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Ana Walshe has been the most high profile missing person case of 2023, after she disappeared in the early hours of the New Year.
The real estate executive, 39, was last seen by her husband, Brian Walshe, who claims she left their Cohasset, Mass., home for a “work emergency” in Washington DC. However, she never took a plane and was reported missing on Jan. 4.
Since then her husband has been charged with murder, even though no trace of her body has been recovered.
While police have said they have strong circumstantial evidence against Brian – from genetic material to surveillance footage of him buying cleaning materials to his disturbing internet search history – he has pleaded not guilty to her murder.
Former Washington, DC, prosecutor Thomas “Tad” DiBiase told The Post without Ana’s body prosecutors are at a disadvantage, but can still secure a conviction.
Although many people mistakenly believe you need to find a body to prove a crime has been committed, DiBiase said that is far from true and pointed to his research, which concluded no-body murder cases even have an 86% conviction rate, compared to 70% for all murder cases as a whole.
DiBiase, who served with the DC District Attorney’s office for over 10 years, prosecuted the district’s second-ever no-body murder case. He has since become a leading expert on the subject, and lectures prosecutors and police investigators across the country on how to secure homicide convictions in the absence of the victim’s remains.
Below, he walks The Post through the complications of a no-body murder, and what to expect from the Walshe case.
‘Best piece of evidence’
Although the history of no-body murder prosecutions in the US dates to the early 19th century, these trials used to be relatively rare occurrences.
“When you don’t have a body, you don’t have the best piece of evidence in a murder case,” DiBiase told The Post.
DiBiase said the absence of a victim’s body brings an “added layer of challenge” in court because it requires prosecutors to prove not only the defendant committed a heinous crime, but also the victim is actually deceased to begin with.
“[Without a body] you have to show enough evidence to make a juror believe beyond a reasonable doubt not only is the person dead, but that the person sitting there in court is the one who did it,” he said.
“When you don’t have the body, you don’t know exactly when the person was murdered, you might not know how they were murdered, you don’t know where [they were killed].”
DiBiase’s assessment was backed up by that of Lisa Dadio, M.S., MSW, a retired police lieutenant who is now on the faculty at the University of New Haven.
“The body itself is a mini-crime scene and can yield a lot of physical evidence in a case,” Dadio explained.
“When a body is recovered, most times a medical examiner or coroner can determine cause and manner of death, which is directly related to the charges against an individual.”
Body of proof
But while the lack of a victim’s body poses a challenge for investigators and prosecutors, the ability to hold up murder convictions in court hinges on the legal principle of corpus delicti, or “body of the crime.”
According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute, corpus delicti dictates that a suspect cannot be convicted of a crime without sufficient evidence that the misdeed was actually committed. In the absence of the victim’s remains, homicide cases rely on other convincing physical and circumstantial evidence.
One of the first modern cases to bring corpus delicti into popular consciousness was that of Robert “Leonard” Ewing Scott, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1957 for the murder of his wife, Evelyn Throsby Scott, who was last seen in 1955.
Because Evelyn’s remains were never found, Scott’s conviction hinged in part on the fact that her glasses, dentures and other personal belongings were found near an incinerator on the couple’s Bel Air property.
Although Scott denied killing Evelyn for several years, his New York Times obituary states that he confessed to author Diane Wagner after being released on parole in 1978.
In his conversation with The Post, DiBiase claimed that there have been 576 no-body murder trials in the United States in the last 200 years — with more than half of them occurring since 2000.
DiBiase attributed the uptick in prosecutions to advances in technology, including the growing role of DNA evidence, forensics such as fingerprints and “electronic trails,” or online footprints including location data, surveillance cameras, ATM transactions and cellphones — which track a user’s location and carry a wealth of personal data.
Both genetic and digital evidence played a major role in the murder charges against Brian Walshe. At his arraignment last week, Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland told Quincy District Court DNA from both Ana and Brian was found on a pair of bloody slippers and the Tyvek body suit uncovered at the Peabody trash transfer site several days earlier.
The two stained items were unearthed alongside other suspicious objects, including a hacksaw, a hatchet and a carpet.
Surveillance footage from the days after Ana was last seen also captured Brian placing two other heavy sets of trash bags in random dumpsters.
Beland told the court the contents of those bags — which may have included Ana’s remains — had already been incinerated by the time cops got to them.
In addition to the DNA and suspicious footage, Beland detailed Brian’s chilling internet search history.
In the early hours of New Year’s Day, the father of three allegedly used his son’s iPad to look up “how long before a body starts to smell?” and “how to stop a body from decomposing?” He also searched “how long for someone to be missing to inherit.”
The grisly queries continued throughout the day and into the rest of the week, with follow-up questions including “how long does DNA last?”, “dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body” and “can you be charged with murder without a body?”
He also looked up “best state to divorce for a man” on Dec. 27, just days before Ana vanished.
“Rather than divorce, it is believed that Brian Walshe dismembered Ana Walshe and discarded her body,” Beland concluded.
“Walshe has checked off boxes of things you are not supposed to do, going and doing these unbelievably idiotic Google searches,” DiBiase said of the damning evidence.
