integrity means, as well as accountability, responsibility and clear communication.”
The facade of Walshe’s picture-perfect life crumbled earlier this year after Ana was reported missing on January 4. Walshe told police he hadn’t seen his wife since New Year’s, claiming he had left for DC for a “work emergency . ”
During that time, Walshe allegedly searched the Internet for “how to dispose of the body of a 115-pound woman,” according to court records. Police found no evidence that Ana called a utility or boarded a flight. They found a bloody, broken knife in the basement of the couple’s Cohasset home. Evidence that Walshe purchased $450 worth of cleaning supplies from Home Depot. and an axe, hacksaw, garbage bags, used cleaning supplies and a rug at a transfer station in Peabody, Mass., just five miles from Brian Walshe’s mother’s home in Swampscott.
Walshe is currently being held on $500,000 bond for interfering with investigators’ search for his missing wife. He has pleaded not guilty.
A real estate agent who had previously worked with the couple to sell a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in suburban Revere, Massachusetts, recalled being put off by Brian Walshe’s “socially awkward” demeanor.
Particularly tumultuous was a December 2019 lunch meeting at the Encore Boston Harbor casino to discuss real estate business, where he had his head down, looking at the agent across the table.
“He was just a weird guy,” the agent said.