"What's the best state to divorce for a man."
"Dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body."
"Can you be charged with murder without a body."
These are just a few of the Google searches that prosecutors say Brian Walshe made in the days before and after he allegedly killed his wife Ana, dismembered her and disposed of her remains in dumpsters around suburban Boston.
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Prosecutor Lynn Beland read aloud the disturbing searches in court Wednesday as Brian Walshe, 47, was charged with murder and disinterring a body without authority. He has previously been charged with misleading investigators looking into his wife's disappearance. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, and his defence attorney suggested the evidence against him was not strong.
Except for one, the Google searches were all made after Ana Walshe was last seen on January 1 and before her workplace reported her missing on January 4.
Misty Marris, a defence attorney, told CNN the Google searches "really gave investigators a blueprint of what to look for and where to look."
In particular, the searches showed prosecutors Brian Walshe's focus on dismemberment and disposing of a body as well as insight into his motive, including a search about divorce and one about inheritance, Marris said.
"The story is really coming together, and those Google searches, they were essential to putting together the pieces," she said.
CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller similarly said, "He basically lays out the questions for his plan in the Google searches, as prosecutors allege."
Adding to the unsavory nature of the searches, some of them were made on his son's iPad, the prosecutor said.
Here's a timeline of the Google searches mentioned in court at Brian Walshe's arraignment on Wednesday, alongside what prosecutors say he was doing at that time:
- What's the best state to divorce for a man.
January 1: Brian and Ana Walshe went to bed around 1am or 1.30am after celebrating the new year with a friend, he told investigators, prosecutors said in an affidavit. He told police Ana Walshe left early that morning for her job in Washington DC, the affidavit states, but there is no evidence she left the home.
- 4.55am – How long before a body starts to smell.
- 4.58am – How to stop a body from decomposing.
- 5.47am – 10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to.
- 6.25am – How long for someone to be missing to inherit.
- 6.34am – Can you throw away body parts.
- 9.29am – What does formaldehyde do.
- 9.34am – How long does DNA last.
- 9.59am – Can identification be made on partial remains.
- 11.34am – Dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body.
- 11.44am – How to clean blood from wooden floor.
- 11.56am – Luminol to detect blood.
- 1.08am – What happens when you put body parts in ammonia.
- 1.21pm – Is it better to put crime scene clothes away or wash them.
January 2: Brian Walshe travelled to a Home Depot and paid US$450 ($648.41) in cash for supplies, including mops, a bucket, goggles, tarps, a hatchet and baking soda, according to prosecutors.
- 12.45pm – Hacksaw best tool to dismember.
- 1.10pm – Can you be charged with murder without a body.
- 1.14pm – Can you identify a body with broken teeth.
- 1.02pm – What happens to hair on a dead body.
- 1.13pm – What is the rate of decomposition of a body found in a plastic bag compared to on a surface in the woods.
- 1.20pm – Can baking soda mask or make a body smell good.
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