“He’s writing a how-to of how not to escape committing a no-body murder!”
DiBiase also noted that many no-body cases stem from similar domestic violence incidents.
“The husband is the most obvious suspect,” he explained.
While the Walshe saga is currently dominating the nation’s headlines, DiBiase said that most readers are probably more familiar with no-body trials than they realize.
Ana Walshe’s disappearance bears a particularly disturbing resemblance to that of Jennifer Dulos, a Connecticut writer and mother of five who was last seen at her rental home in New Canaan, Connecticut, on May 24, 2019.
At the time of her disappearance, Jennifer, 50, was in the process of divorcing her husband, Fotis Dulos. Although Fotis and his girlfriend, Michelle Traconis, were charged with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution just a few weeks after Jennifer vanished, Fotis was not slapped with capital murder charges related to her death until Jan. 7, 2020.
“It’s less important when an arrest occurs versus whether they have sufficient evidence to make both probable cause to arrest and are able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial,” DiBiase told The Post of the lag behind Fotis’ charges versus the apparent speed of those against Brian Walshe.
Fotis was released on bond later that month and subsequently attempted suicide at his home on Jan. 28, 2020. He was pronounced dead two days later.
As of 2023, Jennifer’s remains have never been found.
In more recent news, DiBiase pointed readers to Paul Flores, who was convicted of first-degree murder last fall in the 1996 killing of his college classmate Kristin Smart.
Although Smart’s remains have never been recovered, prosecutors successfully argued that Flores, 45, murdered her during a rape attempt. His father Ruben Flores, 81, was acquitted by a separate jury of accessory charges for allegedly helping his son bury Smart’s body.
DiBiase also noted that some of America’s most infamous killers have no-body murder convictions on their rap sheets.
Sixties fiend Charles Manson, for example, was convicted of first-degree murder in 1971 for the August 1969 death of Donald Jerome “Shorty” Shea.
Manson reportedly ordered three members of his cult-like “Family” to kill Shea because he believed the aspiring actor was leaking information about the group’s criminal activities to authorities.
Shea’s remains were not found until six years after Manson and the Family were convicted, when one of the killers led police to its location.
Despite the complications of no-body murder cases, DiBiase is confident that Brian Walshe is guilty of his wife’s murder — and that he will face commensurate justice.
“The Massachusetts police have done a bang-up job on this case,” he said of the police in Cohasset.
“They have done everything they are supposed to do. They seemingly treated it as a murder case from the beginning, not as a missing person.”
DiBiase reiterated that the evidence against Brian is “very valuable, very damning,” and surmised that “it appears that he is not going to get away with [killing Ana.]”
“Hopefully it won’t even go to trial,” he continued.
“This is a strong case. This is a very difficult case for him to get out of at this point. My hope is that he would actually plead guilty.”
At his arraignment last week, Brian pleaded not guilty to the murder charges and he has previously pleaded not guilty to charges of misleading the police in their investigation of Ana’s disappearance.
By: Ny Post
Will ‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ Return For Season 2?
Criminal Minds: Evolution aired its Season 1 finale on February 9, and though the eventful episode gave fans of Paramount+‘s Criminal Minds revival series closure on Elias Voit (Zach Gilford) and David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), a few lingering questions — like what the heck is Gold Star?! — remain. So will Criminal Minds: Evolution return with answers in another season?
After a 15-season run, the beloved original series concluded on CBS in 2020, but Evolution welcomed back fan-favorite cast members including Mantegna as Rossi, A.J. Cook as Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Aisha Tyler as Tara Lewis, Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez, and Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss. This time around, the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit was on the hunt for Voit, a skillful UnSub who assembled a team of serial killers during COVID-19 lockdown.
So will our favorite BAU agents return to screens again for Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2? Here’s everything we know about the future of the Paramount+ series.
Will Criminal Minds: Evolution Return For Season 2?
Good news, Criminal Minds fans. Evolution is returning with another batch of new episodes!
Back in December 2022, Criminal Minds: Evolution showrunner Erica Messer told Decider’s Raven Brunner that she and the writers had already started talking about a potential Season 2. “Hopefully there will be good news on that in the new year, but we can’t stop thinking about it,” she shared. “I love this group of actors and I think we have such a fondness for one another. They’re huge fans of this. I mean, they were fans of the original, but they’re huge fans of this serialized version.”
On January 12, Paramount+ announced that Criminal Minds: Evolution was officially renewed for a Season 2, noting that it’s one of the platform’s top five original series.
“We’re thrilled to bring even more twisted storylines to our loyal fans of Criminal Minds: Evolution with the order of another season,” Tanya Giles, Paramount Streaming’s chief programming officer, said in a statement. “There are still many dark twists and turns yet to come for the BAU…”
What Will A Season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution Look Like?
If you have yet to watch the Season 1 finale and want to avoid spoilers, consider this your chance to stop reading. But if you’re all caught up on Episode 10, “Dead End,” you know that although Voit is now in custody, he has crucial knowledge of a secretive project or organization called Gold Star. BAU agents are even in the dark on Gold Star, so their whispers of the curious words in the finale will likely lead to a larger Season 2 investigation. The final seconds of the Season 1 finale also show a mystery person entering the room to talk to Voit. Who is that? What is Gold Star? And will Zach Gilford’s role carry over into Season 2? We’ll have to wait to find out.
Though we’re not yet sure when Season 2 will premiere, we’re excited to see what’s in store for this fresh reboot series that’s familiar in all the best ways.
Season 1 of Criminal Minds: Evolution is now streaming on Paramount+.
By: Ny Post
Volvo Cars braces for challenging 2023 after quarterly profit falls – One America News Network
By Marie Mannes
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Volvo Cars said on Thursday 2023 was likely to be another challenging year, despite healthy demand for its vehicles, as the Swedish carmaker reported a fall in quarterly profit.
Volvo Cars, which is majority-owned by Chinese automotive company Geely Holding, said its fourth-quarter operating profit dropped to 3.4 billion crowns ($322.2 million)from 3.7 billion crowns a year earlier.
Profits were hit by high lithium prices, and having to buy semiconductors and logistics in the spot market, which can be more expensive than under long term contracts.
Volvo Cars and its peers have faced lingering chip shortages over the past year that have periodically hit manufacturing, with the Sweden-based company forced at times to halt production at some factories temporarily.
Other supply chain issues, the energy crisis and red-hot inflation have also made life tougher for the company.
“While 2023 looks to be another challenging year, we are hopeful that the COVID-related supply shortages from China are behind us and that we continue to see steady improvement in the supply of semiconductors,” it said in a statement.
“Despite the global turbulence, uncertainty and our recent price increases, we continue to see healthy demand for our cars,” Volvo Cars said, adding it expected a “solid” double-digit growth in retail sales during 2023.
However, Volvo Cars reaffirmed its mid-decade targets, which include selling cars at an annual run-rate of 1.2 million, with half of them electric. Some analysts had said ahead of the report that target was too ambitious.
“We remain doubtful whether the company will be able to achieve these targets before 2027 and think the company will have to significantly stretch its definition of ‘mid-decade’,” Bernstein said.
Volvo Cars shares fell over 3% at the market open, but were flat at around 0954 GMT.
CEO Jim Rowan defended the targets in an interview with Reuters, saying demand, new models and the easing of supply constraints would make it easier for the company to hit them.
He also said the company did not plan to reduce the price of its vehicles, despite other electric carmakers such as Tesla doing so.
Toyota Motor, which also reported results on Thursday, cut its annual manufacturing target in November and again on Thursday. This, like Volvo, is despite its vehicles sales rising.
December was the strongest month ever in cars produced for Volvo.
The company once again proposed not paying a dividend, but confirmed in a call to analysts that it would pay a bonus to its employees this year, and that it had no plans for job cuts
“If you look at our electrification journey and our growth ambitions … we’re going to be pretty comfortable in keeping our people busy,” Rowan said.
(Reporting by Marie Mannes, additional reporting by Agata Rybska; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Mark Potter)
Kenya Barris served by his sister at ‘You People’ premiere
Hot Hollywood director Kenya Barris’ latest film, “You People,” is all about family drama — but the “Black-ish” creator had some of his own at the film’s star-studded premiere.
“You People” stars Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill in what Netflix calls an “outrageous romantic comedy” with “a seemingly endless supply of family land mines.” And things got a bit explosive off-screen at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, Calif., we hear, when Barris’ sister served him with court documents during his big moment.
A source said that after the screening, when Barris was basking in the adulation of the audience, he was surrounded by photographers snapping his picture. However, one of the seeming paparazzi skulking around was actually a process server, we hear, who hit Barris with court docs and said, “You’ve been served.”
Also at the red carpet premiere was Murphy, along with costars Nia Long, Lauren London, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny. Guests also included Elliott Gould, Anthony Anderson, Cedric the Entertainer, rapper Yung Miami and more.
Court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court show Barris was served at the Westwood movie theater on the night of the premiere, Jan. 17, at 9:54 p.m.
The papers stem from a legal dispute between Barris and his sister, Colette Barris.
In court docs seen by Page Six, Colette has accused Kenya of “breach of contract.”
Her court filing says that on Feb. 22, 2021, the siblings entered into a legal agreement, adding, “The parties in pertinent part agreed ‘not to communicate any disparaging remarks about each other or about any matters that led to this Agreement.’”
The papers go on to allege, “In or around June 2022, [Kenya] stated to a third party that (1) Plaintiff was a ’70-year-old no talent hack’ and (2) Plaintiff had not earned the ‘right to be a show creator’ but instead ‘ wanted to go to the front of the line.’”
However, the bad blood stretches back further, as they’ve reportedly been in at least one previous legal dispute.
A rep for Barris did not immediately return Page Six’s request for comment, and Colette’s rep did not comment.
Kenya’s credits also include the hits “Grown-ish,” “Girls Trip,” “Coming 2 America” and the Disney Plus reboot of “Cheaper By the Dozen.”
By: Ny Post
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